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More Delays for Ender Movie

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the wiggin-out dept.

Movies 334

Arramol writes "IGN reports that difficulties in hammering out a screenplay have resulted in more delays for the Ender's Game movie. Despite attempts by several teams of writers, no script has yet been written that meets necessary standards in the minds of Warner Brothers or author Orson Scott Card. The latest plan involves an entirely new script written by Card himself."

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uh oh... (0)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307266)

an entirely new script written by Card himself.

Hopefully it won't be like the Ender's Game sequels. Does Card even have any experience writing screenplays? Why not give it to someone who can do something good with it? Oh damn, that's right, Kubrick's dead.

Re:uh oh... (5, Informative)

lhuiz (614322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307301)

"the" Ender's Game sequels? You make no distinction between, say, Ender's Shadow (good) and Shadow of the Hegemon (tedious) or between Speaker for the dead (the best of the series) and Xenocide (quite awful and very predictable)?

As for your question, I think Card started out as a playwright before switching to novels. I'm not sure, but I seem to have picked up this piece of trivia from one of his introductions.

Re:uh oh... (1)

lostrckstr (893937) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307317)

you're right, he's writing quite a number of plays. He's also already written the first draft of the screenplay.

Re:uh oh... (3, Interesting)

osrevad (796763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307364)

Here's a comment he made on his official forms regarding the movie. Interesting stuff:

Warner is still strongly committed to making Ender's Game into a great movie, and we agreed to another year or so of option, starting with a new script written by me (a page-one rewrite not based on any previous script, including mine). Guess how I'll be spending my Christmas vacation.

This is very promising, I think. As far as I know, all other elements of the team remain together. I will be working closely with Chartoff Productions (whom I've been working with on this for ten years now) and with the Warner executive to get this script right - emotional, truthful, the kind of film that even people who think they hate sci-fi and war films will like.

It will be faithful to the story, within the limitations of a two-hour form factor. Stuff has to be left out. But what's THERE will be true to the story in the books, even if it isn't word-for-word or point-for-point the same.

Some people's favorites lines and scenes won't be in the film. But we will try not to contradict them - so you could imagine that it still happened, only off-screen .

But if we need to make a contradictory change, we will. It's more important that it be an excellent movie than that it be an accurate transcription of the book. Don't you agree?

I want a movie people can sit through. Two hours if possible; no more than 2.5 hours. With two hours or less, you can get two showings a night at popular showtimes. That's the studio's goal; and it's mine, too. We're not doing Gandhi, here. It doesn't need to be ponderous. It needs NOT to be. It needs to be so good that people pack the theaters - as many showings as possible . That way I have a chance of getting other movies made, too. The last thing I need is for people to say, "Ender's Game - the movie that's even slower and longer than Heaven's Gate!"

Re:uh oh... (2, Insightful)

commbat (50622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307922)

I think Card started out as a playwright before switching to novels.
According to Robert McKee, [amazon.com] plays are natural venues for dialog, novels are natural venues for inner landscape (thoughts), while the screen needs a more visual approach.

Just because someone demonstrates expertise in both novel-writing and playwriting doesn't mean they can write a good screen play. (Though if I had to bet on whether someone can write a good first screen play I wouldn't hesitate to put my money on Card.)

Re:uh oh... (4, Interesting)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307304)

The extended EG books are great. The original is the best but the other books tell a wonderful interesting story of the progression of mankind and probably one of the most realistic tales of how man might interact with other intelligent species.

I only hope the movie is as good a quality as the books and are of LotR quality adaption and not a HP quality adaption (the last two movies have really fallen short). Keep the movie as short as you can without cutting down the story. Everything you need and nothing you don't. EG was always deeply about the characters and what is going on inside and between them. That aspect must be maintained. We need to feel the need and the pain of all the characters.

Re:uh oh... (1)

Strokke (772031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307324)

Don't underestimate how difficult an adaptation this will be. I have discussed this with friends in the past and the consensus is that it will suck. How do you write a screenplay of a movie about only little kids, and make it appeal to adults?

Short of gratuitous nudity (Petra does walk around naked but I'm thinking more along the lines of Ender accidently walking in on Jessica Alba's boobies) I don't see how the projected earnings will satisfy Warner Bros demands.

Re:uh oh... (2, Informative)

RealRav (607677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307329)

Yes, Card does have some experience. He is a playwrite as well as a novelist.

Re:uh oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307574)

...He is a playwrite...

What's that? Something like a copywrite?

Re:uh oh... (5, Informative)

Anakron (899671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307333)

Does Card even have any experience writing screenplays
From his biography at http://www.hatrack.com/osc/about-more.shtml [hatrack.com]
..dozens of plays and musical comedies produced in the 1960s and 70s
..supported his family primarily by writing scripts for audiotapes..
..he wrote the screenplays for animated children's videos..
So yes, he knows how to write screenplays..

Re:uh oh... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307917)

Ender's game would make a great musical comedy.

Re:uh oh... (1)

zmower (20335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307370)

The Abyss. "I love you!" as the guy sinks to the bottom. Nuff said?

hmmm (-1, Flamebait)

spriteboy (927834) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307267)

This is going to suck anyway.......suck now or later.pretty much the same

Re:hmmm (0, Offtopic)

StarkRG (888216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307595)

I really don't get how people can mod the first post redundant... I guess it's the obvious sign that the /. modpoint method doesn't really work too well... (Hey, we all know the most efficient and logical government, while not the most fair, is tyrany... tyrranny... Ok... yeah, I can't spell, at least I know what redundant means...)

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307652)

I really don't get how people can mod the first post redundant...

One special case: if it's the first post, and its contents are "First Post!", well, that seems pretty redundant.

More adaptations/sequels? (3, Interesting)

Anakron (899671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307268)

Are adaptations of books, old movies and sequels all that Hollywood can produce now? Sad state for a supposedly "creative" industry. That said, I'm actually looking forward to this one - I think it's a good thing that the script is being held to some standards.

Re:More adaptations/sequels? (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307312)

Erm.. maybe you read it wrongly. "Standards" depends on who's standards, sounds to me they haven't found away to sell enough junk and keep the story how the artists want it. When they do it'll roll on.

Re:More adaptations/sequels? (3, Interesting)

quest(answer)ion (894426) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307321)

to be fair, hollywood has produced some major directors who are fairly decent storytellers recently. look at peter jacks--

ok. bad example.

on topic, this is a book that will only work if the script is killer. blockbuster sci-fi it is not, and done poorly, it'll just make fans of the series take up pitchforks and torches. if they want to hold off making the film until someone with sufficient talent decides to touch it, that's fine with me. still, regardless of whether it makes a good movie or not, i'd be interested to see how orson scott card would write his own screenplay.

