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Ender's Game gets a movie deal


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#21 of 107 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted May 28 2012 - 04:33 PM

I read his column regularly when it's posted on his website, hatrack.com. I'm always torn between two competing thoughts reading it: 1) Man this guy is among the great arrogant asses of our time; and 2) Man, this guy makes the English language feel effortless.

#22 of 107 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted May 28 2012 - 05:36 PM

And hopefully Card understands that a literal re-creation of a book is not always the best approach. This could be quite a fun movie.

Looks like you got your wish. Quotes from Card.

I sat, off-camera, reading my sole line, which comes in the middle of a scene between Harrison Ford as Col. Graff and Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin. The scene does not come from the book – very few of the scenes in this movie do – so it was amusing when others asked me how it felt to have my book brought to life. My book was already alive in the mind of every reader. This is writer-director Gavin Hood's movie, so they were his words, and it was his scene.

I got a chance to explore the gorgeous sets designed and built by teams headed by production designers Sean Haworth and Ben Procter. Again, they were not building anything from the book, so I wasn't seeing my ideas brought to life. Their job was to build the scenery dreamed up by Gavin Hood for his story, and they have done a wonderful job.

Hollywood strikes again. Buy the rights to the title and rewrite the story to suit yourself.
"You bring a horse for me?" "Looks like......looks like we're shy of one horse." "No.......You brought two too many."

#23 of 107 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted May 29 2012 - 01:37 PM

Originally Posted by Edwin-S 


Hollywood strikes again. Buy the rights to the title and rewrite the story to suit yourself.


In this case I think it's essential to do so. The important aspects are the themes and the main bullet points of the plot, which from previous statements by Card is still very much intact. It's not like the film is gonna end with a Top Gun-esque victory celebration. Exact dialog and set design are secondary to conveying the concepts correctly. The Lord of the Rings, for example, took some rather great liberties where it needed to so it could tell the story for cinema. It's simply a different medium, and the book will always be there.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#24 of 107 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted May 29 2012 - 05:23 PM

I think that was natural; you have to realize that Card has said the movie is a bit of a combination of "Ender's Game" and "Ender's Shadow" therefore, it's impossible that many of these scenes occurred in the book (or either book).   I love Ender's Game, but a lot of the moments happen inside Ender's (and Bean's) head.   That's hard to put on the screen and have it make any sense.   So, you accomplish getting the heart of the story apart by creating dialog that cuts through it and gets it on the screen without being clunky.
Since Card has script approval, and has said he liked the direction this went, I'll wait and see.. *shrug*   But I'm hopeful


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#25 of 107 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 30 2012 - 02:26 PM

Originally Posted by Edwin-S 


Looks like you got your wish. Quotes from Card.

Quote:
I sat, off-camera, reading my sole line, which comes in the middle of a scene between Harrison Ford as Col. Graff and Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin.
The scene does not come from the book – very few of the scenes in this movie do – so it was amusing when others asked me how it felt to have my book brought to life. My book was already alive in the mind of every reader. This is writer-director Gavin Hood's movie, so they were his words, and it was his scene.

I got a chance to explore the gorgeous sets designed and built by teams headed by production designers Sean Haworth and Ben Procter.
Again, they were not building anything from the book, so I wasn't seeing my ideas brought to life. Their job was to build the scenery dreamed up by Gavin Hood for his story, and they have done a wonderful job.

Hollywood strikes again. Buy the rights to the title and rewrite the story to suit yourself.

I've become convinced now that the best movie versions are not literal translations of the book. I look forward to a movie that extracts the heart of the book, the themes and key events, but is inventive and takes good liberties. Coraline is my favorite example. Coraline the movie added an entire character not found in the book; and I think the movie was ultimately better than the book.


I hope Ender's Game is a "Coraline" and gives us something wonderful on the screen, that isn't a scene-by-scene incarnation of the book.



#26 of 107 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted February 20 2013 - 09:37 AM

Photo of Petra, Ender and the Salamanders: [SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!][/SPOILER]

#27 of 107 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted March 25 2013 - 08:52 PM

Official Poster released...

 

http://s3.amazonaws.com/images.hitfix.com/assets/1926/EndersGamefirstposterPT.jpg

 


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#28 of 107 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted March 28 2013 - 07:42 PM

I'm listening to the audiobook, and envisioning parts of the movie as it goes along. Parts of it had a very dimensional feel, and will translate well to movie. I'm not sure how they'll handle Stihlson and Bonzo...

