Orson Scott Card Says The ‘Ender’s Game’ Film Is Quite Different From His Book

Posted Thursday, May 17th, 2012 07:00 pm GMT -4 by 0

An army of science fiction fans have been holding their breath for news on the film adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s classic novel ‘Ender’s Game’ and, while we have a ton of casting news and a couple of teaser images, not much has been revealed about the plot. I guess it’s been wishful thinking on the part of Scott Card’s fan base that the movie would stick pretty closely to the novel.

Now the Rhino Times has reported that Scott Card has paid a visit to the film sets and what he has to say may not please the fans.

It seems that Scott Card was on set to film a scene in which he provides a cameo voice as a pilot speaking to some passengers (so fans will have something to keep an ear out for when the movie arrives). However, in referring to his scene in particular, Scott Card 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.”

And as alarming as that statement is going to sound to many fans, Scott Card did make note that, while the movie veers from his original work, it does look good. In the lengthy discussion of his set visit, Scott Card got a good look at the costumes and the sets and merely said, “The movie Ender’s Game is going to look great.”

That final statement has me more worried than the first. Will ‘Ender’s Game’ just be yet another pretty piece of Hollywood fluff with lots of great costumes and FX, while missing the most essential element… a great story as the backbone?

Scott Card did alleviate some fan fears by discussing the acting. The scene which he saw filmed was a slower interaction between Ender (Asa Butterfield of ‘Hugo’) and Colonel Hyram Graff (Harrison Ford – do I really need to tell you who he is?). Of the scene, Scott Card said:

“…they were superb. Film acting, especially in closeup, is not about facial expressions. It’s about what’s going on behind the actors’ eyes. And it’s about timing.”

So… good acting, good sets and costumes, yet not actually based very close on ‘Ender’s Game’? Then it sounds like another case of “Why call it something if you’re not going to stick to the source material?” If this weren’t called ‘Ender’s Game’, and I heard that Butterfield and Ford were making a sci-fi movie, I’d be excited. As it is, I’m worried… a lot.

  • pygmydynamo

    To add to what the author is saying: it’s one thing to screenwrite a book to be smart for a film audience, and it is another thing to work with Ender’s Game. Enders Game! This is a story, considered by many, to be the best sci-fi story of all time. Many “best of all time” lists have it ranking #1, and higher than Tolkein, etc. So, don’t give it the usual treatment, guys. Scripts should be adjusted to match Ender’s Game, not the other way around.

  • http://www.facebook.com/asgar.burger Alexander Berger

    If they screw this up, I’m going to be furious. The Ender universe is already so well established it would be a shame if they didn’t stick with the book.

    Any chance Card and the movie people are just messing with us and the movie will follow the book exactly?