"Ender's Game" is one step closer to find its female lead. Variety reported that "True Grit" actress Hailee Steinfeld is currently in negotiations to star as heroine Petra Arkanian in the Gavin Hood sci-fi movie.
The 14-year-old starlet is expected to play the only girl in Salamander Army who befriends the titular character and becomes his reliable right hand. Should the brunette actress join the potential tentpole project, she will star opposite "Hugo" star Asa Butterfield who has been tapped to portray Andrew "Ender" Wiggin.
"Ender's Game" is set in the time after the Earth is attacked by alien and gifted children are recruited by the government to take revenge. Those kids are trained with a simulated battle game and only the best one will be chosen. Ender emerges as the chosen kid and soon he becomes Earth's best hope to defeat the alien Formic race.
While the lead role has already been cast, the film is still looking for a suitable adult actor to play Colonel Hyrum Graff, the one who trains the young recruits at an elite military academy. Recently, it has been rumored that veteran thesp Harrison Ford was considered for the part.
Gavin Hood is directing the film from his own script, which is adapted from Orson Scott Card's award-winning novel of the same title. Summit Entertainment is co-financing the sci-fi movie and will release it in theaters across the U.S. on March 15, 2013.
As for Steinfeld, the Oscar-nominated actress is set to star as Juliet Capulet in two different movie adaptations of William Shakespeare's classic play. They are Carlo Carlei's indie film "Romeo and Juliet", and Michael Sucsy's period drama "Rosaline". She is additionally attached to Paramount Pictures' novel-adapted drama "Forgotten".