And I think the BattleRoom in that poster looks all wrong :)

But I'm looking forward to it.

#29 of 107 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted March 29 2013 - 08:24 PM

I think that was natural; you have to realize that Card has said the movie is a bit of a combination of "Ender's Game" and "Ender's Shadow" therefore, it's impossible that many of these scenes occurred in the book (or either book).   I love Ender's Game, but a lot of the moments happen inside Ender's (and Bean's) head.   That's hard to put on the screen and have it make any sense.   So, you accomplish getting the heart of the story apart by creating dialog that cuts through it and gets it on the screen without being clunky. Since Card has script approval, and has said he liked the direction this went, I'll wait and see.. *shrug*   But I'm hopeful


I finished listening to the the 20th anniversary edition on Enders Game on Audible tonight, along with OSC's afterword. I was really excited as I listened to him describe the film deal with Wolfgang Peterson as director, the draft script combining Enders Game and Enders Shadow to create a workable script, and the absolute commitment to under-12 year old actors.

Then I heard the copyright info and realized that's 12 years ago. And I see that the cast is 14-16 year olds (and Ford, who is about 30 years too old for the role of Graff)

I'm completely baffled as to how, or if, a movie translation will handle the melancholy elements of Ender and the Buggers. And wondering how much OSC has had to compromise to finally bring it to the screen after 15+ years of problems. I worry that this will turn out to be a mediocre affair like Lion Witch Wardrobe than an excellent Harry Potter.

Still, lots of opportunity for a great movie. A distillation of the two books for Ender and Bean, and not a literal translation, could be great.
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#30 of 107 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted March 30 2013 - 02:02 PM

Whether true or not.. though considering the source and OSC's comments on it, I'm wagering it's true... the rumor is that he watched Butterfield in "Hugo" and made calls saying: This kid is Ender, and we have to strike while the iron is hot.

 

As to Hiram Graff, I don't know, I don't have any problem with Hiram with Ford, who fits the general tone of the role.    I do worry a lot about the handling of Stilson and Bonzo.


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#31 of 107 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted March 30 2013 - 03:55 PM

I imagine Harrison Ford as a great Mazer Rackham. He's not my image of Graff; especially since Graff was a Colonel, and presumably in his 40s.

Hoping for some thing great. This could be better than Hunger Games. it could be what City of Ember should have been. I've read the book twice now. It's not my favorite, but it has good hooks, and draws me back. I'm torn now whether to re-read more Ender, or Bean's story, or continue with my existing reading wishlist on Audible. OSC does good audiobooks (as we've discussed)

Edited by DaveF, March 30 2013 - 05:29 PM.


#32 of 107 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted March 30 2013 - 04:19 PM

Yes, the audiobooks of all of them are fantastic, they really stand out thanks to their narration and how many readers as well as how the readers are used.   I have a real mixed feeling on the Bean series - it has some great moments, though.. but to me, Speaker for the Dead remains his best work.  I'm in the middle of his newest (The Lost Gate series), which is surprisingly good.   


Problem with most of the others.. especially in the Ender's Game series (Speaker, Xenocide, Children of the Mind) is that they would be impossible to ever film because the storyline doesn't work for it.   But if they did a Game of Thrones style series that went through them, it would be good, but there isn't enough action and way too much important dialog.   Still, I'm always surprised how much the storyline in Speaker for the Dead really draws me in every time (also, the reading for it on audible is sensational)... 

 

I am very hopeful for this as I think it's a very deep, thoughtful book and hope the storyline is well made.   My greatest fear is that there will be protests and backlash because in his older age, OSC has become a bit of a political crank and that will be used to hurt the concept (which has nothing to do with those ideas).   I always worry a bit about that, as several writers that I really love have adopted oddball stances in their old age, and those are the only things people discuss.


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#33 of 107 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted April 01 2013 - 06:45 PM

The core story of Speaker for the Dead is reasonably straight forward scifi mystery, merged with scifi questions of "being". I think it could be done pretty well. Though, as noted, making it a mini-series would be spectacular.

Or: Les Miserables has been made a movie. 1000+ pages, half of which is commentary on pre-revolutionary French politics. If they can do that, they can do Speaker :)

#34 of 107 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted April 01 2013 - 07:20 PM

The core story of Speaker for the Dead is reasonably straight forward scifi mystery, merged with scifi questions of "being". I think it could be done pretty well. Though, as noted, making it a mini-series would be spectacular.