Re:More adaptations/sequels? (4, Insightful)

KDan (90353) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307531)

Absolutely agreed. Ender's Game is a very "psychological" type of book, which is all about what's going on inside Ender's head. Any script that fails to show that (and not in a blunt way with just a voice over) will fail miserably. I'd even venture to say that Ender's Game is probably harder to make into a movie than most books - eg. Lord of the Rings, being an epic, was much easier. Harry Potter, similarly, is comparatively easy. Most Phil K Dick books/movies were also much more action-based.

Daniel

Re:More adaptations/sequels? (4, Insightful)

Crayon Kid (700279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307889)

I think there's plenty of action scenes in Ender's Game. There isn't that much introspection as some of you say, there's very little that can't be put on screen. The book has great potential for becoming a movie, but it all starts with a good screenplay and needs a good director and a good cast of several wonder kids.

I strongly believe it would make a groundshaking movie if only it was done right. Perhaps the book is not known much out of the geek circles because it is marked SciFi and many people avoid this literature genre out of principle. But if you could sit them down and see the story it would reach them just the same, because it's a damn good story.

Re:More adaptations/sequels? (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307375)

I'm actually looking forward to this one - I think it's a good thing that the script is being held to some standards.

Why? You KNOW it's going to suck. Ender's game was filled with lots of psycho-babble, with lots of little moments, and the primary skill Card has is that of describing something beautifully, not in coming up with OMFG! plotlines.

Ender's game has a cult following. It's like a VW - you either love it or hate it. And, sadly, Ender's game will NOT be a big blockbuster, but rather something like "Serenity" - a geekfest, and probably a poor performer at the box office. Outside of the Slashdot/Digg/Fark crowd, who's ever heard of it?

Re:More adaptations/sequels? (1)

Kynmore (861364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307376)

As long as it's not a Uwe Boll movie. Boll is trying to ruin any chance a script based on a game may have in Hollywood. It's been therorised that he's abusing a German tax law, which basicly let shim make the crap he's been shoveling our way, having it bomb, and he still makes a mint due to write-offs.

Ender's Game would be better as an anime flick (5, Insightful)

Cordath (581672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307382)

Seriously, a film version of Ender's Game is going to require some serious acting on the part of leads who haven't even hit puberty yet. The film doesn't need just one child prodigy to pull it off, but several. They were almost ready to film once before with Jake Lloyd (Anakin from The Phantom Menace and Card's personal choice) in the title role. The project fell apart because, with only his performance in The Phantom Menace to recommend him, Lloyd didn't appear to be a good enough actor. (Let's face it, even excellent actors like Liam Neeson, Ewan Macgregor, Natalie Portman all gave wooden and unconvincing performances under Lucas's direction, so maybe it's not all Lloyd's fault.) Even once they agree on a treatment for the book they're going to have to find the actors fast and film it fast. A delay of a year or two in pre-production is fine for most movies, but for Ender's Game the entire cast would literally outgrow their roles!

As a result of all this, I think live-action would involve too many compromises. This is one film that really would be better done as a cartoon or CG feature. Unfortunately, adult-oriented cartoons have not fared well with U.S. audiences, who seem to expect cute little anthropomorphic Disney sidekicks and musical numbers from anything drawn or rendered. Japan does not have this problem. If I were Orson Scott Card and I wanted to see Ender's Game done right, I'd flip Hollywood the bird and hop on a plane to the land of the rising sun.

Re:Ender's Game would be better as an anime flick (1)

BarryNorton (778694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307486)

If I were Orson Scott Card and I wanted to see Ender's Game done right, I'd flip Hollywood the bird and hop on a plane to the land of the rising sun.
I think what you're saying about anime is really insightful, but your final sentence might sum up the problem - Card is too much an American... I mean he even subscribes to an America-centric religion!

Ender in anime: Evangelion? (3, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307657)

If Ender's Game were to be made as an anime, would Ender turn out looking a lot like Ikari Shinji?

Shinji, we recall, has been manipulated by his parents, by the government, by the Marduk Institute and by NERV, all in the cause of a vast secret project. He attends a school full of kids who are in the same position as he; all of them have been similarly manipulated, all are on Marduk's list, all are candidates for Evangelion pilots. Shinji has great difficulty relating meaningfully to any of them. He fights, reluctantly, causes enormous damage through little or no fault of his own, hospitalises one classmate, kills another, and gets some severe psychological problems as a result. Finally, some extremely weird shit goes down and an entire species turns into yellow goo.

I'm quite sure that Shinji, Asuka and Rei would fit right in in Ender's world.

Re:More adaptations/sequels? Abyss anyone? (1)

swordfishBob (536640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307402)

OSC wrote the novelisation of The Abyss (movie) during its production (not before, not after). Everyone working on the movie liked what he did, but the movie came out making no sense at all if you hadn't read the book.

This is a different scenario, but I don't like its chances.

Re:More adaptations/sequels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307453)

Well, after the lord of the rings making millions upon millions (the third almost beat the record for box office gross with over a billion dollars), Hollwyood figures they know something good when they see it. So far theyve been right too (Both the latest Harry Potter, and possibly the Lion the ect. are/have made over $250 million. that being said I did enjoy enders game a lot, but know if they could only make Ringworld into a moview (tied with 2001 for best SF bok ever?)

Re:More adaptations/sequels? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307573)

Are adaptations of books, old movies and sequels all that Hollywood can produce now?

The majority of good movies have always been adaptations of books or plays. Just look at a list of Oscar-winning movies. Remakes, sequels and TV-related (not to mention video-game inspired) though are usually crap, as we all know.

Another way to say it... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307269)

Still No End to Ender's Game script writing...

How else to film a beloved book? (4, Funny)

derinax (93566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307272)

They should take a card from Douglas Adams et. al... and just slap some shit together, and let the digital effects speak for themselves.

No... wait... don't.

Much Hype (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307279)

I have a feeling this will turn out like the xbox 360...

Here's the thing... (1, Insightful)

Traegorn (856071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307287)

I love Ender's Game, and all of the sequels.

Honestly, I can say that I'd rather see no movie be made at all than a bad one. Hopefully, if Card writes the screenplay, we have a chance at a good film, and if Card DIDN'T write the screenplay, I wouldn't bother seeing it at all.

Re:Here's the thing... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307303)

Expect a rather large gay=organised boycott of this movie, due to OSC's rather public rants.

Which actually could result in a backlash from the religious right in America going to see it in droves...

Would be interesting to see how Card's politics and religion will undoubtedly shadow the movie itself :)

Re:Here's the thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307363)

Honestly, I can say that I'd rather see no movie be made at all than a bad one. Hopefully, if Card writes the screenplay, we have a chance at a good film, and if Card DIDN'T write the screenplay, I wouldn't bother seeing it at all.

I somehow doubt that. Even if it was written by the worst screenplay artist, and directed by a really bad director, you'd still go watch it. That's the point that some people are trying to make. If they take forever deciding on a script, then no one will see it, but if they pick a 'good enough' script, run with it (probably changing it along the way anyway to tune into the actors' abilities), and just make the bloody movie, they would probably get a lot of money. The word of mouth advertisement ("that's based off of this really cool science fiction book") alone would more than pay for whatever they would fear losing by not using Card.

