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2013 Saturn Award Nominees Include Ender’s Game, Riddick, And More

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GravityBullockAnytime the Academy Awards rolls around, there’s usually an outcry from fans that not enough genre films are recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Luckily, this year the movie that has the most nominations is Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, but even if the Academy doesn’t give science fiction the respect it deserves, there are several long-standing and prestigious awards focused specifically on honoring genre material. Last night we posted the Nebula Award nominations, and now the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films has announced its nominees for the 40th annual Saturn Awards.

Unsurprisingly, Gravity is a front-runner for the Saturns as well, earning eight nominations including Best Science Fiction Film, Best Actress for Sandra Bullock, Best Supporting Actor for George Clooney, and Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón. Gravity is tied with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for the most nominations. Some of the other nominees for Best Science Fiction Film are Ender’s Game, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Pacific Rim, Riddick, and Star Trek Into Darkness.

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Ender’s Game Blu-Ray Featurette Explores The Zero Gravity Acrobatics

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Gavin Hood’s adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s classic sci-fi novel Ender’s Game hit Blu-ray and DVD yesterday, arriving with a decent collection of bonus features and extras. Whether or not you were a fan of the movie, there is some damn impressive special effects work going on. More so than even the massive battle scenes, the most memorable pieces are the scenes in the anti-gravity room. One of the behind the scenes features on the home release looks at how the filmmakers accomplished these feats and digs into all the work that went into the execution.

For fans of the book, these zero gravity scenes were one of the things they most anticipated, but also one of the things they were most worried about getting screwed up. During his time at Battle School, an orbiting military academy, Ender and his fellow recruits engage in numerous zero g combat simulations. They’re weightless for extended periods of time, often for entire long scenes, and if the effects don’t work, the scenes don’t work. This video, which originally appeared on Collider, illustrates exactly how Hood and company went about staging and filming these fantastic sequences. You can see how incredibly challenging they were to create, but also how much fun there were.

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Ender’s Game Sequels Might Be Completely Original Stories, Assuming They Happen

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ender's gameWhile not one of 2013’s most offensive busts, Gavin Hood’s adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game was far from a success, only earning back only $88 million of its $110 million budget, which doesn’t even include the cost of Lionsgate and Summit’s fairly widespread marketing campaign. At this point, a sequel is anything but a certainty, but that never stops conjecture from rearing its head. Fans have wondered which of Card’s novels they might go with for another film, but producer Roberto Orci has thrown a potential wrench into those conversations by saying any sequels that get made may not be based on any of Card’s works, but rather might be new original stories.

Oh, Hollywood, it seem you only know how to become “original” when you’re already dealing with characters that have tons of stories written about them. (See: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.) Of course, Orci also said they may just flip the order of the novels around, or possibly cut and paste sections of different novels to a wall and throw darts at them to dictate the sequence of the next film’s events.

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Ender’s Game Could Be Reborn As A TV Show

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ender's gameGavin Hood’s adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s beloved novel Ender’s Game may have won the box office war on it’s opening weekend, but with the likes of Thor: The Dark World this weekend, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on the horizon, that’s a thing of the past. While it brought in a respectable $28 million ($32.5 over the first five days), that wasn’t nearly as much as Lionsgate hoped for, especially considering the $110 million price tag. With these numbers, the future of what the studio had hoped would be their next big young adult franchise, is in some doubt. One option that recently reared it’s head, however, is the possibility of an Ender’s Game television series.

From the way they marketed the film to the age of the characters and the story, it was obvious from work one that Lionsgate was positioning Ender’s Game as the embarkation point for a lucrative new franchise. Card even announced that he is working on additional novels that are both more traditional sequels than the rest of the expansive Enderverse, as well as being targeted more acutely at a YA audience. More films are not completely outside the realm of possibility, but the numbers weren’t as big as anyone hoped, no matter what they say. Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said that they will “wait another week or two” before deciding on the ultimate future of the series.

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Orson Scott Card Is Hard At Work On New Ender’s Game Books

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EnderWhat does every studio do when they release a moderately successful movie? That’s right, they try to turn that sucker into a franchise, popping out endless sequels until they’ve squeezed every last cent out of the property. And this is what it appears Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate are going to try with Ender’s Game. Author Orson Scott Card, who wrote the celebrated novel the film is based on, is even hard at work pumping out a new sequel.

Card’s Enderverse is already a sprawling affair, encompassing more than a dozen short stories and novels. These new works, however, sound like they’ll be more traditional sequels, following shortly after conclusion of Ender’s Game. The extant works in the family aren’t always as straightforward. There are prequels, asides, and even the most direct follow up doesn’t take place until after a significant amount of time has passed. One book even chronicles the action of Ender’s Game, only from the perspective of another character, Bean. The 1985 original is a classic, and well loved, but reviews on the rest are mixed at best. According to Card, the new additions will be “about what happens to Battle School after the International Fleet loses its purpose of war.”

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Ender’s Game Sequel Unlikely Thanks To Weak Box Office

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ender's game
Correction: We mistakenly stated that Ender’s Game was showing in 3D, but that is not the case.

Ender’s Game, one of the most beloved and politically challenging young adult novels in existence, was no easy sell as a tentpole feature, but Gavin Hood rounded up a strong group of actors and turned it into one of the most anticipated films of the year. Now, the box office didn’t exactly reflect just how much people wanted to see this thing, as it took in $28 million when it debuted this past weekend. $28 million is nothing to scoff at, of course, and it’s a big success for science fiction, but analysts don’t think it’ll be enough to keep studios playing the $110 million budget Game for any sequels.

Ender’s Game had a credible $28 million opening but not a plausible start of a new franchise for Summit Entertainment and OddLot,” said Wunderlich Securities’ Matthew Harrigan, while B. Riley & Co.’s Eric Wold called it a “relatively lackluster start,” especially since the IMAX numbers were higher than he’d predicted.

An analyst’s word is worth only slightly more than yours or mine, of course, so it’s possible the film will still perform well enough to warrant another film or seven. But there are two strong reasons for these guys to assume the worst for Ender and Colonel Graff.

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