Orson Scott Card himself has seemed to have some problems with turning Ender’s Game into a motion picture, but considering how some other properties were treated, this really should not be held against him. The latest version of his screenplay adaptations hit desks at the Warner Brother’s headquarters building in May 2003. Well, at least it was the latest version at that time. D.B. Weiss and David Benioff were then assigned to work on a new script, and they were told to work with the director Wolfgang Petersen. If one were to fast forward four years, they would find that Card then wrote another script, and that script was based on none of the preexisting versions.
Petersen then left the project, and it seems that Card again bumped heads with studio management. In 2009, Odd Lot Entertainment began to assemble a production team, though this was only after Card completed a script for them. In April 2011, Digital Domain and Summit Entertainment picked up the film for distribution. However, it then seemed that Gavin Hood was left in charge, so the current situation of the actual script material is extremely complicated.
At this point, one might be curious as to whether the Ender’s Shadow retelling of the original Ender’s Game plotline has influenced the numerous rewrite. It is also important to remember that Marvel ran a limited series of comic book adaptations as well. With various versions of the material floating around before a script was even written, it isn’t hard to see why some writers might be confused. Still, since the movie is apparently based on Ender’s Game, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to shift around events.
Linda McDonough and Gigi Pritzker are the principal producers for the project, and both of these individuals are from Odd Lot Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, from K/O Paper Products, should be receiving co-production credits. Another co-producer named Lynn Hendee represents Chartoff Productions, and it also seems that Orson Scott Card will receive a production credit himself. It would be something of a tragedy if he did not, but depending on how much the film’s script is tampered with, there might be reasons to not associate oneself with it.
The release date was stated to be March 15, 2013. At least, that was what was announced in October 2011, but slating releases so far in the future is like asking to have the dates moved. November 2011 saw Asa Butterfield get cast as Ender Wiggin. He played Norman in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, as well as a vital role in the emotional film The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. He might also have gained a deal of credibility from the recent release of Hugo.
Nevertheless, there is one thing that seems to suggest that the project is not promising. The software development for the Ender’s Game: Battle Room video game was put on hiatus in December 2010. This is perhaps most concerning because Chair Entertainment, who was behind the game, had a relationship with Orson Scott Card ever since he bought the novel rights to Empire from them. This might suggest that some of the ties that bond Card to other forms of entertainment are breaking down, but this is hopefully not the case.
On one hand, some of the comments regarding the young generation of actors who would eventually star in Ender’s Game are promising. They suggest that it could have the young and exciting vibe that it needs. On the other hand, they also are a bit reminiscent of the comments that surrounded M. Night Shyamalan’s adaptation of the Last Airbender. Considering what that turned into, it might make sense if Orson Scott Card ended up not wanting to receive that co-production credit after all. It would truly be a shame if anyone ruined what could be considered one of the greatest science fiction novels of the modern era.