'True Grit' actress would play female lead in sci-fi tentpole

“True Grit” star Hailee Steinfeld is in negotiations to star as the female lead in OddLot Entertainment’s sci-fi tentpole “Ender’s Game.”

Gavin Hood is directing the film from his own script, which is adapted from Orson Scott Card’s award-winning novel. Summit Entertainment is co-financing “Ender’s Game” and will release the film in the U.S. on March 15, 2013.

“Hugo” star Asa Butterfield is set to play the title character, a gifted young gamer skilled in strategy and logistics who’s recruited by the government to help battle an insect-like alien race.

Steinfeld is in talks to play Petra Arkanian, the only girl in Salamander Army who quickly becomes Ender’s ally and trusted right hand.

OddLot is in the process of casting the pic’s adult lead of Colonel Hyrum Graff, who trains the young male recruits at an elite military academy. Several thesps are in the mix, including sci-fi veteran Harrison Ford.

OddLot, K/O Paper Products and Digital Domain are production partners on “Ender’s Game.” OddLot’s Gigi Pritzker and Linda McDonough are producing with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman via their K/O Paper Products banner, as well as Lynn Hendee, Robert Chartoff and Card. OddLot’s Bill Lischak and K/O’s Mandy Safavi will exec produce with Digital Domain’s Cliff Plumer and Ed Ulbrich.

Steinfeld, who’s coming off an Oscar nomination for her perf in “True Grit,” is in line to play Shakespeare heroine Juliet Capulet in two very different films; she’ll topline Carlo Carlei’s faithful indie “Romeo and Juliet,” which starts production next month in Italy, and she also has an offer to star in Fox 2000’s period comedy “Rosaline.” Additionally, Steinfeld is attached to star in Paramount’s adaptation of Cat Patrick’s novel “Forgotten,” which follows a 16-year-old girl who has her memory erased every morning.

Steinfeld is repped by ICM, Coast to Coast Talent and Protege Entertainment.

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