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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Grist for the Mill » hmm...thought there'd be more hoopla... (Page 1)

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Author Topic: hmm...thought there'd be more hoopla...
billawaboy
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I just heard Ender's Game script got greenlighted with Asa Butterfield as Ender and Harrison Ford as Graff. Gavin Hood to direct. Expected release 2013.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118047827.html?cmpid=RSS|News|LatestNews

Did I miss the pandemonium? No running through the streets screaming? No high-fives? No fist-bumps? No groans?

I know it's not writing related...but, geez, not a peep from anyone...

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aspirit
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I thought everyone knew about the movie and the casting of Butterfield as Ender, but...wow, the movie will be full of big names, won't it? That makes me a little nervous. Viewers will carry in their memories of other characters into the movie. Oh, well. I try not to judge a movie before I at least watch the trailer.
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JenniferHicks
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I like Harrison Ford, but I think he's miscast as Graff. I would have rather seen him as Mazer Rackham. As for Asa Butterfield, all I've seen are photos (I haven't seen "Hugo" yet) and he does look about what I always imagined Ender would look like.

The cast also includes Abigail Breslin as Valentine and Hailee Stansfeld as Petra.

I'm not doing any fist-bumping yet. Ender's Game has been one of my favorite books since I was 10. I'm anxious about a movie version because I'm afraid they'll mess it up.

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Crystal Stevens
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I agree with you, Jennifer. Too many times I've seen the movies totally ruin how the book was written. I sure hope they do it well.
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Corin224
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Wow . . . I thought the news had already been made.

Yeah, I actually like Ford as Graff . . . exactly what I pictured, and Ben Kingsley as Rackham is what I'd heard and is spectacular.

Oh, and Hailee Stanfield (the girl from True Grit) is Petra Arkanian.

And don't worry too much about how bad the movie might be. It appears Card's a producer, so while he's not making ALL the decisions, he's providing a LOT of input.

I've been posting updates on my Facebook daily . . . figured there was similar happening around here, and I just wasn't looking closely enough.

Good stuff happening. Spectacular casting, if you ask me.

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Treamayne
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quote:
Originally posted by Crystal Stevens:
I agree with you, Jennifer. Too many times I've seen the movies totally ruin how the book was written. I sure hope they do it well.

Not to mention I'm fairly sure this isn't the first time Ender's been greenlighted - though it's never seen completion yet.

There was one line in that article that really scared me:

"Set in Earth's utopian future, "Ender's Game" stars "

uhhh....Utopian? I never got that from the book.

In the end I'll do like I do with all movie adaptations, expect the worst and hope for the best.

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Brendan
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Asa Butterfield is how I imagined Bean, not Ender. Is there someone cast for Bean yet? That is perhaps (behind Ender and Graf) the third most important case member.

Abigail Breslin as Valentine is similar to how I imagined Valentine, but Petra I always thought had harder lines in her face than Hailee Stansfeld (Carrie-Anne Moss style). As for Jimmy Pinchak as Peter, he's got the psychotic look - perhaps too much - but does he have the super intelligent look that is really needed to carry Peter off?

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Corin224
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Here's the latest casting news that I've seen. Looks like they kept the racial variety in the cast, like the book. This is the first I've seen of most of these. Can't wait to pick through the casting.

Shooting starts after the first of the year, and the release date is March 2013. It's pretty solid, and definitely not a false start this time.

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Corin224
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I LOVE Aramis Knight as bean. Looks the part, though I can't remember him IN anything.
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JenniferHicks
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Thanks, Corin. That's a more extensive cast list than I've seen anywhere else. I had no idea that so many of the Battle School kids had been cast.
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Treamayne
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IMDB Lists Ben Kingsley as Mazer too. Interesting.

It also looks like they are increasing the ages of the cast. The actor playing Ender is 14 now, and Bean is 12. Wonder if they'll accelerate the timeline to keep the same actors for all stages of the movie (since EG is a few years from when Ender leaves for Battleshool until he finishes the war - and aging/regressing young actors is much harder then adults) or if they'll find even younger people to play the earlier parts of the roles?

