[Movies] Director Gavin Hood Talks About Adapting Ender's Game Posted by Joseph Lee on 08.28.2013
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In an interview with IGN, director Gavin Hood talked about his work adapting Orson Scott Card's novel Ender's Game as a feature film. Here are highlights:
On his personal connection to the book: "I was drafted when I was 17 years old, and [Ender's Game] had a profound effect on me. I connected with this book in many ways, based on feelings and experiences that I have had. I also really think that the ideas and themes of leadership in the book, and hopefully in the movie, are timeless and classic: What makes good leadership? What is bad leadership? What is responsible leadership? So what I love about the book is that it's both an epic adventure, a fantastic coming-of-age story... I'm interested in those defining moments in a character's life where they choose a path or they're compelled to reflect on a path they've chosen. Those are fascinating moments to me, those defining moments of encountering something where you're truly confronted with yourself and aspects of yourself that you may not necessarily like."
On making a film worthy of the book: "So often there are films that we go to, and they're fantastic and they're fun and wonderful, but it's like, 'Well, that was great. You wanna get pizza?', as opposed to a story like Ender's Game, where kids really talk about it: 'What do you think about the way Ender made that decision, and is that right? Was he too violent, or wasn't he?' These are important conversations, I think, for young people to engage in an exciting way. If you can deliver that kind of debate and conversation in an exciting, visually powerful way, then I think you're getting a little more than just spectacle."
On deciding what to remove and what to keep: "In any adaptation of a book to a film format of two hours, you face the terrible reality of 'something's gotta go'. So what goes? And what are the core themes that really resonate? So we have to be honest and say that in order to create a film of two hours, you're not going to do what might be a 13-episode experience."