Coming Soon to Theaters: Ender’s Game

Rachel Kent

Blogger: Rachel Kent

Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.

Today’s pick: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Here’s the link to the movie page:

Ender’s Game, from my understanding, is a book that many filmmakers have wanted to option, but author Orson Scott Card wouldn’t sell the rights until just recently. I bet the advance in film technology has made it easier to make that decision. The book is about a young boy in a futuristic country. He is a third child when only two children are allowed per family.  His family is granted permission to have a third child because his two other siblings are geniuses and the government is looking for the right child for a special task. Ender is also a genius and is taken from his home to a competitive school where he is trained for something special. In the interest of not spoiling the book, I don’t want to say too much more. Since the book came out in 1986, Ender’s Game is an early dystopian-esque sci-fi book. It is supposedly for a young audience, but I know it has wide appeal like Harry Potter.

I liked this book a lot when I read it but never could get into the sequels. Ender’s Game is actually my husband’s favorite book! 🙂

I think it has great potential for a film because:

1) It has a long history. Many schools have used Ender’s Game as a book for English classes. I first read it in 6th or 7th grade as part of my school curriculum. Students from more than one generation will want to see the film and bring their families to it.

2) It’s a sci-fi book that has human characters. Humans are easier to relate to than most other species.

3) Books and movies in which the character goes to a special school to hone a secret talent are popular, as are dystopian books and movies.

4) The story appeals to men and women.

Anything I missed on this list?

Did you read Ender’s Game in school? Have your children read it? Do you think it more closely relates to Harry Potter or to The Hunger Games?

8 Responses

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  1. So enjoying your posts this week, Rachel! You’re giving us great ideas for our “must see” list.

    I’ve not read Ender’s Game, but it sounds interesting. Occasionally, I’ve been disappointed to read a book first and then see the movie because sometimes our expectations just aren’t met. It’s always curious to me to see how well a book will translate to the big screen.

    Will watch for this one!

  2. Hmmmm…I don’t know a lot about this one. It came out the year I graduated from high school, so I didn’t read it then. My son also didn’t get a chance to read it in school.

    Not knowing these books overly well–I’m still reading The Hunger Games–I would say it holds elements of both, but that Ender’s Game seems to fall more in line with Harry Potter. In The Hunger Games, Katniss’ goal seems to be self-preservation. She is trained to help her stay alive. Harry Potter and his friends are trying to overcome evil to save the wizard world, just as Ender is trained for a certain task.

    I have to admit that books and movies of this nature cause me concern as a parent. I’m really more an uplifting story type of person.

  3. NO WAY! I’ve been waiting for this for SO LONG. Definitely one of my fave sci-fi reads ever. Makes you question the nature of cruelty. My son would love this, but hasn’t read it yet due to the cursing, which is quite heavy at the start. It does resemble The Hunger Games in the idea of surviving at all costs. I don’t think it will appeal so much to Harry Potter parents as to hard-core sci-fi loving parents. But it could become a runaway hit, if they do it right. It is more intense psychologically than The Hunger Games. Just a more serious book than Harry Potter, which I think adults appreciate.

  4. Amanda Dykes says:

    Your third reason (“Books and movies in which the character goes to a special school to hone a secret talent are popular, as are dystopian books and movies”) jumped out at me. I agree; dystopian settings, or dystopian under the guise of utopian (as in “The Giver”), have a long-standing popularity, especially in YA lit. More recently, “Gathering Blue” has become quite popular as the companion book to “The Giver.”

    Additionally, the film/tv counterparts to this genre maintain popularity steadily, it seems. One such recent example is the show “Terra Nova,” which my husband and I have really been enjoying. It also portrays a family with three children in a society whose legal maxiumum per family is two.

    Such longstanding genre popularity surely bodes well for the movie version of the book.

  5. I enjoyed the book, and many of his others. He skillfully incorporates Mormon beliefs about men becoming gods of their own universes in many of his books, which I find interesting even though I don’t agree with it.

  6. Ann Bracken says:

    Orson Scott Card is on my list of favorite authors. I read Ender’s Game in the early 90’s when I was a newlywed at the encouragement of my husband. The latest book in the series has recently been released and should arrive at my house tomorrow (doing happy dance). I’m thrilled that film technology has finally caught up with his vision and a movie can be made.

    I think this book is more intense than Hunger Games. Looking at the first books only, Hunger Games was about physical danger, mostly. Whereas Ender’s Game was physical, psychological, and extended beyond just the survival of the main characters, but of an entire sentient species (the Buggers).

  7. LeAnne Hardy says:

    Then there is the whole gamer culture. Isn’t the story based on game strategy? That should bring in a large audience. I didn’t even realize this was supposed to be a kid’s book. Definitely mature kids. It will certain be on my must-see list.

  8. Noah Silver says:

    Hi Rachel, I was hoping to get your opinion on this Ender’s Game song I wrote for the upcoming film, one fan to another. The music video is here .