It's kind of shocking that we haven't heard more from Hailee Steinfeld, who swept us off our feet last year in The Coen Brothers' "True Grit" remake, going from virtual unknown to critical darling. But maybe she was just biding her time, as Variety is reporting she's about to land a plum role - that of Petra Arkanian, the female lead in OddLot Entertainment's big budget adaptation of Orson Scott Card's sci-fi epic "Ender's Game." According to Variety, she'll be playing "a gifted young gamer skilled in strategy and logistics who's recruited by the government to help battle an insect-like alien race." So, are we sure this isn't just a fancy remake of "WarGames"?
Steinfeld, who won the coveted role in the Coens' western over thousands of other girls, will be joining "Hugo" star Asa Butterfield, who plays the titular Ender, a gifted youngster tasked with defending the earth from invading alien hordes. It was reported earlier this week that Harrison Ford was in the mix to play one of the older characters in the film, which is being direced by "X-Men Origins Wolverine" auteur Gavin Hood. As Variety mentions, in the year since she garnered an Oscar nomination for "True Grit," she's been attached to several projects, including two where she would play Juliet (in a faithful "Romeo & Juliet" adaptation which starts shooting early next year and a Fox 2000 spin called "Rosaline") and a hotly tipped YA adaptation called "Forgotten."
The original novel is a beloved work of science fiction, winning multiple awards and spinning off into several sequels and a multitude of role playing games and other things best left in your dad's rumpus room. The conceit is nifty - sounding like a combination of "Starship Troopers" and those episodes of "X-Files" with the genius little kid Gibson - but we can't quite get over novelist Orson Scott Card's outspoken homophobia. It might be a story of maurading alien monsters, but the author's politics are far scarier.