Friday, October 06, 2006

The Latest News

It's October, and there was hope that Ender fans would have some news on the movie by now. Director Wolfgang Petersen had said back in May that he had hoped to start work on his next project by September. Petersen hasn't announced that he's starting work on his next project yet, so at least there's hope that it will be the EG movie.

On Philotic there's word that Orson Scott Card is working on a second draft to his latest script. At least the Ender's Game movie is still a high priority at Warner Bros. But if WB doesn't like this draft of the script, they'll call in more scriptdoctors.

Hopefully there will be more substancial news soon.

12 Comments:

At 8:55 PM, Blogger ozzymandiaz said...

Dear Moderator, If you would consider posting this as a frontpage item inviting feedback, I would be very grateful. I would also truly appreciate your input on the idea.

Has anyone involved in the production of Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" seriously proposed the possibility of producing the book as a full-length CGI film?

Wouldn't that eliminate concerns about many basic troublesome elements of recreating the novel: Casting, the Battle Room, the Game, and the script, among other things?

Especially, wouldn't CGI allow for the creation of a movie that is faithful to the book and to our imaginations?

1) Recent successes -- with "Polar Express," the CGI medium allowed that team to produce what would have been an impossible movie to make in live action, and the "acting" and voice work were fantastic. Similarly, "Final Fantasy: Spirits Within," though crippled by a weak, hard-to-follow plot, had production values that were top of the line, though ultimately too expensive - at the time, audiences weren't ready to accept a full CGI movie and the animation didn't make up for the third-rate story. On the other hand, "Final Fantasy: Advent Children" is also a beautiful movie, and, though it's plot may be hard to follow for people who aren't die-hard fans, it's still enjoyable. The success of other full-CGI movies (generally, children's comedies) is unquestionable.

2) Casting -- perhaps the the biggest obstacle facing Ender's Game is finding a large cast of young (in some cases VERY young) actors of many races who can portray a depth that many adult actors lack. Also, the passage of time in the movie will be impossible to portray in live action.
- Through CGI, it would be possible to recreate the characters at their exact ages in the books, and the age/time progression would be a matter of aging the character design - simple to portray, and, more importantly, they could fit the author's description of the characters in all cases, child & adult (i.e. the young and old, half-Maori Mazer, a fattening Colonel Graff, the tiny (but growing) Bean, and Ender's racially diverse Jeesh).
- Like "Polar Express," a handful of adult actors, through motion capture, could provide the facial expressions and movements for dozens of child characters whose voices would be provided by children. This would drastically increase the dramatic value of the movie. The characters of Ender and Bean alone require Oscar-worthy performances.

3) The Battle Room -- with Hollywood technology, it's probably possible, but wholly impractical, to recreate the Battle Room as OSC intended (refer to the aerobatics in the recent "Peter Pan" movie, "Matrix Revolutions," etc). However, in the case of the Battle Room, we're talking about putting dozens of child actors on the flying rigs which would have to be integrated with CGI shots anyway.
- Full CGI would give complete freedom of movement to the characters.
- There would be no risk involved to actors (eliminating insurance and other concerns).
- There would be no need for expensive stunt equipment or the necessary staff.
- OSC has said many times, the idea of "Ender's Game" was born in the Battle Room. It is absolutely necessary to recreate the Battle Room as imagined by OSC and all his fans. Without satisfactory Battle Room sequences, the "Ender's Game" movie is "Star Wars" without lightsabers.

4) The Game -- we can assume that a lot of the final game sequence is going to be produced in CG anyway. Beyond that, the movie will be filled with hundreds of effects shots - the futuristic earth, space ships, Battle School, Eros, the Bugger Invasions, etc. Setting out with a full CGI mindset will give animators a much broader canvas for creating these sequences (it would also re-open the possibly of Ender's meeting with the Hive Queen, among other elements sacrificed in live-action).

5) Rating -- yes, "Ender's Game" IS a violent book. A movie that sticks faithfully to the book would be R-Rated (what censor is going to gladly accept a movie that depicts children hurting - and killing - each other violently?). CGI, while it would still depict violence, might lessen, to a degree, the SENSE of violence (between computer animated characters).

6) Budget -- certainly, CGI would create new costs and challenges in production, but it would free up substantially more money saved on casting, location, set construction, rigs, insurance, and the other massive amounts of money that go into making a live action movie, from just feeding the actors and crew to housing them and jetting them between sets. The amount of time necessary to produced the movie would also be drastically reduced.

7) Scripts -- the movie adaptation has already been through half a dozen forms. Press releases and OSC's statements indicate that it has been necessary to eliminate many aspects of the book because of the limits of producing a live-action movie. Of course, the novel is going to be changed in the transition from page to film, but CGI would lessen the pain of it.


