Ender's Game script
Ender's Game (1985)
Synopsis: Ender's Game is 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. The film was released in Germany on October 24, 2013, followed by a release in the United Kingdom and Ireland one day later.

It's war in space the way it's really fought

silent, flameless. When a ship is hit,

there's a brief flash of light and debris

sprays in all directions, but that's all.

Earth's ships are blocky, a ragtag thrown-

together jerry-built fleet that was assembled

in a panic after the brutal first encounter.

The aliens did not try to communicate one

of their ships showed up and started scouring

the surface of the Earth. When it was

finally brought down, the aliens were found

to be about a meter in height, bodies antlike

in structure, but covered in fur to retain

body heat. The scientists called them

"Formicines," the military calls them

"Formics," and everybody else calls them

"Woolly Ants" or "Ants" or "Woollies" or any

number of other names in other languages.

They all mean the same thing: The ones who

want to kill us; the ones we have to kill.

EXT FLAGSHIP SPACE

One of the few new, sleek Earth ships.

INT ADMIRAL'S BRIDGE

The busy headquarters of a computer-age war.

Officers scurry on urgent errands, most

wearing headsets with heads-up displays and

small one-handed computer keypads on their

belts like drive-up-window workers at

McDonald's.

The center of the room is the Simulator, a

three-dimensional representation of all the

ships that the computer is tracking. Earth

ships are in bright green; Formic ships are

in bright red. Missiles and lasers are

represented in white dots and streaks.

Admiral SAKATA (50), a Japanese-American,

with several aides and subordinates,

including Commodore O'CASEY (35), stands

watching as the battle progresses.

EXT "NZF WAITANGI" SPACE

A large contingent of retrofitted cargo ships

is hidden behind a moon of Saturn, absolutely

still, taking no part in the battle. Then a

small port in the "Waitangi" opens and a

single missile fires.

INT ADMIRAL'S BRIDGE

The Simulator shows a single white missile

coming from the group of reserve cargo ships.

Sakata immediately notices it, points.

SAKATA:

Who fired that missile!

An AIDE punches something on his keyboard and

responds in only a second.

AIDE:

The Waitangi, sir. Captain Mazer

Rackham.

SAKATA:

I want his executive officer to

take command of the Waitangi and

put Rackham under arrest

immediately.

O'CASEY

I had Rackham in training. He told

me once that a soldier should obey,

not the words, but the purpose of

the order.

SAKATA:

My purpose was to keep my reserves

concealed, and he just revealed

their position!

AIDE:

His exec reports that as soon as he

fired that missile, Rackham placed

himself under arrest.

O'CASEY

That's Rackham.

SAKATA:

We're in combat. There'll be no

trial. He is to be executed as

soon as he can be transferred to

another ship.

INTERCUT between simulator and actual ships

and missiles. The single missile erupts into

twenty, differently targeted.

SAKATA (V.O.)

No! He used a multi-warhead! Why

didn't he just put up a neon sign?

The warheads disperse. We follow one, which

goes for a while, then suddenly changes

course and heads straight for a small,

insignificant-looking Formic ship.

The Formic ship continues to fire toward the

main Earth fleet, never responding in any way

to the warhead coming up from behind. The

warhead goes up the rocket nozzle.

The Formic ship is silently obliterated. One

moment it's there, the next it's just

sparkling dust.

All firing from all Formic ships stops

immediately.

INT ADMIRAL'S BRIDGE

Admiral Sakata is the first to realize what

is happening. He holds up one hand to

silence the buzz of conversation, and points

at the display with the other.

AIDE:

They've stopped firing.

O'CASEY

They're not retreating, either.

Undefended now, several more Formic ships

blow up.

SAKATA (cont.)

Cease firing! Everybody!

Several aides speak into their mouthpieces

and punch keys. All firing stops from the

Earth fleet.

SAKATA (cont.)

I want a boarding party on one

Formic ship. If it's a trap, be

prepared to blow the thing up.

EXT FORMIC BATTLE CRUISER SPACE

A dozen Remora-class landing pods whirl

around the Formic cruiser and attach to it.

INT REMORA LANDING POD

A dozen marines in space suits watch as a big

laser carves through the surface of the

Formic ship like butter. When it's

completely severed from the hull, the disc

that was cut out flies up to attach to a

magnet on the drill. The marines dive

headfirst through the hole, weapons ready.

INT FORMIC BATTLE CRUISER

The marines fire at the first few Formics

that they see, but none of them fire back. A

marine walks up to one sitting at a console

and shakes him. The Formic topples over.

