But the elements of threat and fear are a very important part of the story, so it would be terrible if we got to see a movie that is toned down too much, just for the benefit of potentially reaching a wider audience. Just think about that famous shower scene with Bonzo Madrid, everyone is eager to see how they transferred it to the big screen...
Business Insider's Kelly West discussed this subject last night with Ender's Game director Gavin Hood, and here's what he had to say about the handling of violence in the movie:
I think that all those elements of bullying, which is a great theme in the world right now, and how kids deal with being bullied, which we know is so powerful in the book, that's in the movie. But what I try to do as a filmmaker in terms of handling questions of violence, is I don't believe in showing violence for violence's sake and repetitive violence.
For me, what I have found is an act of violence can be so sudden, what's more interesting is the aftermath. And so, our movie is not, I hope, in any way, really violent. I don't want it to be a violent film, but the effect of the moment of violence on the psyche of the protagonist and the people around him is profound as it is in the book. It has to be, and so those key scenes in the book - Bonzo in the shower are absolutely in the movie, and they shock in their suddenness, but they are not in any way indulgent.
I'm not interested in showing blood flying around the room or any of, none of that. What's more important is to see how these young character handle it and that's why I think it's an important film.
As a parent, I want my kids to go to a movie and not be spoken down to, deal with difficult themes, but be able to talk about it, not celebrate that, just talk about it.