Hatrack River Forum   
my profile login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Why was the "Ender's Game" movie not set up for sequels

Author Topic: Why was the "Ender's Game" movie not set up for sequels
New Member
Member # 13231

 - posted      Profile for BrokeNDerty   Email BrokeNDerty         Edit/Delete Post 
First off I would like to state that, I was first told I should read Ender's Game about 10 years ago by my cousin. I regret that I did not do so at the time. But after watching the 2013 film of the same title I decided to engulf myself into the enderverse. I started off with the Shadow series because I didn't want to have preconceived notions of Ender's story because of the movie. But after reading every OSC novel and novella in the enderverse I am saddened that the movie was not set up to expand into the captivating stories of these characters.
The only way I see possible to cinematically expand the enderverse is to skip around. The ending of the film completely removes "Ender in Exile" from the equation. And anything from the shadow series would have to start in the "league war" and then get "Tarantinoed" to reveal Bean's backstory and intelligence.
Unfortunately this is just an airing of grievances, but if anyone can shed light on why the movie wasn't set to become the "series" that would be great. And if anyone who reads this can also suggest any other good reads it would be appreciated, the more the merrier since I read about 2 books a week.

Posts: 2 | Registered: Nov 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 13007

 - posted      Profile for vineyarddawg           Edit/Delete Post 
I was always of the opinion that a TV series would have been a far better outlet for the Enderverse than a movie, or even a series of movies, but Hollywood is what it is. I'm glad to hear that you got encouraged to dive into the Enderverse by the movie, though! I had already read all the Enderverse books and short stories before the movie came out, so I had a somewhat different perspective. There were so many "little" decisions here and there that prevented the story from being so much more than it could have been, even in a cinematic format (as opposed the TV series format).

First, when somebody (probably a producer) made the decision to strictly limit the EG movie to 120 minutes or less (its running time is actually 114 minutes), they necessarily prevented themselves from doing the story justice. It's simply impossible to tell the Ender's Game story in 2 hours. What the filmmakers ultimately decided to do was remain more-or-less faithful to the general themes of the book, but cram everything into the small 114-minute package, which meant that the delivery felt incredibly rushed and poorly developed (to me, anyway).

Lots of movies are 3 hours nowadays, and if they had added a 3rd hour to the EG movie, I think that would have allowed them to flesh out more of the story, spend a little more time developing the various characters, and generally make the pace less rushed. As it was, the movie felt like a "Cliffs Notes" version of the book, which is far more than I can say for some movie adaptations, but is less than they could have accomplished.

Second, I just know some producer looked at the script and insisted that Ender have a love interest. Why? Because that's the "Hollywood script!" The main characters always have to have a love interest, or else it's not a young-adult-themed movie! (rolls eyes) To the filmmakers' credit, they did roll back the romance thing with Petra and make it just more of an uncomfortable tension, but there's still more there than should be the case, IMO. Petra is supposed to be infatuated/"in love" with Dink, and standoffish towards Ender, even though she does decide to help him after initially thinking that he's just an arrogant little launchy.

And don't even get me started on Bonzo Madrid. The decision to cast a previously-known star from a children's show as Bonzo instead of someone who, you know, even halfway fills the requirement of what Bonzo should look like, is hands-down the absolute worst mistake made by anyone associated with this movie. They should have just gone all the way and cast Peter Dinklage to play Bonzo. He would have at least given you a good acting performance.

The bottom line is that even though the writers only changed "little parts" of the book here and there, all of their changes together add up to the uncomfortable fact that there's absolutely no way they could faithfully recreate the rest of the Enderverse in any subsequent sequels. Bean is now the same age as Ender, and doesn't have the chip on his shoulder that is essential to his character throughout the entire Shadow series. (And he's not even smaller than anyone else. He's taller than Bonzo, for pete's sake.) The FTL travel time dilation effect doesn't exist in this world (because Graff and Ender basically just popped over to Formic territory like it was nothing), so basically all of the things that happen to Ender and Val in EiE and the "Speaker trilogy" don't make sense anymore, nor do the events of the Shadow series once Bean goes into space with the Beanie Babies.

I don't think there's any way around it... if they were going to bring additional Enderverse stories to the the big or little screen, they'd first have to do a "reboot" of Ender's Game that adhered more closely to the source material.

Posts: 124 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 13007

 - posted      Profile for vineyarddawg           Edit/Delete Post 
I do feel the need, though, to say that in spite of all of my critical comments above, I do find Ender's Game to be a very solid movie. More often than not, I find myself rewatching it if I'm flipping through the guide on my TV and see that it's currently on. It's not a horrible movie... quite the opposite, in fact. It's very entertaining and is pretty faithful to the general themes of the original book. It's just that there's no way you can build the rest of the Enderverse around that movie.

(Given that is was generally considered a box office failure, though, I'd suspect that there's not any interest from Hollywood in creating sequels, anyway.)

Posts: 124 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2