The long-anticipated film adaptation of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game is beginning its promotional marathon, but before it becomes the next big Y.A. blockbuster, well, it's got some controversial hurdles to jump — and a Catching Fire collision course at the end of the road.
The fall sci-fi blockbuster's studio has released a teaser for a teaser, which mostly features stars Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield, the latter of Martin Scorsese's Hugo, awkwardly addressing fans to explain that, Hunger Games-style, this is just a preview for the first trailer, which will premiere May 7. So there's not much thus far: We get glimpses of Ford's commander, of Ben Kingsley's mysterious and tattooed Mazer Rackham, and of Battle School, but that's about it.
There's a long road ahead for this movie, though. The 1985 book has legions of fans, but its author's strongly anti-gay politics could come back to hurt the film. Card is a member of the board of directors for the National Organization for Marriage. Back in March, those distractions led artist Chris Sprouse to leave an Adventures of Superman project that Card was co-writing, and that Superman adaptation was shelved. And in February, Andy Lewis and Borys Kit wrote at The Hollywood Reporter that "new scrutiny of Card's views could be a problem for the $110 million Ender's Game movie." The film's release date was pushed back to November 1 from this past March, meaning Summit Entertainment will release Ender's Game just three weeks before that other Y.A. blockbuster: Catching Fire, the second installment of the Hunger Games franchise, which will be released by Summit's parent company, Lionsgate. Both book adaptations have similar themes involving governments controlling children and those children being forced into battle, and now both films are being forced right into each other at the box office. Either way, their devoted followings will be very overwhelmed along the way — if Ender's Game can get their unscathed. Here's a start: