Orson Scott Card: 'As It Was Written, 'Ender's Game' Is Unadaptable'
"Ender's Game" is out in theaters today.
It's taken a long 28 years for Orson Scott Card's sci-fi flick about children fighting an alien war to come to theaters.
Even tougher than getting "Ender's Game" on screen — nearly six versions of the script have been written — is getting a hold of Card for an interview.
So it was a big surprise to see he gave a lengthy interview to Wired Magazine.
In it he discusses everything from problems with filming battleroom sequences, the Challenger explosion, to being a Mormon, and working on a sequel.
Other than the sequel news, most interesting is Card has to say about the film adaptation of his classic 1985 young adult series — that it was never meant to be made into a movie.
An excerpt from Wired:
As it’s written, Ender’s Game is unadaptable. The book takes place entirely inside Ender’s head. If you don’t know what Ender is thinking, he’s just an incredibly violent little kid and not terribly interesting. You have to find ways to externalize what he’s thinking. But he can’t be the kind of person who explains himself to other people. That would weaken him.
With all my scripts, if you had read Ender’s Game you would say, wow, he nailed it. But if you hadn’t read the book, then you would have no idea what all the fuss was about.
I finally wrote a script that worked for people who had never read the book, and it was a buddy-movie approach—bringing the character of Bean, Ender’s friend and sidekick, to the front and making him a foil, somebody Ender can talk to as an equal. That was proof of concept.
For what it's worth, Card is completely right. It seems like an extremely tough book to adapt.
How are you supposed to showcase someone's thoughts on the big screen? The book doesn't only take place primarily in Ender's head, but from other character's perspectives as well.
The Lionsgate Summit film cost $110 million to make and is expected to make around $30 million opening weekend.
Watch a preview for "Ender's Game" below:
You need to make changes that make sense then while still staying true to the source material.
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