[ December 23, 2011, 06:56 PM: Message edited by: Treamayne ]

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EVOC
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The problem is a movie can never capture what a book can. So to expect a movie to be as good as a book is a tall order. I have seen a few come close, but generally its hard to do.

Capturing thought and other moments from the book will be hard. So, those of us with some preconceived notions will disappointed.

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LDWriter2
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I thought it was ready to be shown. I saw the trailer a couple of months ago, which I mentioned in the TV and movies thread. I might be misremembering but I thought the release date was sometime next year.

Or there wasn't a release date. My memory seems to be a bit foggy on that point. As to how well they do.. I agree with Evoc and those who seem to be saying that they mess up a lot of books to movies but not all of them. So I don't know how well they will do... or have done.

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Treamayne
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Well, I am prepared to like both. Princess Bride makes a much better movie than book (one of the few where I like the movie better) but Jurassic Park, for example, was a good movie and a good book. Even if they were both good for different reasons. The trick will be accepting it on it's own merits and faults rather than just comparing to the book.

When I say expect the worst and hope for the best: the best is a live action rendition that retains the essense of the story, it's themes and the power that drove us to like it in print format. It can be different and accomplish this, I'd expect differences. The worst (to me) is when they do something like Jumper where the only thing unchanged is the title and the main character names. The whole of the original story is lost in the new "Hollywood vision."

In the latter case, I wouldn't mind so much if they changed the title and bi-lined it as "inspired from X book." That indicates to me, as a consumer, not to expect the same story. But, if you keep the same title and say it is "based on X book" I hope to at least get the essence of the same story.

Looking forward to it no matter the outcome, though.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Haven't seen HUGO yet, but just saw REAL STEEL, and I think that kid would be good as Ender. <shrug>

I'll just be happy to see the movie. (Watching REAL STEEL, I was once again impressed with what they can do in movies now. Special effects are an art form in and of themselves.)

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Robert Nowall
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I was a little surprised to read that they were casting...I thought it'd been held back until actors of the right juvenile age could be cast in the lead parts. (Not that I care much for Ender's Game...I like many other Card books but not that...when the Alvin Maker books come to the big screen, then I'll be interested.)

Of course, once the writer relinquishes his creation to the big screen, he loses what little grip on it he had to begin with. Once a movie's made, the new reader's visions of Ender's Game will be forever dominated by what they see in the media...

(Not that I'd be likely to go anyway...I'm not a big moviegoer, and my most recent movie-viewing was on TV / DVD, wading through The Lord of the Rings extended edition again, catching Tora! Tora! Tora! on DVD, and, yesterday, watching the end of Man Hunt. When the next Pixar or the new Hobbit is in theaters, I'll go.)

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Brendan
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I read that OSC is a producer on this project. If true, then he would have more control than a typical author.
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redux
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My biggest concern about this movie is the director Gavin Hood. I saw X-Men Origins: Wolverine and despite a good cast of actors the whole production felt uninspired.
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MartinV
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quote:
Originally posted by Corin224:
I LOVE Aramis Knight as bean. Looks the part, though I can't remember him IN anything.

Well, at least he looks like Greek with African ancestry. Meanwhile, Hailee Steinfeld doesn't strike me as an Armenian.

I think this is simply the industry's way of trying to come up with something that will replace the Harry Potter madness with something else. Ender and Bean have eight books combined so it can last at least as long as the Potter mania. Plus, it's American, not British. That should make Hollywood happy.

Edit: judging from the fact most of the actors are 15-year-olds, I think we can expect the romance element to enter a bit sooner than book 3.

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LDWriter2
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Martin you might be right but they have already tried to find the next Potter madness with Hunger Games and, as I have learned recently, "Daughter of Smoke and Bones" Or is it Bones and Smoke?
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Corin224
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Yeah, there's really no 'next Potter' at the moment. Hunger Games won't cut it, since it's decidedly NOT children's material, and IMHO, most of the Ender series is unfilmable. MAYBE Speaker, but it won't draw crowds like Potter.

And don't get too down on the casting 'til we see some production shots. Between makeup and voice coaching, nationality is something that can change drastically on film.

So far, much of what I'm seeing looks very positive, and as a practiced film fanboy, I've learned to be a bit skeptical. [Smile]

And remember, OSC talks rather passionately about making sure you have control when your film gets made if you care at all about it. His Producer title is NOT just a vanity title. He may not be doing the daily grind type of work, but you can rest assured he'll be helping make the important decisions everybody's so worried about.

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shimiqua
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I'm sorry.... Moises Arias as Bonzo?

Rico and Bonzo don't mix... I'll give him a chance, but anybody associated with Hannah Montana makes me nervous.

That is all.

I'm super excited for the movie though.

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redux
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I think "Eragon" and "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" were expected to rival the Potter movie franchise but they both fell by the wayside. I personally don't think "Ender" has the potential to be an explosive movie franchise like "Potter" or even "Twilight."

This is probably why I would be a failed movie producer.... but I would have James Cameron directing "Ender" using his 3D technology. I remember watching the start of "Avatar" when Sully wakes from cryo in zero-G and the camera orienting itself thinking - wow, that would work in "Ender's Game."

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MartinV
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quote:
Originally posted by Corin224:
And remember, OSC talks rather passionately about making sure you have control when your film gets made if you care at all about it. His Producer title is NOT just a vanity title.

OK, that's good to hear because in my fantasies I wanted to do that too in case any of my stories go that far but I thought I was pushing it.
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Corin224
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Well, MartinV, it's a great goal, but it's not a terribly realistic one. OSC also talks about the fact that holding out for that kind of control is a virtual guarantee your movie won't get made. You also have to make sure you know how to produce a movie well. He's spent a lot of time getting that knowledge, and he's still a relative newbie from what I understand. But he has a lot of pull, and he's worked in a lot of different media, so he's getting away with it.

The ONLY other writer I know of that's done this is Suzanne Collins. She wrote the screenplay for Hunger Games, and is an Executive Producer, but she's spent over a decade writing for Nickelodeon and getting TV shows out the door, so she's not a newbie to the industry.

I'm sure others have done it, and a lot of producers / directors have tried to go the 'writer' route, but it's not a common crossover.

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Treamayne
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Dean Koontz walked out on USA when they were making the TV movie of his Frankenstein book (The movie went ahead anyway with changes and was not very good as I recall). So, I guess he had input but when they wouldn't follow the story he made, he took his name off of it. I'm pretty sure JKR was very involved with all the Potter movies though - enough to insist they only cast from the UK.

I think Eragon and Percy Jackson could have been up there with the Potter films, if they had been done correctly. They weren't, though, so I doubt we'll see more of Eragon (though all 4 books were decent I thought) but book 2 (Sea of Monsters) of Percy is slated for film in 2013 I think.

Also, I hear Odd Thomas is coming to film too.

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LDWriter2
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This is TV but I'm kinda surprised the Jim Butcher was so involved with the TV Dresden Files after they changed it so much. It was a totally different story and character.

I thought I heard they were doing a second Eragon. Maybe they changed their minds.


Hmmm, you know there are Werewolf books and vampire but are they many books about Frankenstein... not counting remakes of the basic story. Green has various Frankenstein creations as a guest, in two of his series every so often but I don't recall any others.
Now that could make an interesting challenge.

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Corin224
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quote:
This is TV but I'm kinda surprised the Jim Butcher was so involved with the TV Dresden Files after they changed it so much.
Not just stayed involved, but was thrilled with a lot of the stuff they did. The interviews I saw with him, he was quite clear that it was, as you say, a different character and story, so he didn't feel like his books were threatened by it. He also acknowledged he didn't know enough about how to make a TV show to really second guess all of their decisions. And he admitted to being impressed with some of the changes they made in a "Damn, I wish I'd thought of that" kind of way.

