There’s some interesting new stuff out for director Gavin Hood‘s (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) adaptation of Orson Scott Card‘s Nebula and Hugo award-winning military sci-fi novel Ender’s Game. We’ve got a new production still, some battle group logos and a look at some possible, make that probable controversy over the authors personal anti-gay rights views.
Let’s start with the easy fun stuff. Here’s the latest production still from the set of Ender’s Game, the mess hall.
We get a good look at Asa Butterfield on the right as Ender Wiggin, a first look at Hailee Steinfeld on the left as Petra Arkanian, Khylin Rhambo as Dink Meeker on the right side of the table next to Ender, and Moises Arias as Bonzo Madrid at the end of the table on the left.
Next up are the Battle Group Logos. These are the symbols used by the armies of the Battle School war games.
It’s an interesting look at some of the design work that goes into a production like this. CosPlayers will be taking careful notes for their Ender’s CosPlay costumes that we’re sure to see in the months to come at conventions everywhere.
The hiring of Orson Scott Card to write the first issue of Adventures of Superman, (Which only debuts in digital form, but is planned to appear in a collected edition in May) has become a lightning rod of controversy over at DC Comics because of Card’s well-known, highly vocal, anti-gay rights position. It sparked a petition to protest his hiring along with several comic book stores announcing they won’t carry the issues. DC Comics published this response:
“As content creators we steadfastly support freedom of expression, however the personal views of individuals associated with DC Comics are just that — personal views — and not those of the company itself.”
The question here is: Will the Card-Superman protest and boycott demonstrations carry over to Ender’s Game. There’s over $110 million invested in the production of Ender’s Game so far and the old Hollywood Celebrity saying, “Any publicity is good publicity” just doesn’t wash anymore in this age of Social Media Networking.
The Hollywood Reporter looked at this rather tricky marketing and publicity issue and said:
Now Summit faces the tricky task of figuring out how to handle Card’s involvement. The first big challenge will be whether to include him in July’s San Diego Comic-Con program. Promoting Ender’s Game without Card would be like trying to promote the first Harry Potter movie without J.K. Rowling. But having Card appear in the main ballroom in front of 6,500 fans could prove a liability if he’s forced to tackle the issue head-on during the Q&A session.
“I don’t think you take him to any fanboy event,” says one studio executive. “This will definitely take away from their creative and their property.” Another executive sums up the general consensus: “Keep him out of the limelight as much as possible.”
Ender’s insiders already are distancing themselves from the 61-year-old author. “Orson’s politics are not reflective of the moviemakers,” says one person involved in the film. “We’re adapting a work, not a person. The work will stand on its own.”
Don’t forget that Marvel faced a similar issue when one of Guardians of the Galaxy writer James Gunn‘s past online rants was dragged back from the past and into the scrutinizing light of the Internet. Gunn quickly apologized in a letter to GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), the situation cooled down, and Gunn remained on the project.
Something as simple as a sincere apology isn’t going to work with Card though, his long-held, and prolific public statements about his beliefs won’t allow that. The problem for Summit is separating Card’s beliefs and public statements from Ender’s Game the movie. That’s a tough sell with Card listed as one of the movie’s producers.
Asa Butterfield,(Hugo), Harrison Ford (You know what movies he’s done), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), Sir Ben Kingsley (Who recently starred with Butterfield in Hugo), Brendan Meyer, Abigail Breslin, Aramis Knight (Rendition), Moises Arias, Jimmy “Jax” Pinchak (Let Me In), Suraj Parthasarathy, Conor Carroll, Khylin Rhambo, Viola Davis, Nonso Anozie (The Grey), Stevie Ray Dallimore (Joyful Noise), Andrea Powell (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2) round out the cast in Ender’s Game which is due in theaters on November 1st.
In the near future, a hostile alien race (called the Formics) have attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander, Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training only the best young children to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy, but strategically brilliant boy is pulled out of his school to join the elite.
Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult war games, distinguishing himself and winning respect amongst his peers. Ender is soon ordained by Graff as the military’s next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, he’s trained by Mazer Rackham, himself, to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race.