I realize that people sometimes want their movie, their way, but the thing about Hollywood is that they can't please everyone. So why do you think they are going to do exactly what you want? They are going to do what they think will get them the most money, which includes factoring in that you'll probably end up watching it anyway.

Brian Burleigh
samebrian@gmail.com

Re:Here's the thing... (1)

mickeyDhatesMCDONALD (726271) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307431)

I hated the sequels. He really milked Ender for all it's worth. ka---ching!! $$$ Try something new Card..

Re:Here's the thing... (2, Interesting)

M1FCJ (586251) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307514)

OSC doesn't do new stuff. Almost all of his books is a retelling of (his) Mormon values. They tend to start with a very good book or two (i.e., the fist two books in Ender or Homecoming series) and then rapidly disintegrate into fairly banal family and religious values only he and his religious friends could believe in. On the other hand, he is a very good writer and writes very convincingly, even I can't stand his values and religion, I find myself reading even his worst books. I always kick myself after finishing an other one of his pretentious shit and wow to myself "never again".

Re:Here's the thing... (1)

Ashley Bowers (932552) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307676)

I agree I can not stand when things are overdone. Sometimes to much is just to much I always like seeing something new which I am sure with all that extra money they raked in they should have no problem in coming up with something hot and fresh!

Screen writing != Novels (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307450)

Hopefully, if Card writes the screenplay, we have a chance at a good film

John Varley wrote the screenplay for Millennium and turned a classic short story into the worst film made by anybody, anywhere.

Good writers think in a much too overblown, theatrical style. It just doesn't translate to the screen.

I wasn't much impressed with the episode which William Gibson wrote for the X files, either.

Re:Screen writing != Novels (1)

Gildersleeve (932517) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307671)

The problem with Millenium wasn't just with the screenplay but with the appallingly bad casting. Kris Kristofferson as the world-weary slob Bill Smith? Cheryl Ladd as the tough, cynical Louise Baltimore? Unbelievable.

Re:Screen writing != Novels (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307748)

Kris Kristofferson [...] Cheryl Ladd

I think the production must have thrown an OutOfMoneyException there...

I just couldn't watch that film. Eventually the book came out and it was pretty good.

The five years since The Golden Globe are almost up. I must start scanning the book shops again.

too bad... (2, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307297)

IGN reports that difficulties in hammering out a screenplay have resulted in more delays for the Ender's Game

Sounds like endgame for Ender's Game.

(Maybe we could get Uwe Boll to direct it?)

The Winning Strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307298)

...is to go with a turd option

it's an insider joke

In retrospect... (2, Funny)

Bonanza Jellybean (91913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307299)

... the original screenwriter's decision to make Valentine a lesbian and have her marry her partner in Act II may have been a mistake.

Film's Challenges... (4, Interesting)

myheroBobHope (842869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307310)

As far as I'm concerned this film has some major challenges to face that are integral to remaining true to the book.
1. The characters age from 6yrs old to 12 yrs old. That's a HUGE swing. Them being children and developing are two important themes that need to remain.
2. How are they going to film the Battle Room scenes? It's a 3d fight, so there really isn't a good way of doing it. I think the best way would almost be a first person view directly from Ender, so the battle flows as he sees it, but this would lead to problems in the final battle.
3. The Computer Game at the end (i can't remember it's name). That is going to be an extremely difficult thing to replicate, and build tension with. The build up of hopelessness at the very end will be crucial (more so than in the book) and will be hard to pull of with blips of light.
4. Will they even cover Peter Wiggin? It will be hard to do that as well, especially his rise to power on the nets...
Those are just a few of the problems I see. It's going to be a huge challenge to accuratley represent the book well. The only way I can see it getting done is CG, but this seems to dark for a CG movie.

Re:Film's Challenges... (1)

myheroBobHope (842869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307320)

Also, i just remembered that the kids run around naked alot, have a fight scene naked... The nakedness is relevant, as it shows how stripped down the kids are, emotionally, spiritually and clothingly.

Re:Film's Challenges... (2, Interesting)

MikeB90 (857499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307346)

I really don't want to come off as a know-it-all. Certainly writing a screenplay is HARD WORK. I've never done it. But Ender's Game strikes me as quite cinematic and possible to do. Let's go through your issues 1. The characters age from 6yrs old to 12 yrs old. That's a HUGE swing. Them being children and developing are two important themes that need to remain. Yes, this is a Big Problem. Particular the whole issue of actors at that age. They will probably have to move the age to 12-16. Unfortunate,cuz it dilutes it a bit. OTOH it avoids the risk of the Cute Factor, and reduces people protesting the film because it shows violent young uns. 2. How are they going to film the Battle Room scenes? It's a 3d fight, so there really isn't a good way of doing it. I think the best way would almost be a first person view directly from Ender, so the battle flows as he sees it, but this would lead to problems in the final battle. No argument here; it's hard. They have to show these, but shift the emphasis to the interpersonal stuff BETWEEN batttles; that's more important anyway (though the battles are fun :)0 3. The Computer Game at the end (i can't remember it's name). That is going to be an extremely difficult thing to replicate, and build tension with. The build up of hopelessness at the very end will be crucial (more so than in the book) and will be hard to pull of with blips of light. The Computer Game at the end? I think I'm confused. There are two computer games. 1. Is the psychological little play game with the giant et al. Dump it or revamp it; too much time spent on it for screen time. 2. The game at the end? Show the thing as described, edited. It'll come over fine. 4. Will they even cover Peter Wiggin? It will be hard to do that as well, especially his rise to power on the nets... Yep another problem. Unfortunately, I think that is something that indeed would have to be drastically redone. It doesn't work as is in a 2 hour film. This will be an issue. 5. Naked. Nonsense, this is a nice metaphor, but not needed. Come on!

Re:Film's Challenges... (3, Insightful)

myheroBobHope (842869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307491)

12-16 completley destroys the innocence of Ender's actions. Remember, he kills two kids.
The battleroom is the central focus of the children, battle school, the book. It was the reason EG was turned into a full novel. It has to be done exceedingly well. Sports movies with bad sports almost never work. This will hold true if the battle room isn't shot well, regardless of how little time is spent in there.
I forgot about the psych test, but it is hugely important if they are going to keep the adults opinion about Ender in.
The final battle is going to have to be CG with ships that look like ships, and will cut back to Ender in the cube, watching on a screen. The final explosion will hopefully be awesome.
There's a lot of subtleness behind the children's nakedness... Garden of Eden imagery and all.
I almost feel like they are going to have to raise the ages and take out both fights. The Bonzo one especially. Ender will have to have another sort of killer instinct test...
I don't think this movie can be made successfully. I want it to be good, but there are too many crucial plot elements that won't translate to the screen.

