The character descriptions for Gavin Hood’s adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi classic Ender’s Game are out, and while some of them sound a little emotionally simplistic, they also sound generally true to the book, which is promising.
And they also made me realize that all I want for Christmas* is for Abigail Breslin or Chloe Moretz to play Valentine Wiggin. One of the things that’s been most exciting for me about the past couple of years is realizing what a wonderful, strong group of young actresses we have coming up in the wings. Breslin has grown from an odd little girl in Little Miss Sunshine to a warm, funny young person in movies like Definitely, Maybe and No Reservations. Chloe Moretz is rawer — despite the fact that she’s a year younger than Breslin, she’s taken on slightly older-themed roles like Hit Girl in Kick-Ass and the vampire in Let Me In. And Saoirse Ronan’s proved that she can do both the action thing with Hanna and a more delicate kind of girlhood in The Lovely Bones, which I think was flawed but very interesting and sometimes moving. And they’ve all coming up playing well-developed and defined characters, while also avoiding kiddie romance stuff. All of them, but particularly the first two who I think are a bit more age appropriate, would be wonderful at playing a fiercely concentrated and multi-dimensional young blogger, Tavi with a genius for research and geopolitics rather than fashion and girl culture.
On the other hand, I have no real idea about who should play Ender. Maybe it’s just that the girls have gotten more attention or, in what would be a shocking turn of events, there have been a spate of better roles for women than for men. But it seems like there’s a bit of a gender gap for talent in the mid-teen years. And as much as I love me some Valentine (and would love a stand-alone movie about a light-speed traveling activist historian), a great Ender will be key to making this movie work. A great Peter, too.
*We’ll talk my birthday separately.