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"Ender's Game" movie happening (variety.com)
89 points by nl 1865 days ago | hide | past | web | 69 comments | favorite

I received this email from Hattrack today:

Want to Be in Battle School? Open Casting Call for Extras in New Orleans This Weekend

Ender's Game open casting call being held at the Hilton Garden Inn located in the Warehouse District of New Orleans on Saturday, January 14th from 11am to 3pm.

Alexis Allen, along with Batherson Casting, are seeking bright and talented kids and teens ages 10-17 of varying ethnic background for the feature film production of Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game"; based on one of the most famous science fiction novels of the last 40 years.

The film stars Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin. Oscar-winning Director Gavin Hood will be filming Ender's Game in New Orleans from February until June 2012, providing those selected with up to 8 weeks of work.

To be considered, please come to the open call this weekend, located at the address below between 10am and 2pm

Hilton Garden Inn 1001 South Peters St New Orleans 70130

Please also bring a recent snapshot of yourself. Homeschooled students are especially encouraged, because of the work during school hours.

Please visit this site at <A HREF="http://www.hatrack.com>www.hatrack.com</A>;

I am going to tirelessly promote this movie because it is one of my favorite books from when I was a kid, but even more so because I really want to see the sequel, Speaker for the Dead, get made into a movie. Speaker for the Dead is a much more mature, thought provoking book, in which a grown up Ender struggles to come to terms with his actions from the first book. Speaker won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards, and if you havent read it, you should go do so immediately.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0812550757/ref=as_li_ss_tl?... (yes, it is an affiliate link)

Fun fact: Orson Scott Card (author) had the idea for Speaker for The Dead before writing Ender's Game, and essentially wrote the first novel simply to set up the complex universe that unfolds in the sequel.

Speaker for The Dead is good, but the book deteriorate quite quickly after that.

The original quartet is epic, Xenocide and Children of the Mind get a little bit off the cuff, but I really like them. Even the first few in the "Shadow" series were ok, but then quality dropped off. Now there are dozens of books set in the universe.

There really is one for every occasion.

The fairly magic particles in Xenocide are based on Mormon theology, so if that's not compelling to you, the exposition of same in CotM is going to be pretty boring.

The moral philosophy espoused throughout the series, namely, the primacy of intention, is heavily influenced by OSC's Mormonism. At least, that's what I remember reading in an interview. I am by no means an expert on Mormonism, so I would defer to anyone better informed than I on that matter.

The aiua? Do you think so? I thought they were just a science fiction way of talking about the soul. Mormons do believe in souls, I'll grant, but they hardly own the concept.

That's really compelling to me as a Mormon. I'll have to go back and read them and look for the parallels.

I did quite like Ender's Shadow.

The rest of the Shadow books weren't as bad as Children of the Mind, but they did seems to just follow a formula.

I've found all of OSC's series to be like that. I don't care for his short stories, either. I've always thought his standalone books, though, were incredibly good. Treason being an example, and Home Body.

I loved speaker of the dead. Ender's Game was a quicker read and will make a more compelling movie, but Speaker is much deeper and compelling. You really have to grapple with the implications of first (and second) contact.

This is, potentially, the only movie I can think of that demands a 3D experience. Considering the storyline dives deeply into the tactics and strategies of conducting war in a 3D space rather than on fixed plane -- I really hope the film makers turn 3D into a useful storytelling attribute.

Note: Im a pretty ardent 3D hater.

How does that fact that there is space war defeat all the arguments against 3D films? Namely, the fact that no one has ever had any problem determining depth from a "2D" projection, because parallax is not the primary source of depth perception in humans.

There are plenty of movies and television shows in 2D that feature air and space battles, and never once have I found myself thinking "Gee, I really wish I knew which of those objects was closer to me."

I said a 3D space, as in volume, not outter space. The story spends a great deal of time illustrating how Ender has a mind for assymetical battle, denial of ground, and other things prevelent to battle in zero G. Adding an increased or heightened awareness of dimensional depth to the film would be very valuable.

If I remember the book correctly, the 3D parts were actually games where the participants as people move around without gravity in 3D. In this particular case--much more than for an aerial battle with airplanes or space ships--I also think 3D would help with immersion.

