So is Harrison Ford a gift or a curse these days? The actor hasn't had a hit film -- that didn't involve carrying a whip once again -- in over a decade. You'd have to go all the way back to 2000's "What Lies Beneath." Since then it's been a string of underperforming and just plain bad films in almost every genre imaginable, from heartwarming drama ("Extraordinary Measures"), genre thrillers ("Firewall"), comedy ("Morning Glory") and blockbuster tentpoles ("Cowboys & Aliens"). But that said, he is Indiana Jones and Han Solo, so that will always carry a certain amount of weight.
And thus, it can't be any surprise that Variety is reporting that Ford is among the veteran actors being sought out for a role in Gavin Hood's "Ender's Game." Apparently Viggo Mortensen was among those being talked to, but the picky actor eventually moved on. Powerhouse producing duo of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are behind the project, telling novelist Orson Scott Card's classic tale that's set in the future, when Earth is at war with an insectoid race named the Formics, and follows Ender, one of a group of children being trained to be military commanders. "Hugo" star Asa Butterfield, previously reported to take the lead, is now officially locked with Ford (or whichever older actor) to play Colonel Hyrum Graff, the Commander of Training for the International Fleet.
The big question mark for Ford, or whoever else takes the part, is whether or not they'll want to be tied to a franchise. "Ender's Game" is just one part of a sprawling twelve novel saga that is still growing. You can bet everyone who signs on is getting snagged with a contract that features an option for future movies. Will Ford want to take another gamble with a high profile project that will once again force him to do the kind of press he hates? Or will he opt for something else? We'll soon find out. This one is now in full gear with a March 15, 2013 release date as a target.