THOSE are the type of writers studios like to work with. He'll definitely benefit from playing nice if he ever gets anything on screen in the future.

How many Dean Koontz books have you seen on screen?

(actually, that's a good question, 'cause I'm not sure I know the answer to that!)

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Treamayne
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Well, some of the changes in Dresden Files were out of necessity too. Such as changing Murphy's name from Karrin to Connie because IRL there is (was?) a Karen Murphy on CPD. The name had to change for legal issues.

And it looks like there have been 17 Koontz books adapted to Film - though how many he participated in and approved the final product is anyone's guess.

Anyway, back on topic. I had a thought - do you all think Ender will be geared to a young audience, teen audience or adult audience? If it is geared to a young audience, do you think the fights and outcomes with Stillson and Bonzo will change much?

V/R

AT

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Tiergan
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I think teen to adult. I think while the leads are all young, to do the movie right it has to have all the violent elements in it to get the movie right. And if they hold back, the movie will lack the impact of the book.
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Corin224
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Yeah, the whole point of the story is Ender's choice to be not just violent, but ruthless, when it matters. He fights the fight once, and it's for all the chips. You absolutely can't hold back on those scenes with Stilson or Bonzo.

This is definitely a teen to adult movie. Gearing it any younger will be a mistake, IMHO.

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shimiqua
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My favorite children's book is, 'The Wolves in the Walls' by Neil Gaiman. I think we forget that children love to be scared.

Think of all the fairy tales, or monsters in books that are considered creatures from children's stories.

This is probably off-topic, but I think you can gear a book or movie to children and have characters die.

How wussy are we trying to make our children anyway?

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Robert Nowall
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Look at it this way, if an Ender's Game movie is a succes, it'll breed sequels and sell more books---but, like I said above, the writer's further influence over the characters will be severed. But if the movie is a failure---say, like nearly every movie made from a Stephen King book, either artistic or at the box office---it'll still impact sales and such, and Card's control over Ender and Company will still be lost...
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JenniferHicks
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quote:
Look at it this way, if an Ender's Game movie is a succes, it'll breed sequels and sell more books---but, like I said above, the writer's further influence over the characters will be severed.
Playing devil's advocate ...

Ender's Game has become a classic in its own right, not dependent on a movie version. Twenty-five years after its debut, it's still consistently in Tor's top 10 best-sellers. The most current Tor list I can find has it at No. 1. And Card has three more novels in the Top 20 there, including two Ender books. I don't think he's in any danger of losing fans or sales if the movie isn't a critical or box-office hit.

I also don't think Card will lose control of his characters. Yes, new readers will be influenced by what they see on the screen. That certainly happened with me when I read "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" after knowing who had been cast in the American movie version. In my mind's eye, Blomkvist is Daniel Craig.

But Card has written 12 books in that universe, another one to be published next month, and at least one more in the works. The mythology and characters have a long history that runs much deeper than one movie adaptation. I said earlier up this thread that I'm anxious the movie will not "get it right." But whether it does or not will not stop me from reading the books. They're a different animal. Maybe I'm flattering the general public for thinking most of them must realize that, but I don't think I am.

Edited to add another (long) thought: After all I just said, it occurs to me that really, writers lose control over how their characters are interpreted the moment the novel hits the shelves. Each and every reader interprets what they read in a slightly different way. How I see Ender is mostly likely not the same as how the next random person sees him. I'll admit that a movie does give some "legitimacy" to one interpretation, which is a conglomeration of the script and what the actor and director do with it. But it's still only one interpretation out of the millions that have already been formed by readers worldwide. How I see Ender, Bean, Petra, Peter, etc. won't be changed by how they're portrayed on the screen.

I've probably put way too much thought into this.

[ December 31, 2011, 06:23 PM: Message edited by: JenniferHicks ]

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redux
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
But if the movie is a failure---say, like nearly every movie made from a Stephen King book...

Do you mean failure as in not being good interpretations of the books or failing at the box office? Since I would say that the majority of movies based on a book or short story by Stephen King have been fairly successful at least in becoming part of the pop culture. But I do readily admit that many of the movies have been quite liberal in their interpretation of the original source.
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LDWriter2
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I agree with Jennifer. Failure of the movie will not harm OSC all that much.

