Oh, . He's well-known for so many reasons: He's a brilliant writer who created one of the classic sci-fi novels in Ender's Game. He's an award-winning novelist who has won such prestigious awards as the Hugo and Nebula in his lifetime. And he's also a raging homophobe who sits on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, one who has actively campaigned against gay rights to the insane point he has said that any government that attempts to make legal gay marriage he would consider his "mortal enemy" and "will act to destroy that government and bring it down."
So, you know. Completely balanced and rational there.
But hey, as it turns out, most people in our society don't share his views anymore, and in fact, they find them pretty offensive. In March, Card's partnership with DC Comics for the new Adventures of Superman series was put on hold due to the level of backlash received regarding his stances on homosexuality and religion.
Next in the line of fire is the adaptation of Ender's Game, due to hit theaters in November. Summit Entertainment is already backing way off including Card in any sort of promotional events and publicity tours for the film, and have completely dropped him from appearing as part of the film panel at SDCC, which is normally a regular publicity stop for authors.
But things have gotten even more serious in recent days, with LGBT group Geeks OUT! proposing a boycott of the film entirely, which, considering their affiliation, is understandable. Card finally responded to the controversy with a written statement:
'Ender's Game' is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984.
With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state.
Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.
Orson Scott Card
I'm not going to air my personal views on his statement here (not that they're not already fairly obvious), but suffice it to say, it will be interesting to see how this film fares in theaters. The movie hadn't seemed to be generating a lot of excitement about it even before the backlash regarding Card started. This uproar certainly won't help matters, especially considering the current political and social climate of the U.S.
It also seems that, judging from the synopsis of the movie, they're turning this into a straight sci-fi/battle film and removing much of the psychological aspects of the story concerning the ramifications of recruiting children to be child soldiers and trained killers, the darker leanings that made it such a ground-breaking novel:
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 (), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff () and the International Military are training only the best young minds to find the future Mazer.
Ender Wiggin (), a shy but strategically brilliant boy, is recruited to join the elite. Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult challenges and simulations, 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.
Granted, it's always hard to get the full scope of a film from the synopsis alone, but I suspect the studio will do the same thing with this film that they did with the tragically-botched movie adaptation of The Golden Compass, in which the more complex, adult, controversial aspects of the novel were completely stripped from the film and watered down to cater to a younger, broader audience.
What I'm saying, at the end of this ramble, is that I'm just not sure how this movie will be received by audiences, or even the audience it's trying to reach. We're usually able to gauge with a fair amount of accuracy how a film will be received by both critics and audiences here at Moviepilot, and none of us have the pulse on this one.
Here's the trailer so you can judge for yourself:
What do you think? Are you looking forward to this film? Did you even know it was being released? Or does this not really spark your nerd fires? And how do you feel about the boycott being staged? Let us know.
Ender's Game is being released on November 1st.
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