Gavin Hood and Bob Orci Talk ENDER’S GAME, the Controversy, STAR TREK 3, and the Status of a New STAR TREK TV Show

by     Posted 360 days ago

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Opening on November 1st is Gavin Hood‘s adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s award-winning sci-fi novel Ender’s Game.  The film tells the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a young boy sent away to Battle School to hone his military skills and, hopefully, save the world from an impending alien invasion.  The film also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Viola Davis, Khylin Rhambo, Moises Arias, and Ben Kingsley.  For more on the film, here’s the trailer, our Comic-Con recap, and all our previous coverage.

While at Comic-Con, I sat down with Hood and producer Bob Orci.  We talked about how they decided on the footage they’d show at Comic-Con, the debate and controversy surrounding Card’s homophobic comments, the editing process, the current running time, and more.  In addition, with Orci co-writing and producing the recent Star Trek films, I asked about the current status of a new Star Trek TV show and Star Trek 3.  Hit the jump to watch.

enders-game-posterGavin Hood and Bob Orci:

  • :08 What do they collect?
  • 1:05 How did they decide what footage to bring to Comic-Con? Said they were rushing to finish VFX shots they wanted to specifically show at Comic-Con.
  • 3:01 Orson Scott Card’s homophobic comments and how they have impacted the film. Hood says it’s an important debate to have, and they do not agree with Card’s opinions on gay marriage. “We love the book, and we’d like to think that the art can stand separate from that artist; there are 620 artists who’ve worked on this movie, gay artists, straight artists, and they’ve done amazing work.”
  • 4:55 Hood talks reconciling his love of the book with feeling that he doesn’t agree with Card.
  • 5:32 They talk about contradictions in world history and why the debate is perfectly valid, “I’m not going to throw the Declaration of Independence out because Jefferson was slave owner.”
  • 6:21 How long was Hood’s first assembly cut?  Says they shot the movie in 75 days with kids who could only work 5 hours a day.
  • 7:01 They aren’t quite done with the cut, but it’s just under two hours long.
  • 7:21 Status of Star Trek 3 and a Trek TV series. “We’re talking to Paramount to see if we can make their plans and scheduling, when they want the movie to come out if that’s something that we can deliver for them, and if we have a good idea.”

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  • Futur3Fo3

    Star Trek needs to be back on TV, too!

  • Frank

    I think it’s important to clarify the debate Gavin Hood’s referring to is: can the art can stand separate from the views of the artist? He isn’t endorsing a debate about gay marriage. That said, as remarkably excited as I was to see the film, I won’t be seeing it now. I’m not looking to line the author’s pockets. I’m also not going to blame others who plan to see the movie, and understand there are many who can make the distinction between the artist and his art. That’s all good, it’s a personal choice. But I’ll be saving my money on this one.

    • Grayden

      I’m pretty sure he meant the debate on gay marriage. For one, he said that it’s a great debate for the country to have at this time. Why would the whole country have a debate on whether art can be judged separately from it’s artist? It’s related, but only contextually, in this instance. Secondly, Hood also said it was a valid debate right after Frosty brought it up. He said, because of Card’s comments, that he was out of his fucking mind and Hood, knowing what he was talking about, replied that it was a valid debate. Frosty didn’t say anything about art and artist, Hood brought that up a minute or so later.

      • Frank

        I listened again and Grayden you’re right, which ultimately really disappoints me about Hood because it strikes me as a way for him to salvage his movie for the contingent that could support the author’s maligned views. In any case, I won’t be watching.

      • AlexTheKaiser

        In what way separating the author’s views from his work is the same thing as supporting him?

    • Lance

      Yeah, I see no reason to go see this in the theater and possibly pave the way for a sequel that would end up raising Card’s status and making him a lot richer. We can all catch it when it’s on netflix or cable, and some of us have *ahem* their own means of watching the movie without going to the theater.

      Of course I respect the right of people to decide to watch it in theaters. But anti-gay attitudes like Card espouses are no longer part of the mainstream. There are even a few posters here in the comments section who have yet to learn that lesson.

      • Pat

        Who cares what’s mainstream? If Card doesn’t agree with gay marriage, that’s his right. It’s not hurting you or anybody else for him to have an opinion. People who are upset about that are being self-righteous and every bit as intolerant as they accuse Card of being. The hypocrisy would be funny, if it wasn’t so dumb. I may just go to see this movie four or five times, just to piss off all you knee-jerk ninnies.

    • Pat

      Orson Scott Card’s already been paid. Whether you agree with him on gay marriage or not (and he is as entitled to his opinion as you are), you will not be “lining his pockets” by going to see a movie based on his work… work that is absolutely amazing, I might add. I’m frankly more concerned about Gavin Hood being the director. He’s not very good at what he does.