Re:Film's Challenges... (2, Insightful)

Crayon Kid (700279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307902)

Particular the whole issue of actors at that age. They will probably have to move the age to 12-16. Unfortunate,cuz it dilutes it a bit. OTOH it avoids the risk of the Cute Factor, and reduces people protesting the film because it shows violent young uns.

This is a controversial book. If they attempt to cater to the PC crowd they condemn it right from the start. The movie should be every bit as controversial as the book or it will fail horribly. The whole gist of the book is having small children as the main characters, if you take that out it's just another space adventure for teenagers.

Re:Film's Challenges... (1)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307471)

1. Make the age difference smaller so the same actors can play the part all the way. They could have the initial character - before Enders enters the space station - played by a younger actor and let the main actor play Ender from say 8-10.

2. Battle rooms scenes should be done the same way Hongkong movies are made today - with a human on a string - those fighting scenes should be really good. If they are given covering uniforms in the Battle room most scenes could be done by grown-up stunt people.

3. Instead of just light blipps it can be done as a 3-dimensional hologram.

4. The Peter Wiggins sub-plot are not essential to the story.

On age and agelessness (1)

Jack Zombie (637548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307477)

As far as I'm concerned this film has some major challenges to face that are integral to remaining true to the book.
1. The characters age from 6yrs old to 12 yrs old. That's a HUGE swing. Them being children and developing are two important themes that need to remain.


Obviously, this being big budget, they're not going to be 6 to 12 year olds anymore. They're going to be the age of the target audience, for sure. I don't see the point of doing something like in Die Hard (or any other action movie since) where the main character is much older than the target audience (teenagers), but acts likes one (so they can identify with him).

If you want to see 6 year olds in your movies, go to Japan.

Re:On age and agelessness (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307587)

Wow, who do you market movies for?

Just because someone is 12 doesn't mean he/she is like every other 12 year old. Amazingly enough you can have younger/older characters and still attract people who arn't the same age and gender. If you enjoy a film then you enjoy a film, the actors ages shouldn't come into it as long as they can act well.

Maybe next you'll be telling us no adults watch Harry Potter for Emma Watson..

Re:On age and agelessness (3, Insightful)

myheroBobHope (842869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307631)

If it isn't children in the movie, this entire thing will be a failure. The whole point of the book is the exploitation of innocence. A 16 year old is not innocent. Any actor who has gone through puberty or is STARTING puberty is not fit to play Ender Wiggin.

Re:Film's Challenges... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307540)

2. How are they going to film the Battle Room scenes?

Bigelow Nautilus module and a green screen?

Re:Film's Challenges... (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307560)

2. How are they going to film the Battle Room scenes? It's a 3d fight, so there really isn't a good way of doing it. I think the best way would almost be a first person view directly from Ender, so the battle flows as he sees it, but this would lead to problems in the final battle.

That will be difficult. Probably CG. Everything else is these days... Someone else suggested that this film would work best as anime, which I can't help but think is perhaps the right idea.

3. The Computer Game at the end (i can't remember it's name). That is going to be an extremely difficult thing to replicate, and build tension with. The build up of hopelessness at the very end will be crucial (more so than in the book) and will be hard to pull of with blips of light.

Blips of light? An artefact of the time when the book was written. It's the end of 2005 now, and the story is supposedly even further in the future. I think Command School's budget can stretch to an Alienware box for the combat simulator, don't you? Cue lovingly rendered starships all over the shop, projected in semi-transparent holographic form all around Ender.

The important thing with the combat simulator is that (a) we should think, along with Ender, that it is a sim and that the final battle is the result of Mazer being grossly unfair, and that (b) the battle, like all the 'training' battles before it, should be visibly similar in the way it is fought to the earlier combats in the Battle Room.

4. Will they even cover Peter Wiggin? It will be hard to do that as well, especially his rise to power on the nets...

I never really liked that subplot. Taking over the world by blogging? Just didn't seem plausible, even for a couple of supergenius prodigies.

The part of the film I think will be most difficult, however, will be the Fantasy Game: the weird RPG they use as a psych test. How the devil do you do that and not look absurd? I'm thinking that making this as anime is looking like a better and better idea...

Re:Film's Challenges... (1)

Crayon Kid (700279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307950)

That will be difficult. Probably CG. Everything else is these days... Someone else suggested that this film would work best as anime, which I can't help but think is perhaps the right idea.

Actually, I'd rather hope that they hold off the CG effects as much as possible, short of places where it's a must, like recreating imponderability.

This movie should be more of a drama, an less of an action flic. You know what I mean. We don't want to see some BatMan type beating up scores of opponents single-handedly. We need to see a small genius kid who lives from day to day off his smarts alone, and this frightens everybody and him included.

Good acting and directing is all that this movie really needs. I actually hope they'll resist the urge to show off any humongous cool spaceships or freakish aliens or space explosions or anything like that. Ender never gets to see such ships, ever, he only gets to see the screens and blips.

I wish this book was written and made into a movie in the 60's or 70's. They had just enough CG effects to get by, but relied on god damn acting first of all.

Think about it this way: this book is almost doable as a play, as far as I'm concerned. If they can pull that off and keep CG only as polish, they can do it right.

Re:Film's Challenges... (1)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307585)

The Battle Room scenes will be 40% close-ups and 60% those lame Spiderman special effects that make people look like wet GI Joes. For that reason, I'm dreading the movie (I loved the book), and I wish they'd wait a decade until we can build some realistic CG people (or have an Apollo 13 "vomit comet" about 20 times bigger than the current one[s]).

Cause of conflict: Bonzo Madrid (SPOILER WARNING) (4, Interesting)

LordZardoz (155141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307314)

Given the sort of person who views this site, this is probably not stricly necessary. However...

    SPOILER ALERT: THIS POST CONTAINS KEY PLOT ELEMENTS OF THE BOOK

One of the things I see as a probable cause of conflict is that some of the key scenes in the movie, and key scenes of character development, is that Ender basically gets picked on, and then retaliates by beating is antagonizers to death.

Now, given todays mass market, I dont expect that Warner Brothers wants to spend a hundred million or so on a sci-fi epic and then have to cripple potential box office gross by slapping an R rating on it. The main character is essentially a very likable child who is very smart and a great leader. They want to get children in to see this thing. They wont be able to do that if they have to get an R rating on the movie. But given the brutality of these scenes, I dont see how they can do justice to them without showing the brutality.

If Warner had their way, I would have to guess that they would like to see it cut out entirely, or have Ender not kill them. But I doubt that Orson Scott Card will let that happen. One of the reasons that Ender is ultimately chosen is that when he has to, he strikes without mercy and utterly destroys his opponent. There is no way to portray the character of Ender properly by having him pull a half assed beating on Bonzo, or that first bully, that lets them live.

Beyond that, I dont see any other likley cause of conflict with a script. Like any novel adaption, it will have to be cut down for time constraints.

