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Ender and Graff

So now that Entertainment Weekly has pushed out the exclusive first look at Ender’s Game, much of the world that wasn’t aware that this movie is in the can and ready to come out in about 11 months is now aware and with that has come what I think some of my fellow fansite admins have been dreading along with me: people immediately declaring against the film because of author Orson Scott Card.

When I first read Ender’s Game, I was probably 11 or 12 years old. I was in the sixth grade. It was around 1991 and my parents eagerly shoved it into my hands, wanting me to read their favorite book and come back to them and talk about this fascinating little boy Ender.

I couldn’t help it, I was hooked. I loved Ender. He was a savior, a soldier, and unbeatable yet kind, vulnerable, and ever so small. Reading the book again earlier this year I couldn’t help but look over at my six year old son and imagine what it must have been like for Mrs. Wiggin, to live in a world where your third child is “requisitioned” and can be taken away at a moment’s notice with hardly any time to prepare.

My household didn’t get internet until 1996, so the idea of the nets that Valentine and Peter built their reputations on seemed very high tech science fiction to my little tween brain. It also meant that I had no idea who Orson Scott Card was other than an intimidating name on a book cover I’d come to love so much.

Now that I’m firmly plugged into the internet, it’s been a little rough to find out more about the real man behind the Battle School because my own beliefs really don’t line up with his. Back when I started this site last year, when I first heard about Alex Kurtzmann and Bob Orci taking it on, I had to pause a minute. Did I want to do this? Did I want to create a site dedicated to a movie based on a book written by a man very vocal in the media about his anti-gay and political sentiments? In the end, it came back to Ender Wiggin.

I couldn’t deny how much I loved this character Card had created. I couldn’t shake off the excitement I felt 20 years ago reading about kids my age responsible for the fate of the Earth, written so well that they felt real. It’s rare nowadays for me to latch on to characters in a similar way; a sure sign of a great character writer.

And so today, over a year after I started this site and over six months after I visited the set in New Orleans, I felt saddened by the comments that began popping up on EW.

I hope it tanks. OSC is an asshat.

Scott Card is a serious homophobe.  Pass.

That bigot won’t be getting any of my money.

Saddened because after spending a whole day with the people behind the movie, without Orson Scott Card in sight, I found them all to be really, truly nice people just as passionate about the book as the people they’d invited onto their set. We met members of the cast and even parents of the cast. I don’t know what their personal beliefs are, but they’re entitled to them, just as I’m entitled to mine and Card is entitled to his. I certainly don’t think any of these kids deserves to be treated as though they’re Orson Scott Card himself.

So that’s been a fear in the back of my mind for a while. Is this movie going to crash and burn because of its author? Will people protest the premiere? I don’t really know. I certainly hope not.

To wish for this movie’s failure is to wish a failure upon not just Card, but on a huge cast of young actors and a crew of hundreds. Sure, it’s Card’s story, but in my humble opinion, the movie “belongs” to those who made it. Their performances will make or break this movie and that’s what we should be examining come next November.

So while the opinions of Orson Scott Card may not match my own, I’ll continue to support this film, its cast, and its crew.

I support Ender Wiggin.

Related posts:

  • http://www.facebook.com/ally.holmesky Ally Holmes

    Good point to be made. I support Ender Wiggin.

  • Adam Sidwell

    I think the story stands on its own. Besides, some polls indicate that over half of America supports OSC’s views. Millions of Americans sit through movies with agendas that mock their own beliefs all the time. They seem open minded enough to refrain from calling those directors/writer “asshats.” Are we saying that only people who voted for Obama or support same sex marriage are allowed to make movies?

    • Valentine

      A really great point, especially coming after the election in the US.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wprice Will Price

    It’s called the Internet. For every sane person there are 100 complete morons. People who don’t respect OSC for simple and reasoned opinions are to be ignored. Remember there are massive unions protesting the Hobbit in New Zealand because of some crazy labor power grab there. There is always going to be some fringe group wanting to get attention. The key is to stop giving it to them and delete/ignore their comments to keep things pleasant for everyone.

