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If you’re into science fiction, you probably know that Orson Scott Card’s novel, Ender’s Game, has a movie adaptation coming out in November. For those who are hearing about this for the first time, Ender’s Game was first published as a short story in Analog Science Fiction and Fact 1977. Card later re-worked the story into novel form, and it was first published as a book in 1985. The novel—and it’s many sequels—have found millions of readers in the last 28 years, and many studios have clamored for the rights to make the movie. Card refused to release them until recently.
Before you write off either the book or the movie, Ender’s Game is truly science fiction for people who don’t think they like sci-fi. I can say that with confidence, because a few weeks ago, that was me.
I checked the audiobook out of my library as research for this post. Within a half-hour of narration, I was finding housework to do, offering to take the dogs on their end-of-the-night walk instead of making my husband do it, and blowing out my hair instead of letting it dry wavy. While a little of my love for the book had to do with the narration (who doesn’t love a deep, sexy male voice in their ear while they wash dishes?), most of it was the story. I fell in love…which might be a little disturbing since Ender (the main character of the novel) is between the ages of 6 and 11 for most of the book.
Just as I was getting my thoughts together to write this post, Bekah emailed me that another Becca was interested in co-writing. Since I’m a huge dork, I was so excited to talk to someone else about this book/coming movie and sent her some interview questions:
Me: What made you pick up this book?
Becca: I was browsing the local used book store and found myself (on purpose) in the sci-fi section and saw a whole shelf of these Ender’s Game books. The description on the back cover sounded interesting and Ender’s Game cost a little more than the rest of the books in that section AND there are like, 15 sequels. Expensive = better, right?
Me: What is the scene you’re most excited to see in the movie version?
Becca: I’m excited about all of it, but I’ll narrow it down;
Me: What do you think there’s the biggest chance the movie makers will screw up?
Becca: The biggest concern I have for this movie—and the reason it hasn’t been made thus far, I think—is the age factor. Ender is supposed to be 11 when he enters battle school, he faces life and death situations. It’s a war story and the situations aren’t subtle. What makes this story work is that Ender is unique… he handles this situation in spite of being a child, or is it because he *is* a child?? Either way, if the actors can’t convince the audience that they are still pliable, young minds, it’ll loose something in the translation.
Me: Which actors fit your mental picture of the characters? Which seem all wrong?
Becca: Asa Butterfield will be a great Ender, not 100% how I pictured Ender (I thought he had blond hair?)
Abigail Breslin as Valentine- I gotta be honest: no, this one isn’t right. I wanted Elle Fanning for this one.
Harrison Ford as Hyrum Graff- He can carry this one off, as long as he doesn’t flash that Han Solo grin at the wrong parts!. Also, if he’ll have the smallest amount of the beginnings of a spare tire, that’d be awesome because in later books, he’s fat.
Hailee Steinfeld as Petra-I am SO excited about this one! I have been waiting to see her in something again since True Grit. This girl has chops. She is perfect for Petra too, pretty to look at, but one tough cookie.
Aramis Knight as Bean- Team Bean! It’ll be a thing. This kid is a cutie.
Ben Kingsley is Mazer Rackham??!! YES.
Me: How many crazy Twilight fans do you think will fly to Phoenix and go to a bunch of the showings in the off-chance that Stephenie Meyer will go to one of the showings they pick?
Becca: Stephenie will def be seeing this movie!!
Me: I know, that’s why I think Phoenix will get a few crazies opening weekend.
Me: Could you see any influences Ender’s Game had on The Host?
Becca: Wanderer didn’t belong to either the humans or the aliens, she was alone. She saw what needed to be done and could sacrifice for those she loved/the greater good. Ender is the same way, Ender was chosen for battle school and had no choice, and after that he was always alone. Separated from family and forced to be a loner, he has to make choices for those he loves/greater good.
Me: Good point. I also thought that—in some ways—The Host was a reverse situation from Ender’s Game, because in Steph’s book, the bugger war had taken place on earth, and the buggers had already won.
After our conversations, I would love to go to this movie with Becca, because she’s still the only person who I’ve been able to geek out with and talk to about it. (The problem with this idea is that I have no idea where she lives because she’s an internet friend…and it’s crazy to drive/fly to another city to go to a movie with someone you’ve met through a blog. So I’ll probably just make my husband read the book.)
If we’ve convinced you that you NEED to see this movie and you’d like to read the book—unspoiled— beforehand, a quick note: DON’T go doing internet research about the movie until you’ve read it. People assume that if a book’s 28-years-old, you know the plot points.
A final word from Becca: You’ve got the whole summer to pick this book up, do it!
Have you read The Ender’s Game? Looking forward to the movie? Check out the Trailer for the upcoming November, 2013 release: