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Card: Movie is the Adventure Version of Ender’s Game

Ender's Game author Orson Scott Card gave an extensive interview (of epic length) to The New Zealand Listener, where he talks about various aspects of his work, his screenwriting attempts and of course the upcoming feature film.

If you want to read the entire interview -- he is also talking politics, his controversial essays, the Mormon church, Xenocide and Children Of The Mind -- head over to the New Zealand Listener, as I will focus here on the movie part. Just one interesting tidbit. Card says: "I have an arrangement with Tor [U.S. publisher] that they will accept Aaron Johnston [Card's co-writer on the Ender's Game prequel trilogy] as the writer of any of my books. [...] I trust Aaron to know how to flesh them out."

I'll leave the following passages uncommented, which means what you want to read between the lines is entirely up to you (if anything):

Card on Mazer Rackham and the casting of Sir Ben Kingsley
It was 30 years ago. I do know I was making a conscious effort to get rid of the old "Americans in space" attitude in sci-fi, and to make the IF and Battle School look like the world population as a whole. Since I was already locked in with the name Mazer Rackham from the short story, I sought a way to make the character non-white. New Zealand was a place where intermarriage could put an English name on a mixed-race character. Add to that a lifelong sympathy with Polynesians (although not Maoris in particular) because we had Samoan friends when I was young, and it seems a natural progression.

Ben Kingsley is a superb actor, but in looks and build he is obviously not remotely Maori in appearance. Clearly that was not a consideration in casting, but since I was not involved in that process I can't speak for the thinking that went into that decision. I can say he gives a very good performance, and I hope Maori will forgive the ignorance or unconcern that led to this slight to the very good Maori actors who were available.
Card on Book Elements That Have Been Cut for the Movie
Readers who are disappointed at elements of the book that are not in the movie should keep in mind: my own scripts also cut sharply, because filming the entire novel would have taken about six hours. Huge swaths of material had to be omitted, and the movie actually includes elements from the book that I removed!
Card on Ender's Game, the Film
Certainly, there is no trace of any of my scripts in the Gavin Hood script that was filmed. Hood gave the executives what they were looking for: a script that used elements of the original story within a format that followed the film-school rules that, although they don't actually work, give executives in Hollywood a warm sense of recognition.

Within those paradigms, the film Ender's Game has been shaped into a tight, fast, hard-hitting film that rockets along at a breakneck pace — the adventure version of Ender's Game. It is an excellent film of that type; it is, in fact, about as good a job of filming Ender's Game as anyone could have expected Hollywood to achieve.
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