I get queasy watching 3d shooters. I don't want to imagine how bad that could be with Ender's Game in 3d on the big screen.

Might I suggest you watch the 2D version? I don't get queasy; I would love a 3D version of this movie.

Immersion at the cost of aesthetics. Is this a carnival ride?

The cast looks great, but I'm honestly not sure about Gavin Hood. His XMen movie was fairly campy, and there will be a lot of pressure to do the same with the Ender's Game movie. I have my doubts.

I like the XMen movie. However, the OP says Steinfeld plays Petra Arkanian, Ender's trusted right hand.

As I remember it, Bean was Ender's trusted right hand. Petra was an anchor for Ender's humanity, but it was Bean that was the real military genius, and actually made everything work.

So I'm concerned about how well the movie will reflect the books.

And BTW, contrary to other here, I didn't enjoy the second book, and I really hated the third. But when the "Shadow" books came out, I found them really interesting. I thought it was a great device to re-run the story, but entirely through the POVs of characters who, in the original novel, we thought were nothing but bit players. It challenged my mind to try to resolve the real story between the conflicting perceptions, and I think OSC was trying to show us something about our own personal views of reality.

When you say "Bean was Ender's trusted right hand," I suspect you're thinking mostly of "Ender's Shadow". Reading the original book on its own, Bean comes across as very creative with his small team but not really as a "right hand". (I'd think mostly of Petra and Alai in that role, in somewhat different ways.)

As you point out, there really were some conflicting perspectives (and to some degree even conflicting "facts") in the two stories, and at least for me those "retcons" made the newer book less enjoyable. The few bits of Bean's dialog or internal thoughts that were carried over directly from the original book feel really out of place in the retelling.

I'm optimistic Bean could be a minor character, and then get more screen time in an Ender's shadow sequel. Ender's Shadow was definitely my favorite in the series

Yeah, I'm hoping this doesn't turn into a Star Trek-esque prolonged battle in space. Ender's Game is a character-driven story; let's hope the movie is as well.

Is it seriously happening? I mean, Harrison Ford name-dropping is all well and good, but I'm skeptical. The first I heard rumors of this movie happening Real Soon Nowish was on USENET.

Along the same lines, I had a paperback copy of Battlefield Earth in the mid 80's with a "Soon to be a Major Motion Picture!" emblem and a tear-out card to order the soundtrack.

Hopefully waiting decades for an Ender's Game movie turns out better than waiting decades for Battlefield Earth did.

...or waiting decades for the Star Wars prequels.

Maybe I shouldn't get my hopes up - but LotR turned out well!

I think I still have that edition in my basement.

I'm expecting the worst for Ender's Game. I really can't picture anything of the real story remaining in battle high-school.

As much as I loved Ender's Game when I read it the first and subsequent times, I lost all respect for the man and his works after finding out what a homophobe Orson Scott Card is. He's so full of hate.

A good friend of mine discarded his entire Pratchett collection after the author came out in support of assisted suicide.

Personally, I find myself sympathetic to Pterry's morals in the case in question and unsympathetic to Card's in the case in question; but in neither case do I particularly see the point of linking the author's values and one's appreciation of their work.

However, if you really do feel that strongly, I'd suggest taking the approach my friend did - donating all of his works that you own to a library on the principle that his own personal disagreements with the author were much less important than enabling people to read books full stop.

You don't have to like the author or agree with him, to like his book. Far too many people were educated to hate.

I really doubt he is afraid of homosexuals.

"Set in Earth's utopian future..." If I recall correctly, the earth society and government was actually pretty dystopian. Does that mean that Hollywood is altering the story for the worst??

It means it's some writer for Variety offering a summary of how they see the story.

Entertainment journalism is not known for its accuracy.

It (i.e. the book) was more utopian than dystopian, but neither "utopian" nor "dystopian" are really appropriate terms here. The Earth-wide government wasn't much more than an UN (that changed after Peter got put in charge), but there was international peace and harmony since the Buggers were the primary concern, so one could say that that was better. But no significant oppression, etc.

