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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Ender's Game movie announces casting calls (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Ender's Game movie announces casting calls
Shawshank
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I know we've had upwards of fifteen million threads about the EG movie. But I felt like this at least deserved its own thread.

This is what io9 says.

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Raymond Arnold
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Weirded out by Bean apparently replacing Alai, except not? It actually does make sense as a reasonable compression - for Bean to be a major character in a 2 hour movie he needs to be present for more of it - still, feels weird.
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Dan_Frank
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Sigh.

I'll see it.

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Lyrhawn
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The thing is, after all this waiting, and after all the scripts that were rejected, if it isn't totally badass, it's going to be quite the letdown. I already forsee a lot of "You rejected a half dozen other scripts for this?" no matter how good or bad it is.

I usually have a much lower threshold of acceptance than other people, so I'm sure I'll see it, and I'll probably like it.

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Blayne Bradley
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It's the Duke Nukem of the Film Industry.

Problem: Alai is VERY important for the Shadow Series (which could work as a mini series), its like trying to write out kreacher of the HP movies.

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Dan_Frank
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Yeah, Lyrhawn, I'm the same way. I can enjoy a lot of stuff while still recognizing it's not necessarily actually that great.

It's just sad that I suspect the EG movie might rely on my having that skill. Instead of, you know. Being really great.

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BlackBlade
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How do you guys feel about Ender being cast at 10 years old? I think it's a manageable compromise.
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Dan_Frank
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I agree.

I'm not really dreading changes to the book, frankly. Pointless changes irritate the crap out of me (I'm looking at you, HBO's Game of Thrones... and also every adaptation, anywhere, ever) but some changes are necessary and smart. Due to the difficulties in casting, this one seems reasonable.

The reason for my sigh is that I'm just doubting that the director/script etc. will actually be as superb as I want them to be.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
How do you guys feel about Ender being cast at 10 years old? I think it's a manageable compromise.

It was always going to happen that way, I think. But it could easily be a mistake. With a 10 year old you're going to lose the easy innocence of the 6 year old, but there will be much more flexibility with the character. Also, the idea that Ender is significantly younger than many or most of his lieutenants wasn't going to work on screen- it would be very very difficult to shoot convincingly.
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Bella Bee
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I'd think it would be better to cast the actor at ten, simply because that way you can regress him to about eight and age him up to about eleven or twelve.

There's more flexibility and you can give a more convincing sense of time passing.

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Aros
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The screenwriters are top notch (Fringe, Alias, new Star Trek, Watchmen, MI III, etc), but the director worries me (Wolverine). I'm crossing my fingers for a limited number of re-writes and minimal producer interference in the script.

Then again, a dozen other things can kill the movie: casting, directing, editing, effects. . . .

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Orincoro
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This type of project has to be done perfectly, too. The story is way too fragile to rely on any genre fall-backs, and cutting corners anywhere will kill it as a film. As I've long thought, this movie is just asking to be ruined. It probably will be.
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Jeff C.
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Bah, I just posted this exact topic in the OSC board, not thinking that it might be in here.

Anyway, I hope it gets made. I'll watch it and enjoy it (hopefully). The only thing about this that seems bad to me is the director. Wolverine was OK, but the character deserved better than what he got. Hopefully Wolverine 2 will be better.

PS. Bean had better be stay awesome! Or else...

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Samprimary
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I sure hope this film is at least decent, because I know how many of you people will be unable to keep yourselves from watching it even if you know in advance that it will be an agonizing experience.
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Shawshank
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That's certainly true. I don't feel like this will make a great film, but God knows I'm going to go see it anyways.
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Jeff C.
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Yeah, it's tough to ignore a film based on your favorite novel. Even if it totally sucks, I can at least get a visual for how the scenes look (like the Battle Room) and the characters themselves.
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Nighthawk
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
...but the director worries me (Wolverine)...

I think the writing was more to blame in that movie than the director was.
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Orincoro
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Granted, the writing was truly awful, but I would hope a really exceptional director would find some way of elevating the material. And this is at least some proof that he doesn't have a lot of juice even if he knew that the writing sucked so much. If he tried to fix it, he failed, and either way, he directed a bad movie, and that's still his fault.
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Tuukka
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I would assume sure that Gavin Hood didn't get the gig because of Wolverine. He probably got it because he wrote and directed Tsotsi, a South-African film about street kids. The film won both the Oscar and Golden Globe for best foreign language film and got a lot of rave reviews.

