Ender's Gameis a 2013 American science fiction action film based on the novel of the same name by Orson Scott Card . Written and directed by Gavin Hood , the film stars Asa Butterfield as Andrew "Ender" Wiggin , an unusually gifted child who is sent to an advanced military academy in outer space to prepare for a future alien invasion. The supporting cast includes Harrison Ford , Hailee Steinfeld , Viola Davis , Abigail Breslin , and Ben Kingsley .
Germany on October 24, 2013, followed by a release in the United Kingdom and Ireland one day later.It was released in the United States, Canada, and several other countries on November 1, 2013, and was released in other territories by January 2014.
In the future, humanity is preparing to launch an attack on the homeworld of an alien race called the Formics who had attacked Earth and killed millions. Over the course of fifty years, gifted children are trained by the International Fleet to become commanders of a new fleet for this counter-attack.
Cadet Andrew "Ender" Wiggin draws the attention of Colonel Hyrum Graff and Major Gwen Anderson by his aptitude in simulated space combat. They order the removal of his monitor, signifying the end of the cadet program. Ender is beaten up by Stilson, a student he defeated in the combat sim, but Ender fights back and severely injures him. Ender confesses his grief to his older sister Valentine , but is harassed further by their older brother Peter . Graff arrives to reveal he was being tested and still part of the program. Graff brings Ender to Battle School , placing Ender with other cadets his age, but treats him as extraordinary, ostracizing him from the others.
Among other studies, the cadets are placed in squads and perform training games in a zero gravity "Battle Room". Ender quickly adapts to the games, devising new strategies older students have not yet seen. Graff reassigns Ender to Salamander Army, led by Commander Bonzo Madrid . Bonzo is resentful of the new addition and prevents Ender from training. Another cadet, Petra Arkanian , takes Ender and trains him privately. In one match, Ender goes against Bonzo's orders and working with Petra, achieves a key victory for his army.
Meanwhile, Ender plays a computerized "mind game" set in a fantasy world aimed to present difficult choices to the player. In one situation, Ender creates a solution to overcome an unsolvable problem. Later, he encounters a Formic in the game, and then a simulated image of Valentine entering the ruins of a castle. Inside, he finds another image of Valentine but as he nears, it turns into an image of Peter before the game ends.
Graff promotes Ender to his own squad, made from other students that have gained Ender's trust. They are put in increasingly difficult battles. In one match against two other teams including Bonzo's squad, Ender devises a novel strategy of sacrificing part of his team to achieve a goal, impressing Graff. Bonzo accosts Ender in the bathroom after the match, but Ender fights back and mortally harms him. Distraught over this, Ender prepares to quit Battle School, but Graff has Valentine speak to him and convince him to continue.
Ender's training is rigorous and Anderson expresses concern they are pushing Ender too fast, but Graff notes they have run out of time to replace Ender.
Ender's final test is monitored by several of the fleet commanders. As the simulation starts, Ender finds his fleet over the Formic homeworld and vastly outnumbered. He orders most of his fleet to sacrifice themselves to protect the MD long enough to fire on the homeworld. The simulation ends, and Ender believes the test is over, but the commanders restart the video screens, showing that the destruction of the Formic homeworld was real and Ender had been controlling the real fleet this time. Despite Graff's assurance he will be known as a hero, Ender is furious as everyone will remember him as a killer.
As Ender struggles with his emotions, he recognizes one of the Formic structures nearby similar to the ruined castle from the game, and believing they were trying to communicate with him, races out towards it. He follows the path set by the game, and encounters a dying Formic queen who has been protecting another queen egg.
Ender writes in a letter to Valentine that he is heading to deep space with the egg, determined to colonize a new Formic world with it.