I don't know the ratings but from what I heard the first couple Lord Of The Rings movies were duds and I don't think it harmed the sell of the books.

Of course that last make of LOTR it is powerful. I wouldn't mind seeing them again.

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Corin224
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Yeah, anybody see Starship Troopers? Spectacular book, I wanna puke every time I think about my senses being violated by that piece of junk they called the movie version of it. I still love the book and re-read it often.

You make a REAL movie version of it, one that's powerful and that captures people, and THAT'S the one they'll remember. Like the LOTR movies, and like Ender's Game.

If it sucks, people will forget about it and move on, and decades later they might try again, or they might not. But either way, the books will always be some of the best sci-fi ever.

The movie can't hurt that.

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EVOC
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I like Starship Troopers the movie, but in its own way. Of course the book is way better.

The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption are two great movies. But, I haven't read one thing by Stephen King so I have nothing to compare it.

I have high hopes for Ender's Game, and if it does well enough for sequels that would be great. If they ruin it, I will curse, yell scream, throw a fit then probably forget all about it. But fingers crossed we all love it (something tells me that will be the real debate).

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LDWriter2
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Oh, yes Starship Troopers is another movie that was bad in one sense but didn't seem to harm the book or writer. Of course kinda hard to harm Heinlein now but he still has a rep. And he of course couldn't assist with the movie.


I hope they don't do to Enders what they did to Starship and take just one small section of the book to run with. I'm not sure if we can tell for sure from the trailer but I don't think they did that.

Or did what they did to "Battlefield: Earth" I never saw that movie but I hear-from a few sources- it was not good.

But some books Hollywood has done a good job with. With Dresden Files I wouldn't minded a few changes if that was all and the same with this movie.

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aspirit
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Battlefied: Earth the movie was a much closer adaptation of the novel than the Starships Troopers movie was to Heinlein's novel of the same name. The dominant themes and overall tone of the Starship Troopers novel were completely different than those of the movie.

I think some major changes for the Ender's Game movie could work well. I once read that Card had written a psychiatrist into one of his movie scripts to give someone for Ender to emote with. I'd rather have a new character than an Ender who comes across through the whole movie as coldly distant from other people.

Anyway, the Ender's Game movie will probably change reader's perceptions, but I doubt it can damage the original novel's popularity. Even atrocious movies like The Last Airbender seemed to have intensified the source material's popularity.

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Corin224
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quote:
I'm not sure if we can tell for sure from the trailer but I don't think they did that.
There's a trailer? Not sure how that can be when they haven't started shooting yet. I've seen a bunch, but they're mostly fan-made, nothing official.

Tho, I have been wrong before. Got a link to it somewhere? If it is legit, I'd love to see it!

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Robert Nowall
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Never had the courage to watch Starship Troopers...though, honestly, it's not one of my favorite Heinleins to begin with.

As for losing control of the characters...take, say, the movie saga of Sherlock Holmes, from the recent Robert Downey Junior one back beyond Basil Rathbone. Some were faithful adaptations, some weren't, some used little more than the names...and, really, do any of you think the Robert Downey Junior ones have anything to do with the characters and stories written and created by Arthur Conan Doyle beyond the names? (I've only seen bits and pieces, and maybe there's more faithful stuff lurking in there somewhere---but, from what I've seen, I doubt it.)

That could be the fate of Ender's Game---maybe all the more so if it's successful.

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EVOC
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
As for losing control of the characters...take, say, the movie saga of Sherlock Holmes, from the recent Robert Downey Junior one back beyond Basil Rathbone. Some were faithful adaptations, some weren't, some used little more than the names...and, really, do any of you think the Robert Downey Junior ones have anything to do with the characters and stories written and created by Arthur Conan Doyle beyond the names? (I've only seen bits and pieces, and maybe there's more faithful stuff lurking in there somewhere---but, from what I've seen, I doubt it.