END COMMUNICATION

Re:Cause of conflict: Bonzo Madrid (SPOILER WARNIN (4, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307589)

If Warner had their way, I would have to guess that they would like to see it cut out entirely, or have Ender not kill them. But I doubt that Orson Scott Card will let that happen. One of the reasons that Ender is ultimately chosen is that when he has to, he strikes without mercy and utterly destroys his opponent. There is no way to portray the character of Ender properly by having him pull a half assed beating on Bonzo, or that first bully, that lets them live.

They can't cut that without destroying the whole point of the story. Ender's a nice kid, very smart, and more or less wants to be left alone. But he's been manipulated from the day he was born by a government that wants to train him to personally command the extermination of an entire sentient species. You've got to show that not only is he being driven to react this way against threats, but that the authorities who are watching will never help him, and actually approve of his retaliation with lethal force.

If Ender just turns out to be surprisingly tough, but lets the bullies live... you've negated the character. Ender doesn't do mercy. If there's a serious threat to his safety, he destroys it totally by any means necessary. That's what they wanted. That's what they built.

Re:Cause of conflict: Bonzo Madrid (SPOILER WARNIN (1)

myheroBobHope (842869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307648)

Actually, I have a fairly easy solution for this. It comes directly from the book too. Don't tell the kids. The people who have read the books with know what happened, and the kids who haven't will just think he won the fight.

Re:Cause of conflict: Bonzo Madrid (SPOILER WARNIN (1)

epsalon (518482) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307834)

Can't he kill them off camera?

Re:Cause of conflict: Bonzo Madrid (SPOILER WARNIN (1)

galatea2.2 (887936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307885)

(EVEN MORE SPOILERS--WARNING!) So...do you folks suggest that the ending be glossed over as well? After all, an entire planet of beings is destroyed, and surely you don't want the kids to see a genocide if you're going to pretend the homicide didn't happen. I don't want that kind of compromise. The acts are apalling, yes, that's the thematic point. Take away the unspeakable acts and what you have is just another sci-fi adventure movie--which have their place, but do something else rather than suck the heart right out of a strong story like Ender's Game.

Re:Cause of conflict: Bonzo Madrid (SPOILER WARNIN (1)

(trb001) (224998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307899)

There is no way to portray the character of Ender properly by having him pull a half assed beating on Bonzo, or that first bully, that lets them live.

"Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire" featured a kid getting killed and had mildly disturbing scenes involving that ghost chick checking out Harry's package and Voldemort attempting to kill Harry, yet it only received a PG-13. Episode III featured a pretty gruesome scene with Anakin's skin being burned off, and it only received a PG-13. Frankly, someone under the age of 13 probably isn't going to understand some of the dynamics of EG anyhow, so I really don't think they'll have a problem fitting in two scenes of mild carnage. I've never understood why people think Ender's Game is a kids book; some of the social dynamics in it would be difficult for many teenagers to grasp.

They'll obviously have to change the book, considering the kids spend part of the time walking around battle school naked, they're 5-10 years old and Ender kills Bonzo with a kick to the groin while wrestling naked in the shower. *THAT* stuff won't fly for a PG-13 rating.

--trb

Re:Cause of conflict: Bonzo Madrid (SPOILER WARNIN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307924)

Get Larry Clark to direct it... if you see KIDS or BULLY, or the like, I bet he can get kids to A) act their age B) be brutal about it all.

But it would get an R rating... possibly because of Clark directing.

Harsh.. (-1, Troll)

olman (127310) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307318)

Ender's game?

Book reads something like "Full Metal Jacket" training phase except for 1st graders.

I'm sure in the hollywood version it's all surly teenagers etcetera. Can't have Card's anti-war message coming through too clearly now.

Re:Harsh.. (3, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307393)

I'm sure in the hollywood version it's all surly teenagers etcetera. Can't have Card's anti-war message coming through too clearly now.

Right! Cuz there's no more right-wing, gung-ho, pro-war establishment than today's Hollywood. Damn wingnuts...

Re:Harsh.. (3, Funny)

danro (544913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307446)

Anti-war message?
Are we even talking about the same Orson Scott Card here?

Re:Harsh.. (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307674)

We're not talking about Orson Scott Card at all - we're talking about a book called Ender's Game.

Whatever conclusions you can draw about Orson Scott Card from his behaviour have absolutely no weight when discussing the themes of his book.

Re:Harsh.. (3, Insightful)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307900)

Nonsense. In literature criticism, you need to put in intentions of the author in mind.

While plenty of readers have free-associated their way into believing that Ender's Game had a pacifist ideal, the fact of the reality is that Card, being the man he is, probably intended it to have the opposite meaning. The world of Ender in Card's eyes is not a dystopia as many readers have thought, but an utopia. The way the war is won at the end of the book, regardless of whatever remorse and respect for the enemy is felt, was how Card thought it should be fought - without diplomacy, without mercy, without belief in innocence, and to the ultimate end.

Let's not forget, the only way the cycle ends is by the creation of a new all powerful authority which would exert total dominance over all others. There's no anti-war message here. Wars are just means to an end - the eventual total consolidation of power.

Re:Harsh.. (1)

dscowboy (224532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307495)

>>Can't have Card's anti-war message coming through too clearly now.

Huh? Card is a hawk. I thought the message of the book was "Blow the shit out of your enemies because they are evil, ignore your weak human feelings of remorse."

Card is a Mormon. Mormons love to seperate people into "worthy" and "unworthy" categories. I know because my family is mormon. In Ender's Game, he invents prefectly evil enemies with no redeeming qualities. They are foils; fabricated devices for creating lots of guiltless Ender vs evil battles. It makes for a neat fantasy. I don't see an anti-war message though.

**SPOILER ALERT** If I remember right, in the end Ender gets to have his cake and eat it too. He gets to be the hero for defeating those nasty nasty bugs, but he gets to remain innocent because he didn't know he was committing genocide. I suppose his latent guilt is supposed to engender some sympathy. At least the kids will sleep easy at night. "Ender sure kicks ass! I'm glad he's not intentionally killing anyone though!"

Re:Harsh.. (3, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307667)

Have you even read the book?

He invents prefectly evil enemies with no redeeming qualities. They are foils; fabricated devices for creating lots of guiltless Ender vs evil battles.

At the very end of the book, Ender communicates with the last remaining Hive Queen. He learns that the buggers were not the ravaging hordes earth thought them, but intelligent beings. He learns that the war between humans and the buggers occurred because the two races could not understand each other. He then writes the book that eventually turns himself into a genocidal monster in the eyes of the public.

If I remember right, in the end Ender gets to have his cake and eat it too. He gets to be the hero for defeating those nasty nasty bugs, but he gets to remain innocent because he didn't know he was committing genocide

Except that he condemns himself as a genocide, and turns the popular opinion of him towards that pole, so that eventually his name is as reviled as Hitler's. Part of the premise of the books is the concept of a perfect general: one who shows sufficient empathy to totally understand his enemy, but one also willing to totally exterminate what he has empathy for. The only way to pull off that combination is by the trickery used by Ender's superiors. Ender doesn't get to have his cake and eat it too - he spends the rest of his very long life atoning for his cake-eating.

