Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Ender's Game

Holy fucking shit is Ender's Game good. I finally understand what you guys were talking about, ye Ender's Game cadre who have been tirelessy extolling the virtues of that book since we were 12. I burned through it this past week, honestly expecting nothing beyond compelling pulp at the outset, and my God, it's so much more. I'm just over the moon about it.

Also, it's been optioned for a movie. I'm at a loss to understand how this is going to work, but O.S.C. wrote the screenplay himself, apparently, and Wolfgang Petersen has already been announced as the commissioned director. It seems to me that it would absolutely have to be a cartoon in order to be faithful to the story (how can you really get child actors to convincingly portray these super-children?), but as it appears to be a live-action project, I'm guessing they're bumping the characters up into the next age bracket. Which is unfortunate; it's not really the same story if the kids are thirteen going in instead of six.

Anyways, how do y'all feel about the Oscar noms? I think overlooking the glaring oversight of Paul Giamatti, it's not at all bad. I now have to rush out and see Finding Neverland, Hotel Rwanda and Vera Drake while I have a chance. And Jamie Foxx was doubly nominated! Good for him! Collateral sucked, but he was great in it.


Blogger Greg said...

Actually, they're apparently adapting both Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow (a parallel novel that OSC wrote which follows Bean over the course of exactly the same time frame that Ender's Game spans and the first of the wholly parallel Shadow series) in to a SINGLE movie, if you can believe that, as if the first one wasn't far more than they were going to be able to handle. Alsol, though OSC wrote the first draft (a long time ago) there have since been MANY more and the whole integration of those two stories post dates his direct involvement (I'm not sure to what extent he has final say). Finally, even more than the age problem (as I would definitely make the trade for slightly older actors in exchange for much better acting) I see certain other gigantic obstacles, like the importance of nudity in certain key scenes and the absence of a love story (how much do you want to bet that Petra is Ender's love interest in the film version?).

Anyway, you must now immeditately read Speaker for the Dead (since it is almost just as good as Ender's Game) and then proceed on to Xenocide (see my earlier post, or don't if you're going to read the book), Children of the Mind, and the parallel series, which is still ongoing. The first two are definitely the best, but they all show the presence of a strong mind grappling with intersting ideas through, more or less, compelling characters.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Will said...

I intend to read the rest of the series, although I've got a few more books ahead of SFTD on my list -- books that I already own. I'm sure it'll all be under my belt before the movie comes out, though, so I'll be equipped to scrutinize the particulars of plot and character conflation that we can all expect. There is one scene in the book to which nudity seems to be pretty integral (the fight with Bonzo), but you can be sure they'll just move the action from the shower to some less provocative locale. This will require that the choreography of the fight differ a bit from how it's written in the book, and it will rob the scene of the element of vulnerability attendant to being confronted in the shower, but the necessary plot point of that scene I'm sure will still play out. As for the love story, don't you feel that the Ender-Valentine relationship sort of substitutes for a romance? I mean, all taboos aside, their dynamic, from beginning to end, is really one of "soulmates." It's not so overtly sexually charged, but that's the purest and most passionate love in the book; Val is unquestionably the woman in Ender's life. Is that too risque for an American audience?

12:54 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

The thing with the Valentine story that you say makes sense because of the structure of it (it follows the normal three part arch of normal movie romances, in a way), but I think they're going to have a problem with intercutting the two stories (Ender v. Peter and Valentine), especially with the addition of Bean as a major thread all the way through. Expect to see very little of Peter and Valentine (esp. since that's the driest of the three story lines, the most abstract and hardest to film).

3:07 AM  

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