I think the James Bond Movies are another good example. Some are good adaptations of the books, others are nothing more then Characters.
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JenniferHicks
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
As for losing control of the characters...take, say, the movie saga of Sherlock Holmes, from the recent Robert Downey Junior one back beyond Basil Rathbone. Some were faithful adaptations, some weren't, some used little more than the names...and, really, do any of you think the Robert Downey Junior ones have anything to do with the characters and stories written and created by Arthur Conan Doyle beyond the names?

Ah, I see what you're saying. Funny, I've had that same complaint about the Robert Downey Jr. adaptations. They're good, fun movies, but they're not Sherlock Holmes. Same problem I had with the Russell Crowe Robin Hood movie: good movie, but he wasn't playing Robin Hood. Both of those characters are in the public domain and their creators dead and unable to protest the mangling. I would hope with OSC acting as a producer, he won't let something like that happen.
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LDWriter2
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As to the trailer

I found it while exploring the home page for Hatrack River -- there's a lot to this site.
http://www.hatrack.com/index.shtml

You have to scroll down all the way to the bottom. But on the way you're see that his novels are being adapted in all kinds of ways. Games, Graphic books, and a couple I wasn't sure if they were other movies, games or what. And that a new Ender book will be out this month.


As to Sherlock Holmes with Downey Jr. I didn't see the first one- I love Holmes, I think it's time I read them again--because it diverted too much from the original but I've heard the second is closer to the original premise.

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MartinV
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quote:
Originally posted by LDWriter2:
I thought I heard they were doing a second Eragon. Maybe they changed their minds.

Don't get me wrong but the only thing that made the Eragon movie memorable was the kinky torture treatment Sienna Guillory gets from Robert Carlyle. Never thought I would see that in a PG movie...

I like the Sherlock Holmes movies with Robert Downey Jr. but then I like pretty much everything directed by Guy Ritchie.

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redux
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FYI - that trailer is a fan made trailer. It's not the official movie trailer.
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aspirit
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quote:
really, do any of you think the Robert Downey Junior ones have anything to do with the characters and stories written and created by Arthur Conan Doyle beyond the names?
I've yet to read the Doyle's stories or see older Sherlock Holmes shows, but I have friends who are fans of the stories and other friends who are fans of the shows. Those who know Holmes only from TV don't seem to like the recent movies much, but the readers say the movies are more faithful adaptations than what they've seen before.

I've seen and enjoyed the movies that star Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, and saw many (if not all) of the characteristics described in the Wikipedia article for Doyle's Holmes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes

People will carry their own expectations into a movie theater that don't have to do with the source material. Opinions about the actors, director, and producers will bias the viewers before the opening credits roll, just as marketing and pop culture references to the source material will.

I was hoping for no-names for most of the Ender's Game cast so that viewers (particularly those who haven't read the novel) will watch the movie for more than how the characters compare to the actors' previous characters. Some directors know how to handle pre-conceptions well, though.

Anyway, like kdw, I think we should all be happy a movie is finally being made.

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redux
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I've read several of Sir Arthur's Sherlock Holmes stories and in my humblest opinion Downey and Law are no Sherlock and Watson. The screenwriters simply used enough "character tags" to make them sufficiently recognizable.

I personally found the Guy Ritchie film boring and uninspired - much more interested in flashy fight choreography than actual detective work.

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Robert Nowall
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To cite another example...in the books, Tarzan was articulate and literate, an Oxford man if my memory serves, a man who taught himself to read English before he could speak it...but even before the sound era and Johnny Weismuller, once Edgar Rice Burroughs let the movies have Tarzan, his creation was down to "me Tarzan, you Jane." The damage was done.

I understand J. D. Salinger was so distressed by the movie made from one of his short stories---the title escapes me---that he never again sold any of his work for adaptation, so there's never been a "Catcher in the Rye" movie. (Then again, Salinger didn't need the money a quickie movie would have brought in---once his books became texts for the school curriculum, his sales were guaranteed to be high.)

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