What all of this boils down to is giving the producers, director, scriptwriters, and OSC the ability to faithfully recreate the book. The handicap of any SF movie and any book made into a movie is that you have to recreate the universe. A book as popular as Ender's Game, demands a faithful production or even the fans will turn on it. CGI will give the crew the opportunity they need to produce a fantastic movie.

A director with live-action like Wolfgang Petersen may shy away from scrapping the model that has worked for him for so long. But in "Polar Express," Robert Zemeckis found a beautiful book, recognized the limits of making it in live-action, ditched the real world, and created a CGI movie than puts his previous (and unfortunately, subsequent) movies to shame.

For a director like Petersen, CGI will not limit his ability but will give him the chance to really express himself. It will given Orson Scott Card the chance to see his novel as he sees it in his mind's eye. It will give fans the chance to view a movie that is faithful to the book.

I feel this is possible. I believe it will give us the movie we all want to see. Depending on the response to this and other posts at other sites, I would like to submit this proposal to Mr. Card and Mr. Petersen, including a petition from fans who want to see "Ender's Game" realized as it was always meant to be.

A Faithful Fan,
J. Drake

Please feel free to e-mail me, ozzymandiaz@aol.com.

 
At 1:56 PM, Blogger albert said...

This is my first time using this site, but when i searched google for any new ender series books, a result came up about the movie. When i read the link i emedialty became excited. Ender's Game is my favorite book of all time. I have read all the ender series books, and am currently finishing up shadow puppets. When i first read enders game back in 7th, or maybe it was 8th grade (i am now 17 years old and am a senior in high school) i fell in love with the book. I had always thought bout someone creating a movie out of this book, but as Mr. Drake had said (or from what i read) it will be difficult to create a movie out of this. But that does not mean that it should not still be in process and should be given up on. I am ancious to here the latest news about this movie, so if you would like please email me at lilbigballa101@yahoo.com. Thank you.

Enormous Fan
A. Tsatryan

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger No Hassle Loans said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8:34 PM, Blogger tom said...

They should use Freddie Highmore from august rush would be perfect, quit thinking about has beens that are eighteen years old.
from LOcke

 
At 10:45 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

news??

 
At 5:00 AM, Blogger Jodina said...

I recently re-read "Ender's Game" knowing that the movie was coming out soon, and I have to say that I was picturing the story in live action the whole time...and thinking how successful it could be that way.

There have been several movies recently that involve child actors and do it well--as a matter of fact it is the quality of the children's acting and the excellent match of their natural characters to the roles they are in that carries the movie well.

I think with CGI this important aspect would be lost.

I am thinking particularly of the children in "Narnia" and the latest addition to the Harry Potter saga, the character of Luna Lovegood. It's hard to imagine the beautiful subtleties and overtones of her character coming through in CGI--and those kind of overtones and depth of character (in the children) is what will make Ender's game either moving and outstanding or instantly forgettable.

Speaking of Harry Potter--has anyone else noticed how much the Ender's Game actually has in common with Harry Potter?

I noticed it when I was re-reading Ender's Game, and started counting the ways, beginning with the positioning of the main characters as "boys pre-destined from before birth to future greatness"...and it just gets more interesting from there...

--Jodina
jodina@wordpress.com

 
At 7:53 AM, Blogger Darth Petra, Hegemon of Gondor said...

I've read this book one and a half times. It's awesome. There is no way a movie could be as good as the book.

 
At 12:38 AM, Blogger Raven said...

Book Is awesome











 
At 2:42 PM, Blogger VulcanNeutrino said...

Orson, I’m almost totally convinced you’re going to fuck up the storey when you turn it into a movie. This is one of my fav books that I have read numerous times since I was about the age of Ender. Like most fans, I feel that the story got a little too out of control after the first book. If I can offer any advice, that would be to stick to the story, it’s a good one. No hive queen BS. Go as far as the end of the world and, since it’s the end of the world, that’s where the end should be… Maybe my expectations are a little too high, but I hope that this movie isn’t for kids, otherwise it’ll be stupid, not to mention embarrassing for fans like to explain what the story really is about… So don’t back down on the part of an interfering conscience. We expect the worst; tortured squirrels, stone dead children, the blood of warfare, and the loss of innocence.

 
At 5:05 PM, Blogger Saintjives said...

It's a whole year since the last update? What happened?

We really need to start a posting campaign and put some pressure on the studio. After all, it got Star Trek back on the screen!

 
At 5:50 PM, Blogger sadsadasdsdgf said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
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