To say that such a thing is "no significant oppression" is a contentious statement at best. The world government had imposed a two-children-per-family population-control policy, imposed on many members of society against their will, against religious objections. This is visited in the book(s), though not for overly long. Also, the young child has a government monitoring device implanted on his neck at the beginning of the book. That's pretty creepy.

I suppose that if you're just saying that the oppression is not as gratuitous as 1984 or whatever, that's true.

(The secret genetic engineering experiments to make people extra intelligent but then give them OCD to keep them under control is a later book, it's true.)

An utopia without birth control seems a bit unrealistic (that's what utopias is all about anyway), especially when you consider future medical advances. So I usually see birth control as somewhat orthogonal to the utopia vs dystopia discussion.

One man's dystopia, is another man's utopia, you just have to look at SOPA.

This might be a minority opinion, but even as a huge sci-fi fan, I'm not sure the story holds up once you know the ending. I'm sure I'll end up seeing it anyway though.

I don't think it'll detract much at all. The war with the buggers is essentially a MacGuffin. (Spoilers ahead for anyone who's managed to miss this for the past few decades.) The real heart of the story is in the stuff that happens to Ender at Battle School, his evolution from innocent child to military genius to embittered pacifist and his relationships with the other characters. The twist ending is great because of the way it reflects everything that's happened to Ender so far, not because the surprise is just so surprising.

Maybe edit your comment so it doesn't give away the ending?

You could be right. It's been a long time since I read it but I recall thinking, when I finished it, that I was glad for the twist ending because it gave much needed weight to the rest of the story. This might just be due to the fact that I've read many other hawk-turns-dove stories in other contexts, so my bar for them is high (e.g. If I Die in a Combat Zone).

I re-read it over christmas. I'd note that firstly, I don't believe Ender was ever truly a hawk, and secondly, on a re^n-read (I don't remember how many times now) I find that the weight is in Ender's progression through Battle School, and that the part of the book set after that felt to me like obvious consequences playing out.

To be frank, I'd be quite comfortable with a version that ended on the shuttle out except for the fact that the remainder of the book is necessary to set up the preconditions for Speaker.

I grew up in Greensboro, NC and ran into OSC and his family members a good bit. I'm glad to see that the movie is finally potentially happening after several false starts. I remember in high school (99?) seeing a section of a script/screenplay that one of his nephews had somehow procured and him talking about his uncle being excited about it.

Confronting aliens in cowboys and aliens? Really? THATS the movie they pick for where ford had a role confronting aliens?

Oh, how quickly they forget.


For a long time I was skeptical that this movie could ever be made, simply because it would be impossible to find someone to play Ender. You need a 11-year-old who can seem simultaneously sympathetic and capable of killing another child.

Then I saw Hugo. Asa Butterfield might actually be able to pull that one off.

In the book, Ender does'n knowingly kill the other children, he just beats them to the ground with, arguably, little empathy as a counter reaction to bullying.

The fun part here is that since it's being made by Summit, it's being funded at least in part by the insane profits from the Twilight series.

Of course, Summit and Lionsgate are in merger talks, and if that happens all bets are off.

Now let's just hope they do OSC justice...

I think you should change your comment to "Now let's just hope they do the story justice"

Ender's Game is a story that a lot of people from different walks of life can connect with.

OSC is a homophobic asshole.

Ender's Game was my favorite book when I was 12, so I read a whole hell of a lot of Card's books before I knew anything about his personal beliefs. I tried so hard to think they were awesome, but everything after Ender's Game is pretty uninspired.

After a certain number of words, everything Orson Scott Card writes is at risk of devolving into the exact same plot:

1. Character glimpses a new way of life. 2. Character is misunderstood and persecuted by society. 3. Character collects followers and heads off into the middle of the wilderness to found a new society.

This is an effective summary of not only the Ender's Game series but his Homecoming saga, Alvin Maker series, Lovelock, Wyrms, Treason, and probably a few others.

See also: Salt Lake City.

The Homecoming saga is literally the Book of Mormon... IN SPAAAAAACE! It sort of holds up until the last book, then he completely loses it--I was able to sort of read the early books simply as S.F. but eventually it got too Mormon for me to handle.

