For anyone who has been keeping an eye on the progress of the big screen adaptation of Ender’s Game, you’ll probably be aware of the controversy which hit the project earlier in the year. Equality groups called for a boycott of the movie, because of the book’s author Orson Scott Card’s right-wing views. What does the cast think of the débâcle?
Well, they raise a very valid point. They make the point that although Orson Scott Card’s views of equality are not favourable for a lot of groups like GLAAD, the book itself, which he wrote back in the 1980s, does not reflect this point of view. Therefore the film doesn’t either.
“When I read the book when I was 12, the book contains nothing of that controversy, and still does not. And certainly neither does the movie, so oddly enough the movie is about compassion and empathy, and is a response in a sense to the controversy itself,” said producer Roberto Orci.
Sir Ben Kingsley admitted to Total Film that while he was made aware of the backlash, his entire vision of the film was from the screenplay and the people involved in the process of making the movie. Therefore he doesn’t have an informed understanding of the issue. Which is fair enough. He may have looked back at the source material but there was no need to look up the author’s biography.
The film’s South African director Gavin Hood put it nicely: “Art is separate from its creator.”
In other words, just because the author has strong opinions, doesn’t mean the people working from their material share the same views. And it would seem that no one involved in the film holds such intolerant opinions. Even the young stars Asa Butterfield and Hailee Steinfeld are fairly baffled by the entire issue.
“The authors views are obviously something we don’t agree with,” Asa said. “We all agree with equal rights for everyone, and the film and book are different mediums.”
The critics seem to agree there’s nothing to worry about. Will you be watching it?