INT ADMIRAL'S BRIDGE

Dr. IMANUJAM, in civilian clothes, is

reporting to Admiral Sakata, O'Casey, and

other top officers. Aides watch nervously,

occasionally responding softly to chatter on

their headsets.

IMANUJAM:

Some Formics were still alive, but

they did not respond in any way.

They all died within hours.

SAKATA:

What was it, chicken pox?

IMANUJAM:

Our best guess is that the entire

hive was controlled by the will of

a queen. When she was killed, the

whole hive died.

O'CASEY

Dr. Imanujam, do you know when the

hive queen was killed?

Imanujam leads them to the Simulator display,

then turns to an assistant, also in civilian

clothes.

IMANUJAM:

Play it back for them.

We replay Rackham's missile killing the

Formic ship. All Formic firing stops. An

AIDE listens intently to headset.

O'CASEY

Looks like we've identified the

hero of our great victory, sir.

Unless he's already been shot.

SAKATA:

I don't care who plays the hero.

We have to know how he figured out

which ship was the hive queen.

AIDE:

They want to know if Rackham is

still under arrest, sir.

SAKATA:

Bring him here immediately.

Sakata strides away from the group. O'Casey

follows, talks privately to him.

O'CASEY

So. What do you want to bet Mazer

Rackham is in command when the

Formics launch their next invasion?

SAKATA:

The nearest Formic planet is

thirty-five lightyears away. The

commander of the human fleet in the

next invasion probably hasn't been

born yet.

TITLE:
"Fifty years later."

ESTABLISHING SHOT: FUTURE GREENSBORO, DAY

A swanlike shuttle glides high over the green

surface of Earth. We drop down, see a city

amid dense forest and patches of rolling

farmland, a few high spires rising above

transparent domes. We zoom close to a glass

bubble projecting from the tallest spire.

INT CONFERENCE BUBBLE DAY

MR. WIGGIN (27) and MRS. WIGGIN (25) are

seated across a small table from Dr. DELOGER

and two men in International Fleet (I.F.)

uniforms, with no insignia of rank. On the

other side of a glass partition, CHILD PETER

(5) and CHILD VALENTINE (3) are playing.

DELOGER:

Peter and Valentine scored among

the ten most talented children

we've ever seen.

MR. WIGGIN

So why did you reject them for

Battle School?

DELOGER:

Valentine is too compassionate for

command. We don't believe she

could ever send men to die.

MR. WIGGIN (dryly)

Why do I suspect that isn't Peter's

problem?

DELOGER:

It isn't bad that Peter's

aggressive. But he's also impatient

and ruthlessly ambitious. He would

endanger the lives of his men.

MR. WIGGIN

He's too naughty, she's too nice.

MRS. WIGGIN

So you'll leave us alone to raise

our family in peace?

DELOGER:

We want to give you a waiver to

have a third child.

(Beat)

If you sign in advance that we get

him if he tests positive for us.

MRS. WIGGIN

But what if he turns out as ...

unsuitable as the other two?

DELOGER:

You raise three children in peace.

The Wiggins turn to look at Child Peter and

Child Valentine, just as Peter pushes

Valentine and knocks her down. She doesn't

fight, she just sits up and turns her back on

him. He gives her another shove with his

foot, then settles down to play with the toys

she had been playing with.

DELOGER:

Or at least as much peace as they

let you have.

DeLoger pulls out various papers and puts

them in front of the Wiggins to sign.

TITLE:
"10 years later"

ESTABLISHING SHOT: FUTURE GREENSBORO, DAY

New domes and towers appear; the city has

grown.

INT CLASSROOM DAY

ENDER WIGGIN (9) sits at a desk in a

traditional classroom traditional except

that the teacher, MISS PUMPHREY (30), is

demonstrating a point about the pyramids by

"peeling" layers from a large hologram at the

front of the room. Ender is the youngest and

smallest in the class by a couple of years.

CLOSE on the back of Ender's neck. A tiny

red-blinking machine, the monitor, sits under

the hairline, just to the right of the spine.

A tiny folded note lands on Ender's desk. He

unfolds it.

NOTE:
"Hey, Third. Let me copy."

Ender glances back at STILSON (11), who threw

the note. Stilson looks as innocent as can

be.

Miss Pumphrey suddenly touches her ear,

listens, and walks to Ender's desk, where she

retrieves the note, looks at it.

PUMPHREY:

Mr. Stilson ...

Pumphrey is about to lecture him, but

something in her earpiece interrupts her.

She hands a hall pass to Ender.

PUMPHREY:

To the school doctor. Apparently,

Mr. Wiggin, you're having a medical

emergency.

Ender gets up, leaves.