    • Valentine

      While I understand the internet for what it is, my fear is more that a LOT of people will feel this way and they’re just not vocal about it. They’ll simply just tell people they know what they’d be “supporting” by going to see this movie, which I don’t necessarily think is the case since OSC would have been paid for the rights long ago. Unless he made it a stipulation that he get a portion of the box office income.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.g.johnson.75 Brian G Johnson

    I think people get themselves wrapped around other peoples beliefs and opinions way too much. Just because he doesn’t agree with same sex marriage, doesn’t mean that boycotting his book or movie will make a difference in Mr. Card’s opinion. If Ender’s Game was about anti-gay movement and pushing for it, then I can understand a protest’s and boycotting. For those that have read the book and enjoyed it, does the book become bad if you support gay marriage and find out the author does not? I am personally against gay marriage, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop enjoying Harry Potter just because Dumbledore is gay. People need to grow up, because this sounds like childish behavior to me because the door swings both ways in a matter of opinions.

    • Valentine

      I admit I was a bit nervous writing this piece because it’s pretty controversial, but in the end I’m glad I got to air it out. It’s nice to hear that others feel the same way, that just because we believe different things that we can’t enjoy something.

  • Kristoffer Fortune

    Personally, I know nothing about you and I believe you have a good head on your shoulders. I know you might not have the same beliefs that Card’s has nor approve on the ranting of a mad man. The same could be said for L. Ron Hubert, Adolf Hitler or Kirk Cameron ( just to say a few). But, unlike L. Ron, Card’s is alive and well and will still be preaching his misguided ways. On top of that he could be earning a greater monetary return if this movie is successful and he can donate his revenue to other organizations that spread hate.

    Now lets get away from Card’s for the time being and lets go to the book. I read the book(s) and well, hated it. I can defend myself( though I hope I don’t have to) in the several reasons on why the novel(s) is terrible. I also believe that all the books is where incapable to stand on their own merits, and it achievements are because of some seed trickery that most don’t know about. Which I’d love to humor, but not at this time. But I will say this, it has something to do with Scientology. (SPOILERS)

    Now, to the movie. When looking at this film as a writer, I can see some issues that can arise that could very well be the killer for this movie. The biggest one is the fact that this book was rewritten in the 80′s and it is being adapted for 2013. three decades have passed and things have changed greatly. Some of these changes made the book to movie irrelevant. So, no matter how much work goes into this film, you can not get passed the fact that is it outdated.

    Who is this film for? Some would say the fans, and you would be wrong. This film is for the mainstream audience. They have more money then the fans and it is the mainstream audience that will make this film either a blockbuster hit or a cult classic. So, as a fan (which I am not), I would be very worried that some one like Card’s has done damage for the should be blockbuster. This is why Lion’s Gate is on the defensive and omitting that Card’s has anything to do with this movie.

    Can the cast pull this book adaption off? and did the writers make up for any short comings that the book had? Time will tell. Like I tell anyone when it comes to a book to movie, there is very little that the actor can bring to the table. Movies like these rely generally on the writers. If the adaption is bad then what chance do the best actor in the business have in bringing what the fan envision and hope to see to life. The same can be said for the directors.

    Which, now, brings me to the boycott. This is something that has to be one of the biggest event, since the Russian Olympic boycott plead. If this has a factor in the views in the movie, which I highly doubt it will, then this will be a history making event for the film industry. This will tarnish every possible book to movie adaption in the future. Not only will they (Hollywood) have to second guess the storytelling but, they will have to check the baggage of the author, their point of view’s and if they are still alive. Though, I would guess that this is the case of is the story that compelling for the mainstream audience? Because these are the ones that have not read the book and again have the cash flow. Is the story strong enough to bring them in and watch events unfold. That is the real concern and should be the focus of the fans who want this to be a success, so that the other books will come to life on screen.

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