Wolverine was a troubled production with a lot of studio meddling. A new director fresh off from a award-winning low budget movie won't have much power in a big tentpole film like Wolverine. That's just how it goes. According to reports Hood was very strong-minded, but often didn't get what he wanted.

Wolverine probably opened a lot of doors for him, and made Ender's Game possible. But I would judge his artistic talent on Tsotsi instead of Wolverine.

[ September 30, 2011, 10:05 AM: Message edited by: Tuukka ]

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Geraine
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And I'm too old for any of those roles... It would completely awesome if OSC had a say in casting to have a little contest for us hatrackers to get a role as an extra or something. I'd drive to California for a day for a chance to be in the film adaptation of my favorite film. [Smile]

My biggest hope is that Ender's Game does well in the box office, and spawns a TV series. There is so much material post EG that would make a really good series. I vote Nathan Fillion for adult Ender please.

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Jeff C.
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Lol everyone always votes for nathan fillion for everything. I love the dude's acting, but idk if he would be a good fit. He's more western/action, while Ender is more contemplative when he's older. Maybe someone who comes off wise and likable.
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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by Nighthawk:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
...but the director worries me (Wolverine)...

I think the writing was more to blame in that movie than the director was.
I agree with this. I thought the visual style and overall direction in Wolverinewas one of its few higher-ish points. The director has proven he has at least some chops because he wrote and directed an Academy Award winning film prior to being introduced to the Hollywood machine.
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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
Lol everyone always votes for nathan fillion for everything. I love the dude's acting, but idk if he would be a good fit. He's more western/action, while Ender is more contemplative when he's older. Maybe someone who comes off wise and likable.

He could pull off the intellectual. I mean, he needs to be a LITTLE gruff. I couldn't imagine someone like Neil Patrick Harris playing the part. Ender (to me at least) came across as a fit but normal looking middle aged man. I wouldn't pick someone like Jason Statham or Gerard Butler. Nathan Fillion just seems like he would be right in the middle.

Actually, maybe Mark Hamill would be good for the role. He hasn't had much work lately.

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Lyrhawn
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Most of Mark Hamill's work in the last couple decades has been in voice acting, where he's one of the bigger names.

But he's also done a little TV, some movies, and a lot of stage work.

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Vadon
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
Lol everyone always votes for nathan fillion for everything. I love the dude's acting, but idk if he would be a good fit. He's more western/action, while Ender is more contemplative when he's older. Maybe someone who comes off wise and likable.

He could pull off the intellectual. I mean, he needs to be a LITTLE gruff. I couldn't imagine someone like Neil Patrick Harris playing the part. Ender (to me at least) came across as a fit but normal looking middle aged man. I wouldn't pick someone like Jason Statham or Gerard Butler. Nathan Fillion just seems like he would be right in the middle.

Actually, maybe Mark Hamill would be good for the role. He hasn't had much work lately.

I love me some Mark Hamill. Then again, I love him for his voice work. Come to think of it, his villain voice could be a fun fit for Ender. I'm imagining how wonderful his speech for Marcão would sound.

Unfortunately, he's getting a little bit old. He might be a little too old to play grownup Ender.

Actually, on the subject of people with great voices, I love James Marster's work as Lex Luthor. I could see him being a pretty good adult Ender.

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millernumber1
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I think James Marsters is a brilliant choice for the older Ender.

Now, who would I want to see at older Val, or Jane, or older Petra (though if they do the sequels, there just might be enough of gaps in between that the actors could grow into the Shadow roles).

I think if they get to Xenocide, it'd be wonderful to see some Asian actors and actresses come out of the woodwork (same for Han Tzu, Alai, Bean, etc).

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Lyrhawn
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You're assuming they're going to do any of the later movies. I think it's tricky.

I'm not entirely sure how well the rest of the books would translate to the big screen. I think you'd end up with a lot of dialogue to explain what's going on or why it's happening any any particular point.

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Jeff C.
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If they ever make a Speaker film, I'd like to see the actress who plays Cortana from Halo take over the voice role. Cortana always reminded me a lot of Jane.
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Pepek
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I want Haley Joel Osment for Ender.

That can still happen, right?

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Jeff C.
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Lol isn't he like 17 now?
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AchillesHeel
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He is 23, my age actually.

Looking at his IMDB with this in mind I suddenly feel very lazy and unproductive.

Edit to add.
He must have learned from Mark Hamil that voice work is always better than acting on camera, he has been working steadily all these years.

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Anthonie
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quote:
Originally posted by Shawshank:
I don't feel like this will make a great film, but God knows I'm going to go see it anyways.

