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Ender’s Game Is Here, But Will You See It?: Today In Science & Science Fiction

EndersAfter all the debate and accusations and moral hand-wringing of the past year or so, Ender’s Game has finally arrived in theaters, for good or ill. Some folks will be boycotting the film because they believe it’s morally the right thing to do; others will be buying a ticket because they believe a work can exist outside of its author. We’re not going to sway you one way or another, because that discussion has been had a thousand times by this point. So, divorced from all that, one question remains: Is Ender’s Game actually any good?

You can read Brent’s full review right here, but the answer to the question above seems to be a solid yes, both in terms of overall quality and general fidelity to the beloved original novel by Orson Scott Card. It’s a challenging book to realize on screen, and violates one of the big Hollywood rules you’ll hear joked about often: never make a movie with kids or animals. Ender’s Game has plenty of the former, but fortunately they filled out the young cast with talented performers including Asa Butterfield (Hugo), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), and Abigail Breslin (Zombieland). And that’s not even getting into the grown-ups such as Harrison friggin’ Ford and Sir Ben friggin’ Kingsley.

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Movie Review: Ender’s Game Delivers Promise With A Looming Shadow

EnderBased on Orson Scott Card’s much loved, much debated, sci-fi novel, many fans of Ender’s Game worried that Gavin Hood’s adaptation would take liberties with the source material and turn the story into a big, empty action spectacle. Those fears have mostly been assuaged, as Hood, who also handled the scripting duties, turns in a film that dwarfs his last movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in both scale and quality. There are times when you feel like you’re watching a real classy Starship Troopers.

Ender’s Game follows the plot of the notoriously unfilmable novel more or less point by point. There are wide swatches of the book absent from the film, most notably the arc where Valentine and Peter become anonymous political pundits, but these omissions don’t have much direct impact on the main narrative thrust of the story. In fact, Peter (Jimmy Pinchak), the protagonist’s vicious older brother, barely figures into the film at all, while, in this limited time frame, the connection between Ender (Asa Butterfield) and Val (Abigail Breslin) may be the clumsiest element of the film.

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If Ender’s Game Won’t Make Orson Scott Card Any Money, Will You Still Boycott The Movie?

EnderI don’t envy Summit Entertainment or the makers of the Ender’s Game movie. I’m sure they all want to make the very best version of Orson Scott Card’s acclaimed novel that they can, but the project has been continuously overshadowed by Card’s outspoken anti-gay opinions and advocacy. Naturally, this means the film has been surrounded by controversy, with campaigns leveraging social media to try and encourage the public to boycott the movie so as to ensure Card doesn’t profit from it. But what if Card isn’t going to make a penny off it regardless? Should the movie still be boycotted?

It might not be just a hypothetical. The folks over at The Wrap claim that “multiple sources from both inside and outside” Summit Entertainment and other companies involved with the production say the Ender’s Game movie was made under a “decade-old deal” that doesn’t grant Card any back-end profits from the film. In other words, he’s already been paid what he’s going to get paid, and whether Ender’s Game makes $200 billion or a handful of loose change, none of that money will go to Card. If that’s true — and obviously you either have to take The Wrap and their sources at their word or not — then should that change the minds of potential boycotters?

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The Entire Ender’s Game Timeline Broken Down For Your Convenience

One of the key things science fiction needs to do well is world building. That should go without saying, but this is where so much genre film, TV, and writing gets tripped up. If you don’t sell the world, your audience doesn’t buy in, and you’ve built you story on a shaky, unstable foundation that may come tumbling down at any time. The best create a world so complete, so seamless, that your mind accepts it as real without a second thought. It doesn’t even have to deliver an expansive, in depth history of the world, like Tolkien, but the details and construction have to ring true. Orson Scott Card does this well in Ender’s Game, depicting a world that, while much like our own, has enough tweaks and idiosyncrasies to make is come across as authentic. With the release of Gavin Hood’s movie adaptation later this week, a new infographic charts the entire timeline of Ender’s world.

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Harrison Ford Ducks The Episode VII Question And Makes Benedict Cumberbatch’s Day

Nobody knows anything about Star Wars: Episode VII. Well, okay, that’s not entirely true. We know the basics. We know J.J. Abrams is directing it, and co-writing it with Lawrence Kasdan. We know it’s the first film of a new trilogy, and of a larger Star Wars cross-media push now that George Lucas’ beloved fictional universe is under the banner of the Mouse. Aaaaaaand…well, that’s pretty much it. Everything else is rumor and speculation. Now some rumors border on the inevitable, such as the involvement of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill, but no matter how almost certain that possibility may be, until it’s in a Disney press release, it ain’t confirmed.

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Ender’s Game Delivers A Crazy Ton Of Photos And Concept Art

Ender's GameEnder’s Game is fast approaching, and in order to get you super jazzed for the occasion, and probably in hopes of making your forget the unfortunate views of author Orson Scott Card, Lionsgate has unveiled a slew of new images, two galleries worth, in fact. The first is a collection of new stills from the film, while number two gathers together a new look at some of the concept art used in the production stages.

The images from Ender’s Game run the gamut through the whole movie, however the bulk of them appear to be taken from the Battle School scenes. In the future, after surviving an alien invasion, the human race looks towards young, tactically gifted minds like Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) in the hopes of finding the next great leader of men. These recruits are trained at Battle School, an orbiting military academy. Ender is small and shy, but a brilliant strategist. In these images you see him interact with rivals, like Bonzo (Moises Arias), as well as friends, like Petra (Hailee Steinfeld). There are action shots of the kids in action in combat simulations and exercises—those set in the zero gravity room are of special interest to fans of the novel—and pics of Ender’s superiors, like Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford), Major Anderson (Viola Davis), and Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley).

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