Or: Les Miserables has been made a movie. 1000+ pages, half of which is commentary on pre-revolutionary French politics. If they can do that, they can do Speaker :)

 

Now you're making me imagine a musical version of "Speaker of the Dead".. Ender breaks into song as he laments the loss of Jane...  Hah!


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#35 of 107 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted April 04 2013 - 11:30 AM

The biggest problem with Speaker for the Dead as a follow-up film to Ender's Game is that they'd probably need to recast Ender again, which is death to a "franchise" series to recast their main character.

 

No, if anything they'll adapt Ender in Exile next... which has its own issues.

 

Personally, though, just make this film a good one.

 

And that poster is awesome.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#36 of 107 OFFLINE   Adam_S

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Posted April 04 2013 - 02:07 PM

Yes, the audiobooks of all of them are fantastic, they really stand out thanks to their narration and how many readers as well as how the readers are used.   I have a real mixed feeling on the Bean series - it has some great moments, though.. but to me, Speaker for the Dead remains his best work.  I'm in the middle of his newest (The Lost Gate series), which is surprisingly good.   

...

My greatest fear is that there will be protests and backlash because in his older age, OSC has become a bit of a political crank and that will be used to hurt the concept (which has nothing to do with those ideas).   I always worry a bit about that, as several writers that I really love have adopted oddball stances in their old age, and those are the only things people discuss.

OSC is a big proponent of Audio Books and has made sure good ones are done of his most popular works.

 

I figure on donating 2x the cost of my movie ticket to a pro-equality charity/cause to offset whatever monies will go back to card that he'll use on his anti-equality causes.  I haven't bought any of his books in years because supporting him just makes me feel nauxious.

 

Now you're making me imagine a musical version of "Speaker of the Dead".. Ender breaks into song as he laments the loss of Jane...  Hah!

That's appropriate considering the original title was Singer for the Dead, but his wife persuaded him to take out the musical elements because of Songmaster and other song-oriented stories he'd done at that point, she didn't want him typecast.

 

Speaker for the Dead is a great story that could make a really excellent film or HBO film, it doesn't have explosions but it's great storytelling.

 

As for the look of the battleroom.  A spherical battleroom makes no sense, because every single person, dumb or smart, once entering a battleroom would immediately lose their gravity orientation.  A cubical battleroom would lock in gravitational orientation, as in the book.  In other words, a spherical battleroom makes "The Enemy's Gate is Down" completely pointless, and an insight every person entering the battleroom would have. 


Edited by Adam_S, April 04 2013 - 02:11 PM.

 

#37 of 107 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted April 05 2013 - 04:02 AM

The core story of Speaker for the Dead is reasonably straight forward scifi mystery, merged with scifi questions of "being".


It's funny that you said that, because it absolutely true, but I've always thought of "Speaker for the Dead" as a family drama. Novinha and her family are among the best written characters Card has ever produced.



#38 of 107 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted April 05 2013 - 12:04 PM

As for the look of the battleroom.  A spherical battleroom makes no sense, because every single person, dumb or smart, once entering a battleroom would immediately lose their gravity orientation.  A cubical battleroom would lock in gravitational orientation, as in the book.  In other words, a spherical battleroom makes "The Enemy's Gate is Down" completely pointless, and an insight every person entering the battleroom would have. 

 

Well, IIRC, in the book the battle room has black walls. They couldn't make the battle room black walls - spherical or cubed - in a film. My guess is that it's still the basic physics - no gravity, the "stars" set up - based on the poster showing the kids at multiple angles stationed at the "stars", but that the walls are all video panels to mimic being in space to help the illusion of being in zero gravity for scenes in the film. It's harder to give perspective and impression of zero gravity when there is no background to contrast the kids' positioning with. As for "The Enemy's Gate Is Down" - perhaps it's more ovoid than sphere?


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#39 of 107 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted May 03 2013 - 10:06 AM

 

Full trailer online Tuesday 5/7


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#40 of 107 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted May 04 2013 - 03:50 AM

The ultra-sharp, grain-free look of the film seems exactly right for the material.

 

I love that the kids paying Ender, Petra and Valentine get equal billing with the likes of Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis and Harrison Ford. But then again, of the five headlining names that have been nominated for an Academy Award, two of them are the kids. Just an incredible cast.






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