EXT BREEZEWAY DAY

All the classrooms open into a garden-like

breezeway. As Ender passes, GRAFF [male] and

ANDERSON [female], officers responsible for

Battle School, are heard in voiceover.

ANDERSON (V.O.)

What are you doing?

GRAFF (V.O.)

Ender Wiggin is ready.

INT SCHOOL MEDICAL CENTER DAY

THE MONITOR LADY (50) greets Ender with a

phony medical smile as he enters.

MONITOR LADY:

Andrew, I suppose by now you're

just absolutely sick of having that

horrid monitor. Well, I have good

news. It's coming out today.

Ender reaches up to touch the monitor.

MONITOR LADY (cont.)

It won't hurt a bit.

THE DOCTOR (40) enters, all bustle and cheer.

DOCTOR:

Climb up and lie on your tummy.

Ender climbs up on the examining table.

DOCTOR (cont.)

For a few days, you'll have a

feeling of something missing. But

that feeling will quickly pass.

He attaches the extractor, a machine as big

as Ender's head, and flips it on. It whirrs

as tiny metal arms and tentacles go out and

probe under the skin, inside the bone.

Suddenly Ender's back arches, his mouth agape

in agony. Convulsions.

DOCTOR:

Get me the muscle relaxant!

The monitor lady dives for a blackjack-like

injector already waiting on the counter. The

doctor whacks it against Ender's bare arm.

In moments, Ender goes still. The doctor

affixes a bandaid to the back of his neck as

Ender wakes.

MONITOR LADY:

There now, Andrew. Are we all

right?

Ender sits, touches the bandaid at the back

of his neck.

ENDER:

Does this mean I failed?

INT CLASSROOM DAY

Ender comes back into class. Everyone is

taking a test at their desks. Stilson

notices the bandaid, the lack of a monitor.

In a mock sports announcer voice he intones:

STILSON:

Third-boy strikes out.

Ender doesn't turn around. But everyone else

looks.

EXT BREEZEWAY DAY

School's out. Kids pour out of the door,

Ender among them.

ANDERSON (V.O)

He'll be younger than the other

students. He'll have a hard time

adjusting.

EXT WIGGIN FRONT YARD DAY

In a row of smallish but well-kept-up houses,

a large tree has scrap lumber nailed to it: a

ladder up to a treehouse. Ender, carrying a

nearly-empty backpack, trots along the

sidewalk and up the front walk toward the

door.

ANDERSON (V.O., cont.)

Colonel Graff, it never works to

advance a child ahead of schedule.

GRAFF (V.O.)

Have you ever tried it with Ender

Wiggin?

ANDERSON (V.O.)

Battle School has been functioning

for more than forty years. You've

been in command less than a month.

GRAFF (V.O.)

Is there a trial period?

ANDERSON (V.O.)

No, but there's a learning curve.

Ender pauses at the corner of the house,

peels the bandaid off his neck. He walks

along the side of the house to the door and

goes inside.

GRAFF (V.O.)

Do you know what orders I received

when I was made commander?

ANDERSON (V.O.)

No, sir.

GRAFF (V.O.)

Then you don't know everything yet.

PETER (15) drops from the treehouse, goes to

the bandaid, picks it up, grins. Then he

drops the bandaid to the ground again and

grinds it savagely under the heel of his

shoe.

INT WIGGIN KITCHEN DAY

VALENTINE (13) is making cookies. Ender

comes in and dips a finger into the batter.

Valentine slaps at his hand, but he gets a

taste into his mouth. Then he grimaces.

VALENTINE:

Yeah, well, if you'd asked I would

have told you it's nothing but

sugar and shortening and eggs.

Ender dips again, methodically, and this time

makes a show of savoring the dough.

VALENTINE:

I'm going to puke.

ENDER:

It's a boy thing.

VALENTINE:

It's a perverted wacko circus geek

thing.

Ender takes a bow to imaginary applause. She

sees the back of his neck. Touches the spot.

ENDER:

Oh, yeah. They bounced me today.

She hugs him, delighted.

VALENTINE:

Oh, Ender! Mom and Dad have been

so worried, they were afraid they

were going to lose you!

ENDER:

(Bitterly)

So it's a good thing I failed?

VALENTINE:

Let some other kid go up into space

and play army!

PETER (O.S.)

So everybody guessed wrong about

Ender.

Peter enters, carrying a fearsome Formic

mask. He smiles benignly.

PETER (cont.)

Now we can play together all the

time!

Peter holds up the mask. Ender tries to hide

his dread of what's coming.

PETER (cont.)

Let's play astronauts and formics!

Since you're never going to be an

astronaut, you have to be the

woolly ant!

VALENTINE:

Leave him alone.