  • bidi

    i think it’s an absolute shame that Card made these comments because you guys are talking about boycotting the movie because of them, and Hood even mentioned the 600+ people who worked hard on this movie. they’re now going to have their hard work diminished because people refuse to see the movie and “support” the author. i don’t think it’s fair to them, and i hope Hood is right and that people can separate the artist from the art. i have a degree in literature so i know there are schools of thought that say the personality and views of the artist inform the art. but there are also other brilliant minds, like T.S. Eliot, who believe the art exists on its own. it’s a tough situation the filmmakers find themselves in, and i really feel for them

    • Lance

      Those 600+ people have been paid, and likely have moved on to other work.

    • Frank

      I care about cast and crews. I hope they continue to work. But I grew up in a smallish town where my gay cousin was tortured daily by people like this author. In good conscience, I can’t support this film or any film based on this author’s work.

      • AlexTheKaiser

        Yeah, but he was already paid for that when he sold the rights to his work.

      • Zarles

        And he undoubtedly gets a cut of the back end after the movie comes out, as well. That could involve DVD sales, other merchandising, future sequels, etc. I’m sure he’s been paid for the original story, but that doesn’t mean that’s all he could stand to earn from this movie. I’ll see this movie, but I’m not paying for it.

      • Old Soldier

        So what is worse, being “homophobic” or being a thief?

      • Zarles

        If you’re referring to whether or not I will ‘steal’ this movie by downloading it, I never said anything of the sort. I’m sure it will be available on television or various movie streaming services before long. But to answer your question, I’d say making millions from writing a story in your downtime from being a hateful piece of shit like Orson Scott Card is far worse than watching one movie without paying for it. I’d suggest you Google this idiot sometime. It goes much further than just simple homophobia.

        Does that satisfy you and your high horse, Sarge?

      • Old Soldier

        “…hateful piece of shit…” Well, if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black. In other matters, apparently you stand by your principles as long as someone else is paying for it. The fact is- you and YOUR hateful high horse want to see this movie. But, “political correctness” won’t let you admit it publicly. However, keep up the hypocrisy as long as it makes you look hip and cool. By the way: he’s a prof. of literature at Southern Virginia Univ. he’s far from an idiot.

      • Zarles

        Dude, go fuck yourself.

      • Old Soldier

        As you were.

      • Pat

        Nice response, Zarles. Pretty much proved his point and demonstrated your own dumbassery to an undeniable extent.

      • Pat

        Uhh, Orson Scott Card never tortured anyone. It’s his opinion that gay marriage his wrong. But that isn’t hurting a soul. Get over yourself.

  • Voter

    The book is a study in psychopathy and how we so willing to turn our children into soldiers no matter the cost. Ender starts out at six killing another boy for his own survival then commits murder for the military. In between he kills another boy and breaks another’s arm. It is a well written and poignant tragedy. The movie will be a special effects fiasco that skips over all the kid on kid violence to make a family friendly space opera. Except, maybe not. Maybe they will make an adult film about how we abuse, train, and manipulate children to fight wars against people they don’t even know, for the good of a cause cloaked in patriotism. Hardly likely if Hollywood wants to make money, as they will with this film. Card is as wrong as every other religious and political fanatic out there. Yet we still elect them to positions of power. See the movie or don’t. It’s only a movie. It’s not real life. Never is, never was. But do take the time to vote for people who do not get to run our lives but make it simpler to live our lives.

  • Voter

    “how we are so willing”…missed a word there….

  • John Jay

    Personally, I believe art exists on its own. For those not wanting to “line the author’s pockets” – I’m hoping they apply the same standard to the purchasing and viewing of art from the following -

    T.S. Eliot – Allegedly Anti-Semitic

    Oliver Stone – Allegedly stated that America’s focus on the Holocaust was a by product of the “Jewish domination of the media.”

    George Bernard Shaw – Advocated eugenics and the extermination of the “inferior.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQvsf2MUKRQ

    Terrence Howard – Allegedly beat his wife.

    Bill Murray – Allegedly beat his wife.

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers – Allegedly went on a racial rant at JFK airport.

    Jay-Z – Allegedly said, “If you having girl problems, I feel bad for you, son. I got 99 problems and one of them is the bad publicity I received after I refused to let
    any white people into my Brits after-party this year.”

    Amy Winehouse – Was caught singing, “Blacks, Pakis, Gooks and Nips, Gooks and Nips” to the tune of children’s song “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.”

    John Mayer – Has made numerous racist remarks.

    Matthew Fox – Beat up a female bus driver.

    Roman Polanski – Raped a young girl.

    Tom Paulin – Stated that Jewish settlers should be shot dead.

    Lars von Trier – When talking about his German heritage, Trier stated that it gave him “some pleasure” and that he “understood hitler” and that he “sympathized with
    him a little bit.”

  • tweek

    Trek 3: “we have a good idea”
    Yeah, save the whales!

    • Old Soldier

      Uh, that was 4. But it’s still a good idea.

  • Pat

    After Into Darkness, I think it’s safe to say that Orci has NO good ideas. I will never forgive him for that shameless steaming pile of dog shit. Let’s get that guy as far away from Star Trek as we can now, please. I agree that it needs to return to TV in a bad way. But we can get a REAL writer/producer to handle that job? My vote’s for J. Michael Straczynski.

    • Daniel Gonzalez

      pat shut up

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