Card is a Mormon. Mormons love to seperate people into "worthy" and "unworthy" categories. I know because my family is mormon.

It looks like someone has a bone to pick with the Mormon religion, and is attacking Ender's Game, not because of any particular lack of literary merit, but because it happens to have been penned by a Mormon.

Orson Scott Card's personal views (5, Interesting)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307325)

Let's hope Orson Scott Card's personal views [wikipedia.org] will not be reflected in the movie script!

Re:Orson Scott Card's personal views (1)

Capitalist1 (127579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307357)

Considering that he has adopted the standard boilerplate middle-of-the-road worldview wholesale, there is no way to avoid his personal views ending up in the movie script.

No matter who writes it, they'll share his personal views.

Hmmm. (1)

freakybob (715183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307327)

What worries me about a movie adaptation is that Ender is a six year old genius. This means the star of the movie would have to be very young and still very able to portray emotion and intelligence far more advanced than his age. Also, Ender grows up in the book, and it makes me wonder if they will attempt to let that happen for the movie as well. I'm sure it's all in good hands.

Sort of like Hitchhikers... (3, Interesting)

hitchhikerjim (152744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307332)

The only way Douglas Adams got his script done was to die... then the arguements him and the studios about what constitutes a good script ended, and the movie got made. I suspect the same will be true of Enders... we'll see it in the theaters about five years after Card dies.

Asimov, Dick, Tolkien, etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307462)

All dead. All have movies.

Clarck and 2001 are an exception to the rule.

Re:Asimov, Dick, Tolkien, etc. (1)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307497)

and Clark had to give in and let them have the ending the way they wanted.

Re:Asimov, Dick, Tolkien, etc. (1)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307771)

2001 the film, and 2001 the book were produced in parallel, with collaboration between kubrick and clarke, some of the changes were down to a difference of opinion (e.g. clarke wanted HAL to be younger, kubrick's guys couldn't manage the special effects neccesary to reproduce saturns rings, so jupiter was used)

It won't be an Orson Scott Card story... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307351)

... without some sort of homoerotic, underage action. Oh wait, Ender has that - sweaty young boys wrestling in the shower.

What's sad... (1)

slashdot_commentator (444053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307392)

Given the ominous "Development Hell" label being placed on "Enders Game", the movie may get made, it will bomb, and it will kill any chance to see "Speaker for the Dead". Which, to me, is the real written masterpiece. And they could totally sell out and market the piggies for the kids.

frist 5t0p (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307395)

guys are usually can coon3ct to

And idiot (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307405)

I really hope Card writes the script. An author with the moxy to both include wildly homoerotic scenes in every one of his novels, and then to write articles calling for homosexuals to be prosecuted as criminals, is the sort of right-thinking man who knows how to make a good script!

His novels are only popular with nerdy kids who got beat up as children, and made up elaborate fantasies how they would make the bullies pay, once they got wicked science-fiction powers. The Columbine killers listed it as their favorite novel, big fucking surprise there!

Oh,let's be serious for a second (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307408)

Anyone who thinks that a mass market, big budget Ender's Game will turn out to be anything other than Pirates of the Space Caribbean: The Enemy's Gate is Down starring a bunch of 20-something "teen" actors culled from whatever the hell it is that kids are watching on TV these days, has no idea how Hollywood, and particularly the distribution chain, works.

Re:Oh,let's be serious for a second (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307467)

Exactly. Myself, I plan to go see Brokeback Mountain again. Both because it is a great film, and because it will piss OSC off.

Screw Ender, someone get to work on Eva. (1)

michaeltoe (651785) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307448)

I've been waiting patient ever since the live action [trivialbeing.net] version was announced. Some of the people involved sound like they actually understand the show too... it has like, a 1 in a million chance of being any good, but imagine if it were? Hell would freeze over I'm sure.

What about Joss Whedon directing? (3, Informative)

ZoomieDood (778915) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307485)

From Orson Scott Card's own website [hatrack.com] :

So here's what I have to say about Serenity:

This is the kind of movie that I have always intended Ender's Game to be (though the plots are not at all similar).

And this is as good a movie as I always hoped Ender's Game would be.

And I'll tell you this right now: If Ender's Game can't be this kind of movie, and this good a movie, then I want it never to be made.

I'd rather just watch Serenity again.

Re:What about Joss Whedon directing? (1)

gihan_ripper (785510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307626)

That is an extremely lame sentiment (from Card). If I went around with the attitude "my work must be better than the work of X, or I'd rather not do it", I'd end up not doing anything at all. It may be that Card thinks of his novels as being the best in the genre, but who knows what ideas he may have shelved for fear of not besting the novels of others?

who cares?! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307520)

it's just a lengthy book. the same story could have been
told without all that other boring stuff ...
using oneself as armour, how stupid can you be?
i would really really like to see a movie on
the heechee saga by frederick pohl.
now that is good writing!

Hollywood phasing out Japan phasing in good thing (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307522)

Are adaptations of books, old movies and sequels all that Hollywood can produce now? Sad state for a supposedly "creative" industry.

At the rate and quality Hollywood is going with their usual productions, its a good thing American film studios are phasing out, and Japanese managed (or at least owned) studios are phasing in. Look at most movies you see now, they are produced by Sony (all hail Sony corporation!!!). My guess is the reason why films produced by Sony are usually so much better is because they actually care about making money, except that unlike American producers and studios, who would just jack up the ticket price, Sony and other Japanese companies make more money by making a better film, one that will actually attract people and make them want to buy the movie instead of some half-assed movie out of Hollywood that people consider not even worth illegally downloading.

Open Source Screenplays on Sourceforge (1)

your product here (934142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307546)

I have been designing an open source project to help producers, authors, and screenplay writers with exactly this kind of difficult problem. It is a group screenplay writing system, in MySql and PHP. I'm also going to design a J2ME version of the program for cellphones so you can approve or reject ideas by phone. Would anyone here care to help me with the project? I've been designing and redesigning it for over a year and I'm just about to start coding. Its a group online word processing system, basically a blog in script format with some editing, approving, scheduling tools. https://sourceforge.net/forum/?group_id=138513 [sourceforge.net]

development hell (2, Funny)

Randall_Jones (849846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307564)

This movie's going to be great. We all know the longer a screenplay is the development, the better it gets! Right? Right?

Orson Scott Card Has Always Been an Asshat (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307640)

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2005/5/28/22428/7034 [kuro5hin.org]

Many people are astonished to learn that the man who wrote about "that poor little boy" is such a rabid Fascist. But Card has always been a rabid Fascist, as well as several other species of asshat, and none of his works demonstrate that better than the sad tale of Ender Wiggin itself.

