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Ben Kingsley in talks for “Ender’s Game”

Ben Kingsley in talks for “Ender’s Game” (photo)

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The casting for “Ender’s Game” continues to heat up. Ben Kingsley is the latest actor to be courted for the upcoming sci-fi adaptation. A new report suggests he’ll be playing Mazer Rackham in the flick.

Heat Vision says that Kingsley is in talks to play “a legendary war hero presumed to be long dead.” That’s not official confirmation that he’s looking to star as Mazer, but he’s the only character we can think of that matches that description. Mazer is a former war hero who ends up being Ender’s last teacher at the Battle School.

Kingsley will join Asa Butterfield and Hailee Steinfeld in the previously announced cast. Butterfield is playing the titular Ender and Hailee Steinfeld is playing his fellow enlistee Petra. Harrison Ford is being courted to play Colonel Hyrum Graff, though no official deal has been made.

Interestingly enough, Butterfield and Kingsley already have worked together on this year’s film “Hugo.” Hopefully they will be able to bring that dynamic to “Ender’s Game” if Kingsley ends up being cast. Kingsley is best known for his roles in “Schindler’s List” and “Gandhi.”

“Ender’s Game” is set to hit theaters March 15, 2013.

Do you think Kingsley is a good choice for Mazer Rackham? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Underworld

Under Your Spell

10 Otherworldly Romances That’ll Melt Your Heart

Spend Valentine's Day weekend with IFC's Underworld movie marathon.

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Photo Credit: Screen Gems/courtesy Everett Collection

Romance takes many forms, and that is especially true when you have a thirst for blood or laser beams coming out of your eyes.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a werewolf, a superhero, a clone, a time-traveler, or a vampire, love is the one thing that infects us all.  Read on to find out why Romeo and Juliet have nothing on these supernatural star-crossed lovers, and be sure to catch IFC’s Underworld movie marathon this Valentine’s Day weekend.

1. Cyclops/Jean Grey/Wolverine, X-Men series

The X-Men franchise is rife with romance, but the steamiest “ménage à mutant” may just be the one between Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Their triangle is a complicated one as Jean finds herself torn between the two very different men while also trying to control her darker side, the Phoenix. This leads to Jean killing Cyclops and eventually getting stabbed through her heart by Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand. Yikes!  Maybe they should change the name to Ex-Men instead?


2. Willow/Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon gave audiences some great romances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — including the central triangle of Buffy, Angel, and Spike — but it was the love between witches Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber Benson) that broke new ground for its sensitive and nuanced portrayal of a LGBT relationship.

Willow is smart and confident and isn’t even sure of her sexuality when she first meets Tara at college in a Wiccan campus group. As the two begin experimenting with spells, they realize they’re also falling for one another and become the show’s most enduring, happy couple. At least until Tara’s death in season six, a moment that still brings on the feels.


3. Selene/Michael, Underworld series

The Twilight gang pales in comparison (both literally and metaphorically) to the Lycans and Vampires of the stylish Underworld franchise. If you’re looking for an epic vampire/werewolf romance set amidst an epic vampire/werewolf war, Underworld handily delivers in the form of leather catsuited Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and shaggy blonde hunk Michael (a post-Felicity Scott Speedman). As they work together to stop the Vampire/Lycan war, they give into their passions while also kicking butt in skintight leather. Love at first bite indeed.


4. Spider-man/Mary Jane Watson, Spider-man

After rushing to the aid of beautiful girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the Amazing Spider-man is rewarded with an upside-down kiss that is still one of the most romantic moments in comic book movie history. For Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), the shy, lovable dork beneath the mask, his rain-soaked makeout session is the culmination of years of unrequited love and one very powerful spider bite. As the films progress, Peter tries pushing MJ away in an attempt to protect her from his enemies, but their web of love is just too powerful. And you know, with great power, comes great responsibility.


5. Molly/Sam, Ghost

When it comes to supernatural romance, you really can’t beat Molly and Sam from the 1990 hit film Ghost. Demi Moore goes crazy for Swayze like the rest of us, and the pair make pottery sexier than it’s ever been.

When Sam is murdered, he’s forced to communicate through con artist turned real psychic, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg in her Academy Award-winning role) to warn Molly she is still in danger from his co-worker, Carl (a pre-Scandal Tony Goldwyn). Molly doesn’t believe Oda is telling the truth, so Sam proves it by sliding a penny up the wall and then possessing Oda so he and Molly can share one last romantic dance together (but not the dirty kind). We’d pay a penny for a dance with Patrick Swayze ANY day.


6. Cosima/Delphine, Orphan Black

It stands to reason there would be at least one complicated romance on a show about clones, and none more complicated than the one between clone Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) and Dr. Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu) on BBC America’s hit drama Orphan Black.

Cosima is a PhD student focusing on evolutionary developmental biology at the University of Minnesota when she meets Delphine, a research associate from the nefarious Dyad Institute, posing as a fellow immunology student. The two fall in love, but their happiness is brief once Dyad and the other members of Clone Club get involved. Here’s hoping Cosima finds love in season four of Orphan Black. Girlfriend could use a break.


7. Aragorn/Arwen, Lord of the Rings

On a picturesque bridge in Rivendell amidst some stellar mood-lighting and dreamy Elvish language with English subtitles for us non-Middle Earthlings, Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) bind their souls to one another, pledging to love each other no matter what befalls them.

Their courtship is a matter of contention with Arwen’s father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), who doesn’t wish to see his daughter suffer over Aragorn’s future death. The two marry after the conclusion of the War of the Ring, with Aragorn assuming his throne as King of Gondor, and Arwen forgoing her immortality to become his Queen. Is it too much to assume they asked Frodo to be their wedding ring-bearer?