Peter sweeps the mixing bowl from the

counter, spilling the dough out onto the

floor.

PETER (mock friendly)

Valentine, you silly goof, you

better clean that up before Mom

gets home.

Valentine tries to pretend it's all a joke.

VALENTINE:

Just for that, Peter, no cookies

for you.

PETER (savagely)

They're all for widdo Endo, so him

doesn't feel so baddums about

getting bounced from the pwogwam.

He grabs Ender by the hair and puts the mask

over his face.

PETER (cont.)

Look! He's so scary! The monster!

Ender tries to shove the mask away.

ENDER:

I don't want to play.

Peter shoves him brutally across the room.

Ender falls against the wall.

PETER:

You play whenever I say. You got no

angels watching over you now.

VALENTINE (yelling)

The whole time he wore that thing

you hated him because he still had

a chance. Now he's out, a loser,

just like me. Just like you.

Peter bends down, scoops up a double handful

of batter.

PETER:

And they said you were the nice

one.

He smears it all over the front of

Valentine's clothing.

PETER (cont.)

If he's not better than us, he's

got no reason to exist.

He turns to Ender, pulls him to his feet and

drags him toward the stairs.

INT ENDER'S AND PETER'S BEDROOM DAY

Peter shoves Ender into the room. Ender rips

the mask off.

PETER:

Put it on.

Ender frisbies the mask across the room.

PETER (cont.)

Just how stupid are you?

He grabs Ender and drags him to the mask.

PETER (cont.)

Put it on.

Valentine appears in the doorway as Ender

struggles to get free.

VALENTINE:

I'm calling Mom.

PETER:

Tell her that Ender's being a

disobedient little brat.

Peter flips Ender onto his back, presses a

knee into his belly. Ender gasps, struggles

like a bug on a pin.

VALENTINE:

I'll call Father!

PETER:

He's never in.

Peter presses harder. Ender breathes in

short little gasps that don't get enough air.

PETER (cont.)

I could kill you like this.

VALENTINE:

You're not a murderer.

PETER:

No, I'm an exterminator. The law

is two children per family. We

never needed him.

VALENTINE:

This isn't funny.

PETER:

You can't stop me from killing him.

VALENTINE:

You'd never get away with it.

Ender's hand reaches a softball lying on the

floor. He smacks Peter's head with it.

Peter shrugs off the blow.

PETER:

I'll tell them I didn't mean to do

it. I'll cry.

Tears come to his eyes. While still pressing

on Ender's stomach, he sobs, absolutely

believably:

PETER (cont.)

I didn't know it would hurt him.

He was laughing. It was part of

the game. I would never hurt

Ender. I ... loved him so much.

It's terrifying to Valentine how believable

he is.

PETER (cont.)

They were sure right about you.

You wouldn't fight even to save

your baby brother's life.

In reply, Valentine kicks at Peter's face.

He lets go of Ender's shoulders and catches

her foot, twists her leg, knocks her off her

feet.

PETER (cont.)

You are both so stupid!

With his arms free, Ender punches Peter

solidly in the groin. Peter swings at Ender;

Ender dodges. As Peter writhes on the floor

in pain, Ender grabs a baseball bat from the

floor and prepares to hit Peter in the head.

ENDER:

Don't make threats, Peter. It

gives the other guy a chance to

strike first.

Valentine catches the end of the bat,

stopping him.

VALENTINE:

No, Ender!

PETER:

Do it, Ender! Beat me till my

brains splash out!

Ender tugs at the bat.

ENDER:

It's him or me!

VALENTINE:

He's your brother, Ender.

A voice from downstairs.

MRS. WIGGIN (O.S.)

We're home! Is Ender here?

Valentine rushes to the door.

VALENTINE:

We're upstairs! In the boys' room!

Footsteps on the stairs. Peter speaks

rapidly, softly.

PETER:

I'm going to kill him one day,

Valentine. When you've forgotten

all about this. There'll be an

accident and we'll all cry, me

loudest of all, and then at the

grave you'll remember today, and

you'll wonder for a minute, and

then you'll say, No, not Peter!

He's not a murderer.

VALENTINE:

If you hurt him, I'll kill you.

PETER:

You? My gentle sister Valentine?

ENDER:

Bullies like him are all cowards.

Ender and Peter gaze steadily at each other.

Both are expressionless. Master chess

players, assessing each other.

Mr. & Mrs. Wiggin enter the room. Mrs.

Wiggin goes straight to Ender, kneels, scoops

him into a vast embrace. Mr. Wiggin lifts

the hair on the back of Ender's neck, looks

at the tiny mark.

