Orson Scott Card’s seminal sci-fi novel Ender’s Game is finally going to make it to the silver screen. According to Deadline, Summit Entertainment is acquiring the U.S. film rights to the novel, with Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) set to direct and write the script.
A film adaptation for Ender’s Game has been in the works since the rights were purchased by Warner Bros. in 2002. Apparently, their movie version of the novel was to be directed by Wolfgang Petersen (Troy), but due to complications the project fizzled and Odd Lot Entertainment stepped in. They hired Hood, and will be producing the film along with power production team Roberto Orci/Alex Kurtzman (Transformers, Star Trek).
Summit may be looking for another young adult film franchise, now that their darling Twilight Saga is coming to an end. Though the potential audience for an Ender’s Game movie franchise is miles apart from the world of obsessive Twi-hards. First, Ender’s Game is not a romance. It’s a hard sci-fi novel about a group of brilliant children who are manipulated and used by the military to help battle Earth’s greatest enemy, an insectoid alien race about which little is known. Secondly, though Ender’s Game has sequels, it’s not as cohesive a story as the Twilight series. Each book is more a stand-alone tale.
The story in Ender’s Game is clever and simple, but presents some great social commentary and emotional punch. Set in a future where humanity is under the threat of extinction due to multiple wars with the hive-minded “Buggers,” there’s a great sense of desperation. The government is recruiting bright children and sending them to a battle school that has them playing war games and pits them against each other in battle simulations that become increasingly difficult.
Card’s novel is a nouveau classic, and has a rabid and loyal fan base that will not accept any film adaptation that is not absolutely true to the story, and has effectively realized the futuristic special effects necessary to portray key scenes/concepts of the book. Luckily, word has it that Card will be very involved in the project. As a fan myself, I can’t imagine a film version capturing the magic and brilliance of what is my favorite sci fi novel. And if it’s bad, I might have to kill someone (I told you, rabid fan base).
Ender’s Game will go into production early next year.