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Enders Game

My Confidence in This Adaptation Is Going in the Direction of the Enemy's Gate: Ender's Game Updates

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | May 21, 2012 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | May 21, 2012 |

Do you know how difficult it is to post about Ender’s Game when I search for “ender” in the image upload tool and the first few hundred results of the search are various sundry pictures of Michael Fassbender? I’m not judging, I just think that Joanna might have a Fass-problem, and everyone reading is an Fass-enabler.

So last month, I argued that the novel Ender’s Game was unfilmable, noting that all the real action in the novel is internalized. Oh sure, there are nifty little sequences that can become set pieces, but the real heart of the novel is between Ender’s ears and that just can’t be CGI’d.

Apparently the studio in charge of the adaptation of the novel agreed with my assessment since they are apparently not really adapting the novel, unless “adapting” means just writing their own damned script. From one point of view, it’s smart. Adapting it straight up would miss the soul of the story. But from the other point of view, it’s just going to end up screwing up a perfectly good story.

Orson Scott Card visited the set the other day in order to film a small cameo and watch some filming and he had this to say:

“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.”

Oh well, that flushing sound you here is the almost all the enthusiasm I had for this project slurping down the drain.

But Card decided to reassure us: “The movie Ender’s Game is going to look great.”

And … there’s goes the rest of the enthusiasm. “But it will look great” is the inevitable defense of any disaster of a science fiction movie. You know what else looked great? Every other abysmally shitty science fiction film of the last decade. I don’t want a science fiction film to look good, I want it to think good.

Robert Orci got all wordy on the Internet yesterday to add a little hype to the film, saying:

“One thing I can tell you is that Gavin Hood is a gigantic Stanley Kubrick fan, and it shows. And yet, in some of the Zero G battles, things are going on that Kubrick never had a chance to tackle. The technology and advancements in film making available to us allowed us to realize a vision that is totally unique and modern while also being, as Harrison Ford calls it, one of the most emotional science fiction movies he has ever seen.”

I’d love it if the director of Ender’s Game could be compared to Stanley Kubrick, but then I remember that Gavin Hood directed X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and then I glare at my computer because it’s letting the Internet say bad things again.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.