Harrison Ford came to Comic-Con and everyone went wild.
Whether the packed Hall H crowd were there to see brand new, never seen before footage from the adap of Orson Scott Card’s YA sci-fi Ender's Game or whether they just wanted to shout ‘Han Solo!’ from the auditorium (and the panel after indicated the latter..) doesn’t detract from the ambitious clip reel we were shown.
‘When the aliens first invaded they nearly destroyed us’ we’re told. ‘They will be back.’
Scenes of the decimation of earth by an endless vista or jaggedy copper and orange space ships follows – the earth is a wreck.
Our only hope for the future is the children – they understand things differently, are less limited, have different motor skills – and the one young man who could save us all is Ender (Asa Butterfield).
Ender trains in the battle room – a massive space station with view of the universe where he controls weapons with his fingertips ( Minority Report -style). We see Ender commanding fleets, juggling war strategies and blowing shit up, occasionally cut with shots of idyllic countryside (presumably now destroyed) and a brief moment of tenderness with Abigail Breslin (who plays his sister).
We start to have the sense that Ender is not only gifted and preternaturally smart but also has a streak of ruthlessness – in another training simulation he abandons his whole fleet for the greater purpose and subverts battle rules to win the day.
‘He’s not ready!’ Says a strangely tattooed Ben Kingsley. Harrison Ford disagrees.
Epic and very CGI heavy, with a foe that’s entirely faceless within the footage we saw, this looked like an intriguing sci-fi with a strong aesthetic and interesting source material that might fall foul of over use of VFX. It doesn't seem to be pushing for the Hunger Games crowd however, and Hugo proved Butterfield to be capable lead. Let's hope director Gavin Hood can redeem himself post X-Men Origins: Wolverine with this.