You know how almost half of his writing is Mormon (LDS) fiction? Well, maybe all of it is :)

> OSC is a homophobic asshole.

He has a fear of homosexuals so intense that his mind is diseased?

Let's stick to facts, not misdirection.

To be perfectly honest, that's a great way of describing how he feels about homosexuals (or anyone that breaks his heteronormative ideals).

More importantly, though, making an incredibly inane distinction over how much he hates a group of people misdirects readers from the fact that OSC has some incredibly harmful views on society that should not be tolerated.

Ugh. Whatever happened to "I don't agree with what you have to say, but I will fight for your right to say it?" that has made America great? Is it so quickly forgotten?

If he's a jerk and he's wrong and you think he's overrated or should be boycotted, you know, go ahead and say so, but "should not be tolerated"? That's the language of "they belong in jail or Siberian labor camps".

I think it's a bit of a stretch to read "threaten personal or state violence on" in "should not be tolerated."

He's entitled to say his opinion, but he can't prevent me from saying he's a bigot.

On the flip side, there's nothing wrong with saying "I like Ender's Game, but OSC is a prick whose views are out of line with a 21st century society".

Again, this is the guy that basically said he would physically attack the government if they endorsed or allowed gay marriage.

> To be perfectly honest, that's a great way of describing how he feels about homosexuals ...

That he is fearful? That he feels the same emotion that one might experience from a giant hairy spider, or cancer, or a bottle of nitroglycerin? Not liking something, or not wanting it to be public policy, does not make someone fearful.

> the fact that OSC has some incredibly harmful views on society that should not be tolerated.

It's a fact that a lot of the homosexual leadership leads lives of debauchery and wanton disregard for consequences. It is not harmful to suggest that perhaps they should not be given free reign to rewrite family and marriage law, nor indoctrinate schoolchildren.

Now this is being discussed in the context of a religious leader (Card) rallying the troops (Mormons). The Mormons are a religion with a fanatical devotion to procreation, children, and families. When a bunch of slick Hollywood queers try to move marriage in the direction of being a frivolous indulgence, the internal Mormon rhetoric is naturally going to run towards the revolutionary. (And it is not idle talk. In a fantasy world where the lunatic wing of the queer movement gets their wishes on marriage laws, Utah probably would secede from the U.S.)

The level of homophobia that he has shown and some of the things in some of his book, might be construed as a mental disease. The effort that many homophobic people go to to "hate" (or whatever you want to call it) homosexual people tends to seem "diseased" to me.

OSC: "I will act to destroy that government [that recognizes gay marriages] and bring it down"

Are the downvotes for the quote? It's a literal quote, in context, from Orson Scott Card... and there are many other to go with it. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Orson_Scott_Card

The only way you can have a story from Variety on HN is if you are talking about Ender's Game.

So excited!

I read this book when I was in 6th grade. I liked it a little. By 7th grade I thought it was lame (I read all the sequels up to Shadow of the Hegemon). I now think it's fairly terrible sci-fi. Anime (I understand that's a very broad stroke) is much better.

Apparently, I'm the one and only nerd who read Ender's Game and found it passable at best, and slightly creepy and inhuman in general.

You are meant to find it slightly creepy and inhuman in general. Ender spends a great deal of the next three books self-flagellating.

(Which are, incidentally, not much like the first book. The first book was a juvenile sci-fi book, the next three are fairly serious works you wouldn't hand to a 12-year old and expect them to enjoy. Or understand, frankly.)

What I meant is that the children are comically pure, and utterly inhuman. Endlessly droning on about how much he loves his sister, never misbehaving or having a crush on a pretty girl; it all reflected a very strange impression of childhood.

I've never read the book. I'm debating on whether to bother or not considering Orson Scott Card is a bigoted douchecopter.

hugo and nebula winner. was a great book. Apparently Heinlein was pretty crazy too... but stranger in a strange land is a good book.

You, of course, need to work within your own set of ethics. This story is iconic sci fi. Even if you don't like it, it's a classic.

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