MR. WIGGIN

We're so happy it's over.

MRS. WIGGIN

Now we'll always be together!

MR. WIGGIN

(Playfully)

Family hug! Family hug!

The DOORBELL rings. Ignoring it, the kids

gather around Mrs. Wiggin, hugging each

other. Mr. Wiggin bends to embrace them all.

The DOORBELL rings again.

ENDER:

I'll get it.

He pulls out of the hug and runs from the

room.

INT WIGGIN FRONT ROOM DAY

Ender gets to the door as the bell rings

again. He pulls it open. Standing there is

GRAFF (35) in full dress uniform a

recruiting poster with a Mona Lisa smile.

GRAFF:

Hello, Ender.

FADE TO:

Mr. and Mrs. Wiggin sit on the sofa with

Ender between them. There are tears on her

cheeks.

MRS. WIGGIN

We thought it was all over.

GRAFF:

Only the waiting is over.

Mrs. Wiggin turns her face away, weeping

silently.

MR. WIGGIN

But he's barely nine years old!

GRAFF:

You agreed before he was born.

ENDER:

I didn't.

GRAFF:

Mr. and Mrs. Wiggin, will you

excuse us, please?

It takes a moment to realize that he expects

them to go. They rise and comfort each other

out the door.

ENDER:

Why did you let me think I failed?

Graff ignores his question.

GRAFF:

Would you really have smashed in

your brother's head with that bat?

ENDER:

What answer will get me out of

Battle School?

Graff leans close to him.

GRAFF:

Who stopped the formics when they

invaded fifty years ago?

ENDER:

Mazer Rackham.

GRAFF:

Where is he now?

ENDER:

Dead, I guess.

GRAFF:

So who'll stop them next time?

Ender's defiance fades into serious thought.

GRAFF (cont.)

I hope we have the greatest

military commander the world has

ever known, to outthink them,

outfight them, destroy them before

they scour humanity off the face of

the Earth.

ENDER:

I'm just a kid.

GRAFF:

What's inside you, Ender? What can

you become? What if you're the

only hope?

Ender studies Graff's face.

ENDER:

Do you say this to all the kids you

recruit?

GRAFF:

No. I tell them not to come.

Because there's no turning back.

We take your childhood. You might

never see your family again.

(cont.)

GRAFF (cont.)

But if you come to Battle School,

maybe you'll have something to do

with keeping them alive.

ENDER:

I guess it's what I was born for.

Graff studies him a moment longer, then

stands up.

GRAFF:

On your feet ... soldier.

Ender stands up. They face each other in

silence.

EXT WIGGIN FRONT YARD DAY

The family all but Peter are kissing and

hugging Ender good-bye. Graff stands beside

a limo at the curb, watching.

ANDERSON (O.S.)

After growing up in that family,

how stable is he going to be?

Graff talks softly into a tiny palm-held

mouthpiece. The other half of the phone is

worn like a hearing aid.

GRAFF:

Therapy is your job.

Ender pulls away from his family, heads down

the walk. Graff holds out his hand. Ender

reaches out, at first like a child, to hold

on; then like an adult, to shake hands.

Graff clasps Ender's hand when Valentine

bursts from the family group and runs partway

down the walk.

VALENTINE:

I love you forever, Ender!

Graff ushers Ender into the back seat of the

car and closes the door. As Graff walks

around the car, Peter drops down from the

treehouse and runs to the car window.

ENDER'S POV

Peter leans close to the glass, staring at

Ender. Ender stares back. The car pulls

away. Peter is left behind.

ESTABLISHING SHOT: SPACEPORT, NIGHT

Several heavy cargo rockets and two passenger

shuttles on the tarmac. The ground opens up

and spits out a hoverbus.

EXT SHUTTLE NIGHT

The hoverbus rises thirty feet, up to where

the horizontal-takeoff shuttle sits like a

plane on the tarmac. A bridge appears in the

air between the doors of both a force field

you can stand on. Children ages 11-13 file

across the bridge. Ender crosses early

clearly the smallest of the children. Soon

after him come SEBASTIAN (French, 11) and

ALAI (Senegalese-French, 11). (Though some

have accents, all the children speak fluent

English.)

ALAI:

Just like on television.

SEBASTIAN:

Look, they're letting babies in.

ALAI:

No, he's our instructor.

They laugh.

INT SHUTTLE CABIN NIGHT

Ender is coming up the center aisle. Their

laughter rings in his ears. Graff points to

his seat. As Ender slides into place ...

ENDER:

You're coming with us?

GRAFF:

I have to or I'll lose my job.

ENDER:

What is your job?

GRAFF:

Commander of the Battle School.