I'm hoping that somehow this won't be the case and it will be (a lot) better than expected. But, ditto, I'm gonna see it no matter what.

...probably even opening night.

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Jeff C.
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Yeah, voice work is pretty awesome it seems like. Didn't he do Kingdom Hearts? I'm pretty sure that was him.

Anyway, yes, no matter what, I'll be a total fanboy and see this film day 1. Even if Rotten Tomatoes scores it at 10%, which granted would be very unfortunate, but it still wouldn't stop me.

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millernumber1
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Hmmm. I hope they'd do them. I'm curious to know if people think the Ender or Shadow books would be more likely to get greenlit if Ender's Game were a success.

I am also curious to know if John Scalzi's "Old Man's War," a book clearly riffing off of Card and Heinlein's Starship Troopers, will make it to the screen before Ender's Game, given that it's been optioned, but Ender's Game is now apparently casting.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by millernumber1:
Hmmm. I hope they'd do them. I'm curious to know if people think the Ender or Shadow books would be more likely to get greenlit if Ender's Game were a success.

I'd put better odds on a high budget miniseries if the film is a blockbuster. If it's just middlin', then an "in name only" adaption of speaker, and the others with very little of the story intact. It's just not a good narrative for a film, or even a film series.

As for the shadow series, there isn't anything there that would translate to film. It would be a pointless mess.

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Lyrhawn
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The Shadow series could make for an interesting television show, especially if Ender's Game as a movie was successful and created a lot of buzz.

I think they'd have to modify it quite a bit, and parts of it would require a decent budget. But it could be interesting to see them try. It certainly wouldn't work as a movie.

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scifibum
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Casting an adult Ender is tricky. Ender wasn't supposed to look like much, as far as I gathered. It was the way he interacted, how much he could see and understand and predict about others, that made him special. But I don't think that's easy to portray.
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Orincoro
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The only production company I've seen capable of actually handling characters with that kind of depth, and with the patience to actually allow their complexity to resonate, is HBO. I'm thinking at the moment of the federal agent character in Boardwalk Empire- that's a character that the series has actually allowed to develop over an inordinately long period. Any series about Ender Wiggin would need that kind of patience to develop the character (let alone introduce and grow the other characters).

I think unlike a lot of other networks, HBO doesn't come out of the box with: "Here's what this character is all about," and then have to go back and totally change that character later to justify further development. They actually allow the characters to be rather unimpressive for a while, until we get to know them, as they are acted. That's not something the other networks are willing to do, in my experience.

I've often thought HBO would have a home run with an Enderverse series. They could jump off from a film (hell, they could produce the film), and develop a number of related miniseries around different books. It's the best way I could imagine of producing any of that material as film.

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Lyrhawn
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The only problem I have with them is that their seasons are too short.
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Teshi
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quote:
The screenwriters are top notch (Fringe, Alias, new Star Trek, Watchmen, MI III, etc), but the director worries me (Wolverine). I'm crossing my fingers for a limited number of re-writes and minimal producer interference in the script.
While I'll admit these aren't bottom of the Barrel writing experiences, they certainly weren't what I would call "top notch". All of them struggled to write good characters and some of them (Star Trek) had ginormous plot issues. Ultimately, I regard these as mindless action. Sure, you can make Ender's Game a mindless action movie, but I think it would be better with something a little other than that.
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Shawshank
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At the very least, Fringe is nowhere close to be mindless action. It's one of the better shows on TV today.
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millernumber1
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Awww. I think the Shadow books are great. You'd probably have to switch a lot of perspectives to make it visually coherent, but I think there really is a great "unify the world/kill the evil psycho/teen romance" thing going. Certainly just as comprehensible as I found Game of Thrones (well, more so, since I thought that was a dull, twisted, pointless mess...but I'm clearly in a tiny minority there...)
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
The only problem I have with them is that their seasons are too short.

It's the only way they could possibly afford to do the quality of work they do.
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Jeff C.
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You guys are forgetting AMC. Breaking Bad, the Walking Dead, and Mad Men have been critically acclaimed over and over again because of their amazing character driven stories and acting talents. I would rather see AMC take the helm on this kind of show than HBO.

Of course, this is all working on the unlikely possibility that this movie ends up a huge success, which probably won't.

We should really just count ourselves lucky if this thing actually makes it to the screen at all. If that happens, I'll be pretty happy.

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Orincoro
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AMC has good writing, but most of the writers are themselves HBO alums.

