We’ve been talking about the possibility of turning author Orson Scott Card’s masterpiece novel Ender’s Game into a movie for nearly a decade now, and nothing has ever really come of it. Every year or so some Hollywood producer tries to get an Ender project going only to have it fizzle out before anything really gets done on the adaptation. The current adaptation which we first told you about here sounds less than ideal, but Card remains optimistic.
Orson Scott Card recently spoke out on the subject of turning his book into a feature film over at Geektyrant. In his letter to the site he sounds confident that the current adaptation iteration will bear fruit, even though he admits “much will be omitted”. To me that’s code for the movie may not be as much like the book… as it ought to be.
The reason for this is obvious: Turning any book about little kids into a proper, adult film is difficult. Child actors are often undependable and filming adult material with children is challenging at best. To make matters worse, the rights to Ender’s Game are currently held by Summit Entertainment, a film studio which now has a lot of money to spend because it made those godawful Twilight movies. The disturbing thing about Summit is that since they made all that Twilight movie money they seem to think this gives them a greenlight to turn every property in their possession into some sort of Twilight clone. Would they do that with Ender? Could they do that with Ender? I don’t know, but Card seems to think everything will be just fine.
Reassuring fans Orson says, “I remain confident that as long as the character of Ender himself, with his relationships with other kids, is in the movie, it will still be Ender’s Game to my own satisfaction and the satisfaction of the fans.”
That sounds pretty good, except he wraps up his letter by saying, “here is my own source of greatest confidence: The movie will not erase a single word of the book!” To me that sounds a lot like an author trying to remain positive while at the same time preparing himself, and his fans, for disappointment.
He does make it clear though, that the people behind the movie at least sort of get the book, that it’s not just some silly story about kids at a space school. Card says, “The producers understand that the point of the story is finding out that the very thing that allowed Ender to defeat the formics (loving his enemy in order to defeat them) makes his discovery all the more galling to him.”
So what’s going on with Ender’s Game? Will Summit make it? Will Summit ruin it? Orson Scott Card seems to suggest a wait and see approach, and for now that’s the only sensible path. We’ll keep you apprised of where this project goes next. Ender’s Game is one of the greatest works of science fiction ever written. It deserves a movie to match.