Think of me as the principal, with

the power to shoot deserters.

Graff goes back to pointing out seats to

students. Ender identifies which harness

straps are his and fastens himself in.

Sebastian and Alai end up in the next row

back.

SEBASTIAN:

Look! Our instructor!

He raps Ender on the head with his knuckle.

Ender winces, tries to duck away but the

harness won't let him.

SEBASTIAN (cont.)

Did you hear that? Empty!

He raps Ender again.

SEBASTIAN (cont.)

A church bell? An empty bottle?

Several other kids laugh nervously.

SEBASTIAN (cont.)

I know! A septic tank!

He raps again. The laughter is more open.

But Alai reaches out a hand as if to restrain

Sebastian. The joke has gone on long enough.

Sebastian shrugs him off.

SEBASTIAN (cont.)

I'm only trying to get knowledge

out of the head of our instructor!

GRAFF:

Eyes front!

At once the kids face Graff at the front of

the shuttle.

GRAFF (cont.)

I thought you were told to enter

the shuttle, take the seat you were

given, and strap in. Why is it

that only Ender Wiggin, the

youngest of all, knows how to obey

an order?

SEBASTIAN:

(defensive)

I didn't think it was an order.

Other kids nod, murmur their agreement.

GRAFF:

What did you think it was?

SEBASTIAN:

An ... instruction.

GRAFF:

If you're really that dumb I wonder

how you find your butt to wipe it.

Sebastian's face reddens, but he doesn't look

away.

GRAFF (cont.)

You're in the I.F., now, children.

The International Fleet. All

instructions are orders. All

suggestions are orders. All hints

and wishes and secret yearnings of

a superior are orders!

SEBASTIAN:

How do we know who's our superior?

GRAFF:

Every human being in the I.F.

uniform is superior to you.

SEBASTIAN:

Even if they

Graff's fingertips press against Sebastian's

lips.

GRAFF:

The only appropriate answer when a

superior vilifies you is "Yes sir."

Or, if you're really pissed off,

you can add, "Thank you, sir."

He removes his fingers from Sebastian's lips.

SEBASTIAN:

Yes sir. Thank you, sir.

GRAFF:

You can dish it out, can't you,

Sebastian? But you can't take it.

SEBASTIAN:

I thank you, sir.

GRAFF:

Little Ender Wiggin, he can take it

without complaint. Guess who looks

more like a soldier to me.

Ender glances at Graff, then looks straight

ahead, furious.

ENDER:

(Quietly)

Thank you, sir.

Everyone is rocked backward as the shuttle

starts to move.

EXT SHUTTLE NIGHT

The shuttle is towed to its starting place at

the end of the runway. The engines are

fired.

INT SHUTTLE NIGHT

The acceleration presses them back into their

seats.

EXT SHUTTLE CHANGEOVER

The shuttle rises past the knife edge of the

Earth's shadow, and suddenly it is in bright

sunlight. A huge fuel tank section peels off

the bottom of the shuttle. Small rockets

maneuver the shuttle toward a high orbit.

INT SHUTTLE SPACE

Graff walks down the aisle. Some of the kids

are nauseated by weightlessness. One starts

vomiting. Graff helps him.

The moment Graff is behind them, Sebastian

tries to smack Ender's head again. The

harness restrains him. He unfastens it,

grips the back of Ender's seat, and raps the

top of his head but hard this time, all his

anger and humiliation in it. Ender recoils

in real pain.

SEBASTIAN:

I still say it's empty.

Alai grabs at Sebastian's clothes as

Sebastian makes a fist and prepares to hammer

it into Ender's face.

Ender reaches upward, grabs the hand that is

holding Sebastian in place, and yanks forward

and down. Propelled by Ender's pull and his

own hammering motion, Sebastian at once spins

upward, ass-over-teakettle, and yells in pain

as he bounces off the "ceiling," breaking his

arm.

Graff arrives quickly, snatches him deftly

out of the air.

GRAFF:

You unfastened your harness,

soldier.

Sebastian's only answer is to yell again in

pain.

GRAFF (cont.)

Furthermore, you attacked an enemy

without taking into account the

possibility that he might defend

himself. Do you know what we call

commanders who do that?

A Japanese kid nearby pipes up.

SHEN:

Stupid!

GRAFF:

We call them heroes. On the

monuments over their graves.

Graff lifts Sebastian's writhing body up by

the good arm like a captured toad being shown

to a science class.

GRAFF (cont.)

Don't you get it yet? Everybody on

this shuttle qualified as one of

the thirty or forty smartest kids

on Earth, out of three hundred

million kids your age. And who do

you think tested highest of all?

