Under the Radar

Is 'Ender's Game' a Military Classic?


Orson Scott Card's 1985 Hugo Award-winning novel Ender's Game has a reputation as a military favorite: it's allegedly suggested (possibly required) reading in Marine and Navy officer training courses. The book has stayed in print for almost thirty years and spawned eleven sequels.

Card long insisted on being directly involved in the development of any movies based on the novels and little progress was made until X-Men Origins: Wolverine director was hired to write a script and direct a movie.  Both the novel and movie highlight the military training of young Ender Wiggin as Earth prepares to defend against a third invasion from alien insect creatures.


That movie, starring Asa Butterfield (the kid from Hugo) as Ender and Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham, opens  in the U.S. on November 1st. Harrison Ford shows as Colonel Graff, looking like an ancient version of Han Solo.

So, a beloved science fiction novel with a built-in military audience gets made into a big-budget movie starring a guy from Star Wars. Everyone's excited, right? Unfortunately for the cast and crew of Ender's Game, Card writes a lot and keeps a high profile online. Apparently no one involved with the movie can convince him to keep a low profile: in August, he published  a 3,000-word essay that compared President Obama to Hitler. That amped up the controversy about his long-held views against gay marriage and now a big chunk of the movie's potential audience is trying to organize a boycott and Harrison Ford is getting asked about a guy he's most likely never met.

The trailer looks promising. Maybe the studio can send Card on a vacation to a remote Pacific island for a few weeks and everyone will get a chance to focus on the movie.

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