8. Lafayette/Jesus, True Blood

True Blood quickly became the go-to show for supernatural sex scenes featuring future Magic Mike strippers (Joe Manganiello) and pale Nordic men with washboard abs (Hi Alexander Skarsgård!), but honestly, there was a little something for everyone, including fan favorite Bon Temps medium, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis).

In season three, Lafayette met his mother’s nurse, Jesus, and the two began a relationship. As they spend more time together and start doing V (short for Vampire Blood), they learn Jesus is descended from a long line of witches and that Lafayette himself has magical abilities. However, supernatural love is anything but simple, and after the pair join a coven, Lafayette becomes possessed by the dead spirit of its former leader. This relationship certainly puts a whole new spin on possessive love.


9. Nymphadora Tonks/Remus Lupin, Harry Potter series

There are lots of sad characters in the Harry Potter series, but Remus Lupin ranks among the saddest. He was bitten by a werewolf as a child, his best friend was murdered and his other best friend was wrongly imprisoned in Azkaban for it, then THAT best friend was killed by a Death Eater at the Ministry of Magic as Remus looked on. So when Lupin unexpectedly found himself in love with badass Auror and Metamorphmagus Nymphadora Tonks (she prefers to be called by her surname ONLY, thank you very much), pretty much everyone, including Lupin himself, was both elated and cautiously hopeful about their romance and eventual marriage.

Sadly, the pair met a tragic ending when both were killed by Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving their son, Teddy, orphaned much like his godfather Harry Potter. Accio hankies!


10. The Doctor/Rose Tyler, Doctor Who

Speaking of wolves, Rose “Bad Wolf” Tyler (Billie Piper) captured the Doctor’s hearts from the moment he told her to “Run!” in the very first episode of the re-booted Doctor Who series. Their affection for one another grew steadily deeper during their travels in the TARDIS, whether they were stuck in 1950s London, facing down pure evil in the Satan Pit, or battling Cybermen.

But their relationship took a tragic turn during the season two finale episode, “Doomsday,” when the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose found themselves separated in parallel universes with no way of being reunited (lest two universes collapse as a result of a paradox). A sobbing Rose told a holographic transmission of the Doctor she loved him, but before he could reply, the transmission cut out, leaving our beloved Time Lord (and most of the audience) with a tear-stained face and two broken hearts all alone in the TARDIS.

Hailee Steinfeld in talks to join “Ender’s Game” as female lead

Hailee Steinfeld in talks to join “Ender’s Game” as female lead (photo)

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Now that Asa Butterfield is locked in to play Ender Wiggins in the upcoming Gavin Hood “Ender’s Game” adaptation, the rest of the casting process is quickly falling into place. A new report says that “True Grit” starlet Hailee Steinfeld is in negotiations to play Petra Arkanian, the most important female character in the movie.

The news comes from Variety, who describe Petra as “the only girl in Salamander Army who quickly becomes Ender’s ally and trusted right hand.” If her role in the novel is anything to go by, this would be a pretty meaty part for Steinfeld. It also would be her first chance to dabble in an action film after she missed out on getting the lead role for “The Hunger Games.”

Also still in talks for the flick is Harrison Ford. He is one of several adult actors Hood is looking at to play Colonel Hyrum Graff. Ford would obviously be our favorite choice, but there’s no guarantee that he will come on board the project as the army recruiter and surrogate father of the children in the Battle School.

There are still several major roles to cast before the main casting process is completed. Bean is probably the biggest character left who needs an actor attached to him, but there are also Ender’s siblings Peter and Valentine, and other Battle School recruits including Dink, Bonzo, Rose the Nose, Alai and Mick. It will be interesting to see if Summit and Hood continue to go for relatively well-known actors, or if they start casting unknowns. Only time will tell.

Would you like to see Steinfeld in “Ender’s Game”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Harrison Ford eyed for “Ender’s Game,” “Hugo” star Asa Butterfield confirmed

Harrison Ford eyed for “Ender’s Game,” “Hugo” star Asa Butterfield confirmed (photo)

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Fans have been on the fence about the planned upcoming adaptation of “Ender’s Game,” but this new information might be able to convince them to get behind the project. Only a couple of weeks after “Hugo” star Asa Butterfield was offered the title role of Ender Wiggins, a new report has come out to say the filmmakers are eying Harrison Ford to play his mentor, Colonel Hyrum Graff.

Collider learned that Ford is the main actor producers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Gigi Pritzker and Linda McDonough are looking at for Graff, but there are several other veteran choices as well. Viggo Mortensen was originally in talks for the role, but talks eventually broke down. Based on Butterfield’s stellar performance in “Hugo,” it could be really exciting to see him face off against Graff on the big screen.

Graff acts as a surrogate father to the children at the Battle School in “Ender’s Game,” but he takes a special interest in Ender. This ends up being more of a curse than a blessing for the young soldier, as he gets targeted for being Graff’s favorite. Though the focus of “Ender’s Game” is definitely on Ender and the rest of the children in the Battle School, Graff is the most significant of the adult characters in the story.

In addition to Ford being eyed for the film, Collider also received confirmation that Butterfield as accepted the role of Ender and will lead the film. That will surely jumpstart the rest of the movie’s casting process. The film is being directed by “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” helmer Gavin Hood, and will likely start shooting in the next year.

Would you like to see Harrison Ford star in “Ender’s Game”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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