Could it be the one who's entering

Battle School a year ahead of his

age group? Could it be the one

that this bully decided to pick on?

With his free hand, Graff is pointing at

Ender. Everyone looks at Ender with varying

degrees of loathing, resentment, jealousy, or

awe. Ender has no friends in this launch

group now, and he knows it. He looks away,

lonely and afraid.

EXT BATTLE SCHOOL STATION SPACE

Earth is moon-sized in the distance. When

the shuttle spins in synch with the station,

it is drawn inside.

INT CORRIDOR "DAY"

In bright artificial light the kids jog along

behind Graff. Graff stops at a door and the

kids file in.

INT LAUNCHIE BARRACKS "DAY"

A long, narrow room sloping up at the back,

lined with triple bunks. Each bunk has a

locker.A lot of the kids goof around or

quarrel over who gets bottom. Everyone

ignores Ender, who has taken a bottom bunk

near the door.

Ender turns to his locker. Inside it is a

"desq" a flat computer with a holographic

display on its top surface. When Ender

touches it, words appear in the air above it.

ENDER'S DESQ

COMPUTER TEXT:
"Enter name"

ENDER TEXT:
"EnderWiggin"

COMPUTER TEXT:
"EnderWiggin is this

correct? Y or N"

Ender types N, and reenters his name as "

Ewiggin" [with a space before E]. Again the

computer echoes his name.

WIDE:

Graff stands at the door with boyish officer

DAP (23).

GRAFF:

This is Lieutenant Dap. As long as

you're in launchie barracks, Dap is

your mother.

Some laughter. Graff notices that Ender is

ignoring him.

ENDER'S DESQ

A long list of names now forms a column on

the display:
Forms of Ender's own name.

Other people's names.

GRAFF (V.O., cont.)

Dap is also your father, your

trainer, your nursemaid, and your

worst nightmare. Obey him the way

you'd obey God, or you're iced.

WIDE:

A few kids titter at that. Dap looks at them

with terrifying blankness. They fall silent.

Graff exits.

DAP:

The bunk you are on right now is

yours. If you're not on a bunk,

the closest one is yours. No

trading, no arguing, that's it.

SHEN'S BUNK

Sebastian tries to drag Shen off the bottom

bunk. Alai is on the bunk above.

SHEN:

No trading.

SEBASTIAN:

You knew that was my bunk.

Dap is on them instantly.

DAP:

Top bunk, Sebastian.

Sebastian holds up his broken arm.

DAP (cont.)

There are lower bunks at the back

of the room.

ALAI:

I'll go back there with you.

DAP:

I said no trading!

Sebastian walks toward the back. Dap walks

toward the door.

DAP (cont.)

Sign on to your desqs. Explore the

system. You've got an hour.

ENDER'S BUNK

Ender looks down at his computer.

ENDER'S DESQ

A one-inch-high, 3-D fullcolor holographic

boy in a SAILOR suit appears above the desq.

The desq simulates his speech using "shaped

sound," so only Ender can hear him.

SAILOR BOY:

When you play the fantasy game,

I'll be you and you'll be me. If

you don't want to be a sailor boy,

press the arrow keys.

Ender cycles through: A knight. A dog. A

dragon. A samurai warrior. Ender chooses a

bear. Not a teddy bear, not a slavering

grizzly, just your ordinary brown bear.

SEBASTIAN'S BUNK

Sebastian sits on the very last bunk in the

room, deeply pissed off. Alai is leaning on

the back wall. Shen comes walking up to

them.

SEBASTIAN:

What do you want, thief?

SHEN:

Just that I'm sorry. I knew it was

your bunk, I only sat there to tie

my shoe.

SEBASTIAN:

Go take your butt somewhere else.

Alai gives Shen a nod and a little salute.

Shen walks away.

SEBASTIAN (cont.)

(Loudly)

Look! Shen wiggles his butt like a

girl when he walks!

Utterly mortified, Shen hurries down the

aisle, which only makes things worse.

Everybody is looking at his butt.

CLOSE ON ENDER:

Ender sees what's happening, then starts

typing on his desq.

CLOSE ON SHEN:

Shen reaches his bunk, sits on it, then

slides in, keeping his butt out of view.

WIDE:

Every kid who's using his desq gets a text

message at the same time. They start

laughing, calling others' attention to the

message.

SEBASTIAN'S BUNK

Sebastian pulls his desq onto his lap.

SEBASTIAN:

What are they laughing at?

SEBASTIAN'S DESQ

COMPUTER TEXT:
Message from: God

Cover your butt.

Sebastian is watching.

God

Sebastian leaps to his feet, livid.

