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First Ender’s Game trailer should make fans uneasy

After years of back and forth, rumors, and heartbreak, a movie adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel Ender’s Game is set to be released later this year.

The first official trailer dropped yesterday, and it’s chock-full of fast cuts and dialog delivered by a mildly disinterested Harrison Ford. There’s not much plot, but it looks pretty.

Ender’s Game is widely considered one of the finest pieces of science fiction ever written. Originally published in 1985 by author Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game follows the childhood of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin. At an early age Ender shows an aptitude for strategic thinking, so he is recruited to attend Battle School, where he is trained as an elite soldier. To Ender this seems like a perfect way to escape from his sadistic older brother, but Battle School is serious business.

The new trailer, at least, does a good job of setting up the premise: Earth is engaged in a war with an alien race, and things aren’t going well. Old military tactics are useless against this new enemy, so Earth’s leaders turn to the young in hopes of training a new kind of military mastermind.

The main concern being voiced about the trailer is the generic action vibe it gives off. The novel has garnered so much praise because of how it makes you feel about the characters — the war is almost secondary. This is just a 2-minute trailer, so perhaps some of the complicated emotional layers are still there. The trailer could even be designed to sell this as an action flick to gain more mainstream interest, thus hiding a more faithful adaptation of the book.

The film will star Asa Butterfield (of Hugo) as Ender Wiggin, alongside Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, and Abigail Breslin. Those are big names for a sci-fi movie. That should serve as a reminder of how well-liked the novel is.

Ender’s Game is scheduled to hit theaters November 1 in the US.

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