Here is a very respectful article by SF writer John Kessel which is suspicious of Card's motives. You should read it; it's pretty good. I'll wait.

Back in the mid 1980's I knew a struggling SF author who managed to get a few stories published and breached the threshold for membership in the Science Fiction Writers of America (or SFWA), the SF writer's union. She joined thinking it would help her fledgeling career.

In 1985 the big news in SF was Orson Scott Card's novel Ender's Game, which had swept both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Accordingly, my friend read it and passed it on to me, as she often passed on books and magazines. I read it and saw how it would be compelling to a certain mindset, but I didn't think it was all that good.

        "So what did you think of it?" she asked me later.

        "I think I see why it's so popular, but the guy really doesn't write that well."

        "Well all it is is an apologia for Hitler. Sorry, but I don't buy that argument. When I was a kid I heard every Sunday how Jesus would forgive Hitler if he really really repented, but I say fuck that. Some things can't be forgiven or redeemed."

She could get a bit passionate about stuff like that, so I let it drop. As it happened, though, SFWA members vote on the Nebula awards, and Card's sequel Speaker for the Dead was out. Card's publisher helpfully sent all SFWA members a free copy to help its chances of getting the Nebula like Ender's Game had.

One day I spotted it on her coffee table.

        "Have you read that?"

        "No, I don't plan to. It'll just be more of the same."

        "Buzz is it's going to get another Nebula."

        "Well if it does, my colleagues are idiots."

So I took the book and read it. She was like that; if someone wanted to write about forgiving Hitler she wasn't the type to complain. It's a free country and all that. Just don't ask her to read past the point where she figures it out.

About fifty pages into Speaker I gave her a call.

        "You are not gonna believe this," I said. "Ender ends up on a planet settled by Brazilians."

        "Brazilians?"

        "And he's angling to prevent the genocide of the badly misunderstood aboriginal natives of Planet Brazil. And it's hinting that he's gonna pull some Buggers out of his ass before the end of the story."

        "Wait a minute. You are telling me that if I wrote a story where Hitler escapes to Brazil, prevents a massacre of some Native Americans, and then raises a bunch of Jews from the dead, that this would be about parallel?"

        "Well I'm only fifty pages in..."

        "And they're going to give this crap a Nebula Award?"

        "Well, it certainly looks that way."

        "I think I'm going to need the book back," she said very evenly.

If you click back to Kessel's Innocent Killer essay and scroll down to the section titled The Guiltless Genocide you will see that Kessel mentions an essay called Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman by one Elaine Radford. Elaine was my writer friend and if you are among the many people who hate that essay and want to blame someone for it, you can blame me because it probably never would have been written had I not let Elaine know that Ender wound up on Planet Brazil.

I later found her with three very thick biographies of Hitler, methodically marking up her copies of Ender's Game and Speaker.

        "Made any progress?

        "You wouldn't believe how close the parallels are. He rearranges some of them to make Ender sympathetic, but everything ties in one way or another."

        "Well, it's pretty clever in some ways."

        "It's pretty damn sneaky. And if my colleagues want to vote to give this fascist propaganda another award they can do it, but if I have anything to do with it they will at least know what it is first."

Still, writing an essay is not the same as getting it published, and I didn't think anyone would be willing to publish Elaine's little rant. For one thing, in 1986 Card was more than just a popular writer; he was also a deft political animal. He was in fact a high mucky-muck in SFWA, and word was that bad things happened to people who got on his bad side. Not necessarily Italian mob style bad things, but bad things like not having a chance at awards yourself and publishers shunning you.

Elaine was a small enough wheel not to care about that sort of thing, but I doubted she would find a publisher. Little did I know that the always struggling rag Fantasy Review was planning to close its doors, and when Elaine's manuscript and inch-thick documentation pack landed on his desk the publisher decided to go out with a bang.

A couple of weeks later I got a call from her.

        "I need your help. I just got off the phone with Card."

        "Card who?"

        "Orson Scott Card. I stalled him but I don't want to talk to him without a witness. Can you get over here?"

One of the perks she got as a SFWA member was a nice little directory with all the other SFWA members' phone numbers. Of course, all the other SFWA members got it too, and one of those phone numbers was hers. Fantasy Review had quite sensibly vetted Elaine's article to Card, and Card reacted by calling Elaine, who reacted by freaking out, because that's not how you react to literary criticism if you have any sense at all.

So I arranged to be there and listen in to what I later came to realize was something of an historic moment in modern science fiction, as Card tried to talk Elaine out of publishing her essay. It was a long call. He called her essay trash and a "hatchet job" and demanded to know what she had against him personally. She kept herself together and responded that she didn't have anything against him personally, didn't know him, and didn't want anything from him; she was writing about the words he had written and published. He came up with several rationalizations in a row to which she kept saying, "but I don't know about any of that; all I can really use to judge your words is your words themselves." In the end he was very agitated and whipped out his worst threat:

        "Well you realize I can't just let this stand. I'm going to have to rebut this. If Fantasy Review wants to publish this hatchet job they will have to publish my response too."

        "I'd expect that. That would be very fair."

It took some effort for me to keep from laughing out loud as Card sputtered on past this point; it didn't seem to have occurred to him that Elaine would not mind having her accusations answered. She really was writing about the words and not the man. That's the kind of person Elaine was. That Card thought the threat of a rebuttal might make her retract her own essay says a great deal about Card's character, IMO.

So anyway just as FR had vetted Elaine's article to Card, they vetted Card's response to Elaine. And this is where the story gets strange. Card's response was completely incoherent. In several places he denied that things are in the novel which are not only in the novel, but Elaine had footnoted them with page numbers. It's as if someone challenged me on the novel I would write six years later and I would respond "Incest? What incest? There isn't any incest in Prime Intellect."

I'd link Elaine's article at this point for you to read and judge for yourself, but I'm pretty sure she has never put it online. Besides which, it isn't really damningly complete without Card's half-coherent blustering rantback, which isn't hers to republish. Both articles were later reprinted by Literary Review, though, which is one of the reference collections carried by most libraries. So if you have one of those places where they keep a lot of these paper things called "books" printed on dead trees, a librarian should be able to find them for you without much trouble.

At first it didn't seem that there was much fallout from Elaine's little rant. She forgot about it and went on with her life. Speaker for the Dead won its Nebula award. Fantasy Review went out of business, and the whole affair pretty much stayed bottled up among the professional writers and reviewers.

Then a funny thing happened. The sequel to Speaker never appeared. Speaker ended on a cliffhanger with Ender waiting for a fleet to arrive and shag his sorry ass, and everyone assumed Card would write the third book and go for the Hugo/Nebula Trifecta in 1987. Instead, he started a whole different series and didn't get around to writing the Ender sequel until 1992. What the hell was up with that?