SEBASTIAN:

Coward! Sign your real name!

The other kids stifle laughter.

SHEN'S BUNK

Shen looks down at his desq, hoots with

laughter.

SEBASTIAN'S BUNK

Sebastian and Alai both look at the new

message.

SEBASTIAN'S DESQ

COMPUTER TEXT:
"Message from: Sebastian

North, south, east, west,

I like butts best.

Sebastian"

[Note extra space before " Sebastian"

in both places]

SEBASTIAN:

I did not write that! I can't even

type with my arm like this!

Alai is struggling not to laugh as he

deadpans:

ALAI:

It's your name, Sebastian.

SEBASTIAN:

Get away from my bunk, Alai.

ALAI:

It's a joke, man. Just grin.

SEBASTIAN:

Some friend you are.

Sebastian walks away from him, down the

aisle, looking at each kid he passes, daring

them to meet his gaze. Most look away, like

junior chimps submitting to the alpha male.

But Ender meets his gaze without expression.

SEBASTIAN (cont.)

It wasn't enough you broke my arm?

Sebastian shoves Ender, rocking him back on

the bunk.

SEBASTIAN (cont.)

The most brilliant kid on Earth.

Sebastian prepares throw a punch. Alai

arrives in time to catch his arm.

ALAI:

You already got Graff and Dap on

your case!

Sebastian lets Alai drag him back to his own

bunk. Shen comes to Ender's bunk, sits

beside him.

SHEN:

If it was you, thanks. He's such

an eemo.*

*eemo:
hick, dolt [Japanese 'potato']

INT OBSERVATION DECK "DAY"

Graff, wearing an undershirt, is seated at a

table cluttered with communications devices,

papers, his desq, and whatever parts of his

uniform he's not wearing at the moment

including his shirt. He is watching his

desq, which is showing a brown bear standing

on a table before an evil-looking giant.

INT LAUNCHIE BARRACKS "DAY"

Ender is playing the fantasy game on his

desq, which shows the same scene.

ENDER'S DESQ

Ender-Bear is offered two drinks by the

giant.

GIANT:

Choose right, and you won't die.

Ender-Bear chooses the one that looks like

milk in a glass, drinks it. At once he turns

to powder and collapses in a pile as the

giant laughs.

INT OBSERVATION DECK "DAY"

Graff shakes his head. Ender-Bear arrives

again before the Giant, who presents two

different drinks.

GRAFF'S DESQ

Ender-Bear chooses the steaming teacup and

drinks. He bursts into flame as the giant

laughs. A BUZZER sounds.

WIDE:

Graff looks up, sees a light blinking beside

the door. He puts a finger on an unmarked

spot on the table and the door opens.

ANDERSON, 30, a woman in a major's uniform,

enters.

GRAFF:

What have I done now?

She glances down at Graff's desq. Ender-Bear

drinks from a loving cup, inflates like a

balloon, and pops.

ANDERSON:

Ender went straight to the giant's

drink, didn't he?

At once the giant offers another choice.

Ender-Bear drinks a green liquid and turns to

stone. The giant picks him up and crushes him

to gravel in his fist.

GRAFF:

It took him maybe five minutes.

ANDERSON:

Has he done anything else?

GRAFF:

How many ways can one bear die?

ANDERSON:

It's a sign of despair.

Loneliness. Self-destructive

tendencies. The giant's drink is a

marker for attempted suicide.

GRAFF:

You don't make a great commander by

coddling him.

ANDERSON:

Is there some scientific basis for

this special training program

you're creating for Ender? Or are

you just ... pulling wings off

flies to see what they do?

Annoyed, Graff looks back down at his desq.

Ender-Bear has turned into a fly and is

swatted by a giant flyswatter.

ANDERSON (cont.)

Ouch.

Graff drums his fingers on the table. She

leaves.

INT LAUNCHIE BARRACKS FLASH SUIT MONTAGE

A cart filled with flash suits bursts through

the door.

Flash suits are tossed into the arms of the

kids.

Straps are tightened around arms, legs,

torsos. Helmets go on heads, boots on feet,

gloves on hands.

The dao* or lightgun does not look like an

assault weapon. It slides onto the back of

the hand, with a cord running into the

control unit that nests in the fingers. We

see daos being slid into their slots, fingers

closing over the controls, and test shots

being fired, only faintly visible in the

bright light of the barracks.

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Gavin Hood

Gavin Hood (born 12 May 1963) is a South African filmmaker, screenwriter, producer and actor, best known for writing and directing Tsotsi (2005), which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He also directed the films X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ender's Game and Eye in the Sky. more…

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"Ender's Game" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 19 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/ender's_game_641>.

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