Ender News staff members Kelly and Aidan had the opportunity to sit down with Ender's Game director Gavin Hood, producer Roberto Orci, and lead actors Hailee Steinfeld and Asa Butterfield, and talk for 30 minutes about those aspects of the movie that we thought were most interesting for all the fans. Also present at the meeting were our friends from Enderwiggin.net and Ender's Ansible.
I will intentionally leave out all the talk that I consider too spoilery, anything about Stilson or the shower scene, because even if you read the book multiple times, you want to see this in the theatre - believe me! We've learned a whole lot of new things in these 30 minutes which should be very interesting for all of you.
Director Gavin Hood said the editing work is about 95% done and the final cut will "probably be a little short of two hours" in length. When asked about possible sequels, Gavin confirmed that they've already talked about it, but wouldn't go into detail as the studio hasn't greenlighted any additional films from Ender's world at this point. As to be expected, the decision for or against a sequel depends on the first film's box office success, but there is definitely the chance for more than just one Ender's Game movie. Here's what Gavin had to say:
"This property is something that people wanted to make for a long time and didn't, couldn't, wouldn't... so everybody was a little bit shocked that we've actually made it. And now -- there might be a little bit more of shock in there, but shock in a good way -- the fans responded so well to what they saw. Which is right for me! So thank you, guys! [...] But the reason Bobby [Roberto Orci] is cautious [with talking about possible sequels to Ender's Game], and this is the boring business part of movies, is... there is a large amount of money at stake and we would need the approval of the studio to go ahead. The truth is, we just don't have the GO yet.What Parts Of The Book Will Make It On Screen?
[...] Until we get some serious decision whether we do it, what exactly are we doing for the sequel? We talked about it, but... we don't wanna talk about it because they haven't agreed yet. [Bob Orci:] They wanna see if folks like this one, if there's an appetite for more."
We learned from Gavin that the movie will strictly focus on Ender, which means that many of the side plots won't be as substantial as they are in the novel, or will be omitted entirely. If you have ever seen a movie based on a well-established literary work, you know that this approach is perfectly normal, necessary even to win over that part of the audience that is not familiar with the book.
Gavin elaborated that some actors intentionally avoid reading the book because
"their feeling was to engage in conversations about scenes that are not in the movie isn't helpful. They need to know that what's in the script, which is gonna be on screen, has sufficient weight and substance and merit to give them fully rounded characters in the movie. So there's a lot of actors who don't want to read [the] books."For Ender's Game this means that several of the supporting characters, including Bean and Ender's siblings Peter and Valentine, will play a smaller role in the movie than they do in the book:
We had to make a choice in this movie about what was gonna stay to fit into a two-hour movie and what we're gonna have to let go. And the main decision that we've made was that we would stick with Ender Wiggin and never do a scene without him. The only ones without him are a couple of scenes with Graff and Anderson where they talk about him, so that the audience was truly on Ender's journey in order to bond you visually and cinematically with this lead character and identify with him.Watch out for part two of this article where we will talk about the relationship between Ender and Petra in the movie. Including the hotly discussed topic if there is some kind of teen love story between them... will be posted in a few hours.
And so we haven't got a whole lot of ensemble pieces about Peter and Valentine together writing the blogs. That's what I'm gonna ask for forgiveness for. But also Bob and I thought that the blogging was so original in 1985, and it's not so original now, so it was the easiest part to shed with the least guilt. And so the only time you're gonna see Valentine and Peter is when they're interacting with Ender. Their roles are not that substantial, not as substantial as they were in the book.
Video clips and lots of photos coming soon!