A few posts back I got excited about a Monkey Wrench Gang film. Now I’ve stumbled on up to date information about an Ender’s Game movie, which has been kicked around for nearly a decade. Ender’s Game is a novel by Orson Scott Card which won both the Nebula and Hugo awards for best SciFi novel. This is at least the second attempt at producing it, and this one seems to be into scheduled filming so the odds look good. Reports are showing it with Harrison Ford and with Asa Butterfield as Ender.
Once again I have to caution myself about expecting too much from a screen adaptation of one of the best SciFi books ever written. Dune went through more than a decade of being kicked around until it was finally snagged and directed by David Lynch. That first version of the movie was a disaster. It wasn’t until the multi-part TV series that Dune was adequately portrayed. I fear that Ender’s Game may be the same. The nuances and the depth of the book may defy a single film.
I realize that Ender’s Game and Orson Scott Card are the subject of a lot of controversy these days. Card has, in recent years, come out with some pretty extreme right wing social and political beliefs. Many liberals see his work, especially in the light of his professed convictions, to be praising totalitarian ideas. There’s no doubt that the society depicted in many of Card’s books seems to glorify a military state, although is most recent books, Hidden Empire and the others, seem to be directed more at warning about the dangers of a military and over-partisan run government. Robert Heinlein or John Sclazi for that matter are no better or worse in that department. The controversy around the idea of children killing children has probably become more of a non-issue after The Hunger Games.
A novel titled Hamlet’s Father raised a storm over perceived anti-homosexual statements.
In actual fact, the record of Card’s views on politics and sexual orientation seem to be confusing, inconsistent and seem to have drifted to the right and become more extreme in the past ten years or so. It is to be noted that during that time Card suffered a stroke, from which he seems to, at least apparently, recovered. I have to state that his outspoken comments on sexual preference seems odd, coming from a writer who has included the issue, with a reasonably favorable and even hand, in many of his novels, including some involving the exploitation of children. One can’t help but speculate on unresolved issues here. Dare I also say that Card is a fervent Mormon, which in itself shows some suspension of reasoning ability. (Yes. I know. That did slip out.)
But it doesn’t matter. I loved Ender’s Game, it’s four sequels and the Shadow series that followed it. People who say they’re not well written, I think have their own ulterior agenda. And I’m really looking forward to the movie, albeit with some trepidation.
BTW, none of the listed movie trailers on YouTube are real (at least at posting time) or I would have included one.