Leading up to their Comic-Con panel today, the team behind Ender's Game is, naturally, doing a lot to promote their movie. There's a new teaser out and a fan experience takes you to the film's battle school in a theme park-esque way. But despite all the fanfare, the movie is coming to Comic-Con at a disadvantage: having to face the growing concern over Orson Scott Card's homophobic views. It's nice to know that in an interview with the Associated Press' Chris Talbott the movie's star, Asa Butterfield, and director, Gavin Hood, challenge Card's views.
The movement against the film gathered steam last week when a number of news organization picked up on the Geeks Out plan to boycott, which actually has been around since the trailer debuted in May. Card, whose novel was published in 1985, issued a statement to Entertainment Weekly, ironically asking for "tolerance." Card is a devout Mormon who was a board member of the National Organization for Marriage.
In Talbott's interviews Hood, who explains that he is a member of the Courage Campaign, and Butterfield try to counter the notion that the book is the author, with Hood explaining that he think's it's "slightly bitterly ironic" that themes Talbott describes as compassion and kindness "are not carried through on [Card's] particular view on gay marriage." Meanwhile, 16-year-old Butterfield said he agrees "with rights for everybody," but "you can't blame a work for its author."
Hood and Butterfield are walking the fine line they need to, and doing themselves and their film a service by not trying to quash the discussion completely. They can't diss the source material, since they made an entire movie about it, after all. But they can present themselves in opposition to the author, who, by the way, does have a producing credit on the film. They are not, at least in this article, disavowing Card's role in writing the book. That's the direction the marketing is taking, Graeme McMillan at The Hollywood Reporter noted.
Hood, Butterfield, and, yes, even Card are likely hoping that the Comic-Con coverage focuses more on whether fans think the filmmakers got the book's details right. Summit has given fans plenty to analyze, from the costumes and gadgets of the fan experience to the new footage revealed in this Battle School "recruitment video."
We'll see where the attention is focused at their afternoon panel.