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New Orson Scott Card Book Could Act as 'Ender's Game' Sequel Now

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November 4, 2013

Ender's Game

While box office analysts don't think the performance of Ender's Game this past weekend was enough to warrant a new franchise. But there's still a chance that a sequel could happen. However, if it does, don't expect the film series to follow the same chronology as the Orson Scott Card book series. Without getting into spoilers (we'll do that below), the book sequel Speaker for the Dead takes place thousands of years later. That doesn't mean all of the surviving characters from the original film are dead though, because the particulars of space travel mean Ender is only 35 in the sequel. But a new book may give us a new direction.

**Beware of spoilers for Ender's Game from here on out**

At the end of Ender's Game, the young commander is tricked into running through a simulation of a pre-emptive war with the Formic planet, but in reality, Ender is actually unknowingly put in command of the International Fleet and destroys the entire planet, committing intergalactic genocide. However, on a nearby Formic outpost that the fleet has taken over, Ender discovers one remaining queen alien, and one surviving larvae, opting to leave the fleet and find them a new home. The book sequel follows Ender at 35 after leaving behind his warrior status. Here's the official synopsis:

In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.

Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening…again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery…and the truth.

SlashFilm calls the book sequel, "political, philosophical, and interested in science — it’s hard core sci-fi." Supposedly novels like Ender in Exile fill in some of the gaps following Ender's Game. However, Orson Scott Card recently announced a new series of young adult books that continue the timeline of Ender's Game, but without the title character. The first book is called Fleet School, and Card says, "It’s about what happens to Battle School after the International Fleet loses its purpose of war. It becomes what is called Fleet School and it prepares kids to be commanders, explorers in the colonies that are going to be forming." Director Gavin Hood is aware of this fact and when asked about sequels, he told Hero Complex:

"It’s a great question, but I think it’s such a difficult one to answer, because the sequel “Speaker for the Dead” takes place 30 years after, so we’re in an interesting place. I think we have to hope that audiences respond to the film… And Orson is apparently writing something that’s more of a direct follow called ["Fleet School"]. Obviously, from the studio’s point of view, they’d almost certainly want to move the characters from this film into the next journey. So it may be that “Speaker for the Dead” is not the sequel now."

However, at the time, Hood wasn't necessarily optimistic about a sequel saying:

"But to be perfectly honest, I don’t think we can count our sequels before they hatch. We’ve got a complicated film here. I hope that it does two things. I hope that it gives the audiences the visual excitement that they want from a big movie, but it does have the challenge of asking questions that films of this kind don’t usually ask. And we’ll have to see whether audiences embrace that. Most big popcorn movies are bad guy does something to good guy, good guy gets revenge on bad guy, sets the world right and moves on. And 'Ender’s Game' is just not that simple, so it’s an exciting challenge. It’s a little terrifying, and let’s see how audiences respond. I hope they respond well so we can keep doing films that are not just goodies versus baddies."

Aside from the box office analysts naysaying, the bigger issue here is that author Orson Scott Card has some activist groups on his back because of his personal anti-gay sentiments and beliefs (which Lionsgate denounced). That might stop some of these young adult novels from getting traction, and it could very well keep a sequel based on those books from moving forward. Honestly, as it stands, I like the way Ender's Game concluded, and I don't think a sequel is necessary. These young adult novels feel like pandering, and following a sequel without Asa Butterfield as Ender just doesn't sound all that enticing. Thoughts?

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  • Tim
    "has some activist groups on his back because of his personal anti-gay sentiments and beliefs " That is an intentional misstatement of the reason the movie was boycotted.
    • Please, elaborate...
      • Tim
        Card has chosen to use his influence and personal wealth to hold back civil rights. That goes way beyond "sentiments and beliefs." Also, he does not have "some activist groups on his back." A well-reasoned boycott of this movie was called for by Geeks Out to bring attention to Card's actions and to allow equality-minded people to decide if they want to fund his type of activism.
        • Okay, first of all, to say that my statement is an "intentional misstatement" is not only accusatory, it's patently false. Secondly, saying that Card's action go beyond "sentiments and beliefs" is merely a heightening of what I factually pointed out. His actions stem from his sentiments and beliefs. Finally, the boycott itself came from "some activist groups" and not the entire world. In addition, the film was wrongly boycotted anyway because Card is not getting any money from the box office: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/10/enders-game-movie-profits-wont-go-orson-scott-card/71136/ If people really want to boycott Card and his insane stances on equality, then don't buy his books, plain and simple.
          • VAharleywitch
            We also can avoid seeing sequels in this 'verse, since Card WILL see some of that money vs the original rights deal for Ender's Game. Which was a decent movie that I quite liked in & of itself. I only saw it legally once I could confirm that he was getting little to no money from ticket sales.
          • Tim
            Boycotts never come from the entire world, they are always called for by a group or groups. Other than Geeks Out, what groups are you referring to? There is a big difference between saying "I don't agree with gay marriage" and serving on the board of directors of a hate group like the National Organization for Marriage and financially supporting Prop 8 in California. Card falls into the second category and that's what sets him apart from others. And boycotting his works includes everything he stands to gain from, not just movies. That should be obvious, but I guess not. That article you linked to only references that report from The Wrap which cites "unnamed sources" and conveniently came out just before the release of the movie. If it were true, why was there no official statement from the other people involved in the movie? Regardless, thpse are actual statements from Card and Hood that the book Card is currently writing was meant to be used as the basis for a movie sequel. How much would Card make from that deal? So your statement was either intentionally misleading or just lazily incorrect, you take your pick.
  • S freud
    The sequel, speaker for the dead is simply too profound for the target audience. It's one of those rare occasions where the sequel is a better work than the first. Its complexity is Too much to ask from the mainstream. Obviously Card wants to continue the current success, hence he writes another book.
  • Andrew Weigly
    think it is absurd to even consider making Speaker for the Dead into a movie at this point. It appeals to a completely different audience as S freud pointed out. It would be more on par with the complexity of A 2001 Space Odyssey. I don't think this director or the production company has any interest in working on something like that.There may come a day where that movie would work, but not with this group. The bigger surprise here is that there was absolutely no mention of creating a sequel out of the Shadow quartet. Shadow of the Hegemon and Shadow Puppets are almost tailor made for a blockbuster movie. They don't follow Ender, but almost every other major character plays a part. It is more action oriented, with a simpler plot, which makes me fear that someone like Michael Bay may try to take over. I'm not sure that it could be made into an effective movie. Although in another article, one of the producers mentions that desire for a tv series based on Ender's Shadow. I don't think there is enough for a series in that book alone, unless they completely rebooted it so that it took place over a longer time period as it was in the books. I'm curious, but hesitant whether its becomes a tv series or a movie series. http://www.slashfilm.com/enders-game-set-visit-30-things-we-learned-about-the-battle-room-production-and-filming-plus-a-video-blog/
  • Sebastian
    I personally think that if they weren't going to continue on with Speaker, Xenocide and Children, (and possibly even Exile), that even bothering to make the first movie was kind of disappointing. Ender's Game is a great book and all, but I really don't see any reason in reading or watching it unless you're preparing yourself for the following three books, which were grand philosophic masterpieces that I think would easily make three of the greatest movies of all time. So making Ender's Game (which I call the Preparation) and not the rest of the quartet seems kind of disappointing. Why prepare for something that won't happen? Would one grab a shovel, pail, surfboard and beach towel, if they weren't going to the beach? Would you grab a fire extinguisher if there was no fire? Would you make the first Harry Potter movie if you didn't plan to do all seven?

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