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How Bad Does Ender’s Game Want To Be Hunger Games?

Submitted by on June 24, 2013 – 12:45 pm7 Comments
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Before you say anything, I KNOW this film is based on a book series. This, of course, makes the title of this post even more relevant. However, as we all know, last year’s blockbuster, The Hunger Games was an immediate success, reigniting interest in the Hunger Games books and launching Hollywood “it girl” (whether she likes it or not) Jennifer Lawrence into a bigger, brighter spotlight than most probably anticipated. The world went Hunger Games crazy and anticipation is already building for the coming sequel, Catching Fire.

Hollywood has, for many years now, shown a continuing interest in film adaptations of books. While we get classics every once in a while, like this year’s The Great Gatsby, most of the book-based films we get these days are based on quite recent, contemporary book series with sales that are driven by teenagers (see Twilight and Harry Potter).

Side note: Can we get an Animorphs film series, please? In this author’s humble opinion, that was the defining book series for those of us who came of age in the 90s. It had absolutely all of the elements of the book-based films out now and plenty more entertainment value. If you’re not familiar with the series, look it up and realize that before there was J. K. Rowling, there was K. A. Applegate.

The latest movie based on a book is Ender’s Game, based on a book of the same name by Orson Scott Card published in 1985. The basic premise is that the Formics, a race of aliens, have attacked Earth and humans were barely able to fight them off. They adapted to normal human reasoning and can predict most moves a human will make, which makes them formidable foes. The only way humanity will be able to defeat them if there’s another attack is to find an outcast who is smart and unpredictable. That’s where Ender Wiggins (played by Asa Butterfield) comes in.

Ender is the great young hope of the entire human race, specially trained to do battle with the Formics and chosen by respected military leader Colonel Graff (played by Harrison Ford, though they thought about changing the role to a female). Once promoted to Commander School, Ender is trained by Mazer Rackham (played by Ben Kingsley, though Will Smith had once been considered for the role). Academy Award nominee Viola Davis rounds out the cast.

Young protagonists, action and violence, and probably a bit of heartbreak for good measure? Yeah, this kinda sounds like a similar experience to The Hunger Games. I’m sure the studio is hoping for the same type of response, although that’s doubtful. Card, the author, has taken a very public stance against same-sex marriage, which has led to controversy and an anticipated boycott of the film.

Ender’s Game will debut in US theaters November 1, less than a month before the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire.

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