Asa Butterfield locks ‘Ender’s Game’

Producers discussing veteran thesps for adult lead, including Harrison Ford

“Hugo” star Asa Butterfield has closed a deal to star as the title character in “Ender’s Game,” Odd Lot Entertainment’s adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s 1985 sci-fi novel, which won both the Hugo and Nebula awards before spawning a series.

Gavin Hood (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) is directing the pic, which Summit Entertainment will release March 15, 2013. Futuristic tale will follow a gifted young gamer with an almost preternatural capacity for strategy and logistics who is recruited by the government to help battle an insect-like alien race.

Now that the producers have found their young lead, their focus turns to the adult lead of Colonel Hyrum Graff, the Commander of Training for the International Fleet, an elite boys’ military academy. Viggo Mortensen had been targeted for the role, but those talks didn’t work out and producers are now discussing another group of veteran thesps, including Harrison Ford.

K/O Paper Products, OddLot Entertainment and Digital Domain are production partners on the film, with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman producing via their K/O Paper Products banner, Gigi Pritzker and Linda McDonough producing via OddLot Entertainment, along with Orson Scott Card, Lynn Hendee and Robert Chartoff. The film will be executive produced by OddLot’s Bill Lischak, K/O’s Mandy Safavi, Digital Domain’s Cliff Plumer and Ed Ulbrich.

Butterfield, who starred in “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” before toplining Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” has also appeared in “Son of Rambow,” “Nanny McPhee Returns” and “The Wolfman.” He’s repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group.

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