While Elaine was researching her essay, we speculated on what his motives might be. Her worldview was strongly informed by being raised among fundamentalist Christian nutjobs, which explains part of her anger. She felt Card was building a deliberate fraud, an artifice which seemed to be one thing but was in fact something else, and that when the third book had won its round of awards he would pull the SF community's pants down and reveal that they had given their imprimateur to one of the most controversial and difficutlt to accept tenets of his religion -- which would, of course, be a massive propaganda coup for the Mormon Church.

I tended (and still tend) to agree with this, but if the Hitler Hypothesis offends you I'm afraid I'm about to do her one better. You see, I'm not very convinced that Card even wrote the books.

On the phone and in his incoherent published reply, Card repeatedly shows ignorance of what he himself purportedly wrote. I simply cannot imagine how you could write such a stunningly well crafted piece of work (inasmuch as it is wildly popular and deeply affects people) without being aware of every fibre and splinter of its composition. About the third or fourth time I heard Card say something wasn't in his book that I knew was, I began to suspect that it was more of a committee effort.

Notice that even John Kessel distances himself from the Hitler Hypothesis even though he draws many of the same conclusions Elaine does. Card manages to sound very convincing when he says Hitler was never on his mind and that it's Elaine who has the Hitler obsession; I think he's so convincing because he wasn't in on the joke himself. Elaine's essay may have been as much a revelation to him as it was to anyone else.

I've seen Elaine's notes and heard Card on the phone, and there is no doubt in my mind that the Hitler Hypothesis is correct; it is simply impossible that Ender's Game and Speaker were written by someone who did not have a very detailed knowledge of Adolph Hitler's life. There are very exact parallels in there that you wouldn't even notice unless you read the footnotes to the most detailed Hitler biographies. I also tend to believe that Card does not have that level of knowledge about Hitler. Ergo, it is very hard for me to believe that he wrote the books. The assumption that he did not explains a great many otherwise mysterious things.

Once Elaine blew their cover, the committee might have decided the game was up and left Card out to dry. This would be why it took years for him to get around to finishing the story, and why when he did many of his fans complained it was inferior to his earlier work.

Card made it very clear in interviews in the 1980's that he was doing God's work with his writing. In essence he was the anti-Iain Banks; instead of reclaiming SF for liberalism, he was reclaiming it for moral absolutism. And he was doing it by being sneaky. Kessel nicely explains some of this sneakiness even without admitting the Hitler Hypothesis. Ender Wiggin, it turns out, is more than anything else one of the nice young men with the suits and ties and bicycles who just knocked on your door and who would like to talk with you about important matters of salvation and eternity. Except that he's dressed in a pizza delivery uniform and not admitting his real purpose.

This movie will be a guaranteed blockbuster (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307649)

I have not read the book, but from everything I have read about it (from both supporters and detractors) it seems to be pure male adolescent neo-fascism. Which of course will do great because the latest hollywood movie we had that was adolescent neofascism was starship troopers and that was a huge success.

Of course the maker of starship troopers, was not a fascist ... he was a bleeding heart european liberal trying to make some kind of an ironic statement. Imagine his surprise when not only did no-one see the irony and humor but the public embraced the movie at face value and made it one of the biggest best sellers. I wonder how he felt ... scared as hell I bet.

The Ender's game movie will be probably the same except that here the makers are not even trying to be ironic ... they are trying to be serious. Which of course means that the movie will probably be much funnier and cheesier than starship troopers.

It is all the better, because I am sure I will have to see it sometime. One cannot escape these kinds of movies nowadays. But it may be for the better, it is always useful to know what kind of violent fantasies teenagers are having nowadays.

Re:This movie will be a guaranteed blockbuster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307723)

Now, am I getting caught in a trap here? Was your post full of irony and humor, or are you serious that people didn't find Starship Troopers to be a hillareous (if I could spell I'd write books!) pisstake of corporate U.S. and war propaganda.

Perhaps its because I'm British; I don't know anyone who didn't think it was irony. I know many who thought it was crap and failed to capture the subtlety of the book.

My God, if people in the U.S. took Starship Troopers to be a great piece of pro war gunghoness then its no fucking wonder that Iraq is such a mess.

Oh and (just incase you were serious) "bleeding heart liberal" - hmm, not sure that not wanting your countries young to get blown to bits in a stupid war really counts as "bleeding heart". I think thats called humane.

Heres hoping you were full of irony though.

Re:This movie will be a guaranteed blockbuster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307755)

You, sir, are clueless.

-Robert A. Heinlein, author of Starship Troopers, was an American. He served in World War II.
-He was neither a fascist nor a liberal, but a conservative libertarian.
-The movie has almost nothing to do with the book except that a few names were kept.
-The movie wasn't a "blockbuster," and the second one sure as hell wasn't--it was a straight-to-DVD shitshovel.

Re:This movie will be a guaranteed blockbuster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307776)

Don't flame, Google.
The film version of Starship troopers was dirrected by a European.
http://imdb.com/name/nm0000682/ [imdb.com]
Paul Verhoeven (I)

Paul Verhoeven (I)
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Date of birth (location)
        18 July 1938
        Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

Back to topic:
If Orson Scott Card didn't actually write Ender's Game and its sequals (The LDS church ghostwrote it) why does Orson get a final say on the script?

The twist at the end will be difficult - SPOILER (2, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307766)

For the film's final twist - that Ender has been fighting the actual war not just a simulator - to be feasible, the audience needs to understand the existence of Ansible, and the way the Dr. Device chain reaction works, without these explanations seeming like blatant clues as to the ending when they happen earlier on in the movie. In a 600 page novel you can hide these sorts of key facts in the general 'fleshing out' of the world, but by the time you trim it to a 2 phour script, then it gets difficult.

I'm worred that the book's plot holes will be shown up with great clarity - in my opinion it's never adequately explained why it has to be a kid who controls the fleet, rather than Wrackham. If the reason is video game skills, then I can see a swing to teenagers not young kids in the lead roles, which makes sense from the studio's point of view but will ruin the empathy.

I don't see the computer simulation episodes being a problem, they will simply look like PS3 games (bacause that's what they will be, there's money in tie-in games). Hollywood never bothers to extrapolate the state of the art when computers are concerned, witness the Nostromo in 'Alien' being less graphically capable than your cellphone.

On the upside of all this rewriting, the longer the movie takes to get made, the better the battle room / war scenes can be done with state of the art CGI.

Dullest Sci-fi book I ever read (5, Funny)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307811)

Seems to be popular on her but I'll risk a troll rating by saying
that I found Enders Games to be the dullest sci fi book I've ever
read and in fact I got so bored I gave up 3/4 way through.
The only other book that got even remotely close in tedium rating
was Radix by A. A. Attanasio.

Enders Game - great book for people who rate political allegory above
anything remotely resembling a good plot.

Re:Dullest Sci-fi book I ever read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14307854)

amen to that. Highly over rated.

Still waiting for Rendezvous with Rama (1)

jonr (1130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14307896)

Where is Rendezvous with Rama? Morgan Freeman has been 'producing' it since 2000 or something. What is happening?
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