Ender’s Game written by Orson Scott Card has long been heralded as one of the most important and innovative science fiction books ever written. Possibly only Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, and H.G. Wells can claim more recognition as science fiction authors, and maybe a few more, but certainly none of the group has ever faced such insurmountable backlash as Orson Scott Card is currently facing as his most enduring work Ender’s Game has been made into a blockbuster movie starring Harrison Ford.
The problems surrounding the transformation of this particular book into a major motion picture have been occurring for decades. The first major issue was the fact that it had been deemed by several major studios as an impossible movie to film based on the level of technology within the novel. The virtual reality simulations and gigantic battles just seemed to daunting a task to film. Studios did not want to take the risk of the special effects turning out cheeky, and not living up to the images created by the readers.
Another reason is that a large portion of the novel takes place in the mind of the main character, Ender. Without spoiling any specific details of the novel or movie, the significant impact of the work is derived from his own mental struggles in regards to the human condition. Other elements such as confidence and the ability to make very painstakingly difficult decisions are also at the forefront. When this is all occurring on an internally subconscious level within the narrator it becomes tremendously difficult to film; especially when the scope of this movie is that of an interstellar blockbuster and not an artistic and slow paced noir piece.
All of these difficulties aside, the film was finally made and with a motion picture legend in Harrison Ford to boot. The major problem now is the film’s association with the author of the original novel, Orson Scott Card. Card has taken it upon himself to become a spoke person against gay rights and a boastful promoter of homophobia. He has released an amount of hateful anti-homosexual literature akin to the level of a figure comparable to that of Adolf Hitler. Whether or not the level of severity matches up with such a tyrant is inconsequential, because he has now forever defined himself as a bigot and has thoroughly damaged forevermore the public’s perception of his creative genius and mental prowess, which has now come under terrific scrutiny.
Since Orson Scott Card began being so outspoken about these particular issues, which when taking his particular stance many would agree should not be publicly shared in the first place, the makers of the film version of Ender’s Game have done absolutely everything possible to distant themselves from Card. In the movie trailer it states, “Based on the worldwide bestseller,” but there is no mention whatsoever of Orson Scott Card. Also due to the threat of boycott, Card will not be receiving any royalties whatsoever from the box office earnings of the film. Groups that were going to previously boycott the movie are now urging their supporters to boycott the original novel. Why Orson decided to define himself as a figure of hate and ignorance has puzzled millions, and it is a shame that now many people will never read one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written. Hopefully the movie has captured enough the books magnificence to stand alone.
By: Michael Blain