Also, it's just simple economics. AMC budgets under $3 Million for each episode of Mad Men. The budget for a single episode of Boardwalk Empire ranges as high as six times more. HBO has more distribution, more viewership, and more income than AMC. Though AMC does good work, you'll notice if you watch carefully, that the production values are often streamlined to save a lot of money without sacrificing quality. Many episodes never leave the confines of the sound stages, extras are used very sparingly, main characters are tacit for entire episodes, and there are virtually no establishing shots used in a majority of episodes. That works really well with the genre and the time period (shooting it *like* a 60's show makes it *feel* like a 60's show), but that kind of cheat wouldn't extend to a show based on Ender's Game. There would have be a fair amount of breadth to the scenery. If you were shooting Speaker as a miniseries, for instance, a large walk-through set would need to be constructed of Milagre, and part of the forest. Ship scenes and other off-planet scenes could be sound-staged, but without a walk-through set, it would be difficult to sell the location as a faraway planet.

Mad Men accomplishes their setting through reference to 60's style television and film, so that the world of Mad Men looks like the world that films and television might have been portraying in 1960, if it were actually real. The show feels like the 60's not because it's actually realistic, but because it looks like the reality that 1960's television was trying to portray- Mad Men's verisimilitude is a trick- it applies the character focus and story realism expected by a modern audience, to the aesthetics of an audience of 50 years ago. You couldn't do that trick with Ender's Game- at least, not the same *exact* trick.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
The only problem I have with them is that their seasons are too short.

It's the only way they could possibly afford to do the quality of work they do.
On something like Game of Thrones though, it really does limit the storytelling. The imagery is nothing short of stunning, but they have to compress the story so much that for people who haven't read the book, a lot of it simply doesn't make a lot of sense. I leave out the stuff you don't need to know to know what's going on, because they're two different things at that point, a show and a book. But I've talked to a lot of people who never read it who think it's awesome, but a little non-sensical. Much of what made the books good books is missing from the show, which portrays some of the sexier, dramatic elements of the show but robs it of a lot of its complexity and power.

When readers of GoT complain that there are too many plot twists and sex scenes, I counter that yes, there's that, but it also has some of the best character development ever, and the complexity and richness of the characters is off the scale. I sort of lose that argument with the show, and they might have had more time to do stuff like that if they spent an extra few episodes a season, or, if they tried to simply cover less ground with each episode.

Most of the Ender/Shadow series is pretty cerebral. If you change it to only being about political machinations and things blowing up, it'll probably make a great HBO show, but then you're robbing a lot of its power. (admittedly, this is far more a facet of Ender's story than Bean's, since Bean's is far more political).

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Orincoro
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But I think you could tell each book in a series of 8-10 episodes handily, for the speaker series. Actually, I'd make speaker 10 episodes, and Xenocide only around 8. The shadow series could be done in about 3 seasons, also 8-10 each. That's a lot of space for the story. A 24 episode run would be a disaster for that material.
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Teshi
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quote:
At the very least, Fringe is nowhere close to be mindless action. It's one of the better shows on TV today.
Well, I'm watching season 2 at the moment (having skipped season 1), and while it's not as bad as the unwatchable first episode, I still have issues with some of the characters (what is Peter LIKE other than an enabling character for his father?) and also with the over-emphasis of important or foreshadowing information in the dialogue.
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Lyrhawn
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With John Noble in the cast, I don't know how you avoid that problem.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
[QUOTE] and also with the over-emphasis of important or foreshadowing information in the dialogue.

On a related note, I now consider "foreshadowing" to be almost a code word for hack writing. I think for me, the realization occurred during the first viewing of "Lost," and was reinforced by the aborted and execrable run of "Flash Forward," that a hack writer can cram so much "loaded" dialogue related to so many unknown elements of possible future storylines, that he may soon forget which piece of information has actually been important. The whole working scheme of Lost seemed to be to foreshadow 10 things and reveal 5, giving the writers plenty to choose from in later revelations. And the result is zero satisfaction, because the revelations, and the foreshadowing, are all nonsense.

And here's a positive example for comparison: in its 5 seasons, The Wire never telegraphed a *single* foreshadowed plot point in my recollection. They established truths about characters, let those characters demonstrate how they behaved, and then allowed them to interact. If a character was in conflict with someone, his past might come up- but then, it might not. If there was an unresolved tension with a character, it was only resolved *if* the character was ready to face down the problem. If not, it shifted to the background, just like in real life- so that when a plot point was unresolved, you feel the lack of resolution as a part of the story. You sympathize with there being no easy solution.

But half to time when I watch series TV, especially more plot driven shows, I get the feeling that "intrigue" is the watchword for the writers. Not "character," and not "truth."

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