Here at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, nothing gets more attention that science fiction and fantasy — and one of the projects that people are most excited about is the big-screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s classic Ender’s Game. First published in 1985, the novel has travelled a long, rocky road on its way to movie theaters, but the first trailers released earlier this year showed a beautifully rendered take on Card’s vision with high-profile talent like Harrison Ford and Sir Ben Kingsley.

Here at Con, we sat down with the film’s writer and director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and producer Roberto Orci (a prolific multi-hyphenate with credits like Star Trek Into Darkness and Fringe to his name). The topic was how they were able to finally bring Ender’s Game to the big screen, and the challenges of balancing flash and spectacle with the book’s deeper thematic questions.