I have yet to actually see Ender’s Game but I have not been hearing very encouraging things.
Actually, I know the point I got really worried (besides the casting of Harrison Ford and Moises Arias). It was the line “game over” in the trailer.
This isn’t the first movie that disappoints its fans, and it won’t be the last. But it did get me wondering what’s the best way to look at a movie like this.
Last year the little red haired girl and I saw The Hunger Games shortly after we both read the book (for me it was an audiobook but that’s not cheating 😉 ). My wife was very disappointed in the movie, citing all the things they left out of the story and how it would be hard to pick up on certain things without knowledge of the book. Conversely, I thought the movie made certain characters way more sympathetic (I’m looking at you Katniss who I honestly did not always care for in the book).
In both cases, our reaction to the movie was informed by our relationship with the book. We both loved the book overall, and definitely preferred it, my wife to the point she finished the trilogy in fairly short order (I still have yet to read the last).
This year my wife briefly thought about boning up on Catching Fire to get in the spirit of the movie, but decided against it for the time being, as she felt her recent reading of the book negatively colored her view of the movie.
I’m still mixed on this. When Watchmen was coming out I had no relationship with the graphic novel, other than knowing it was one of the iconic graphic novels. I devoured it and was generally pleased with the adaption even if some think it was “too faithful” to its source material. I had a similar experience with Scott Pilgrim. I’m often a little late to parties, but I’m happy to do the work to catch up.
As for Ender’s Game I didn’t read it until a couple of years ago. When I was in high school I had a choice between it and Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama. I chose Clarke (yes I’m sad to say I also read all of his 2001-3001 series. Just remember in the 31st century it’s fashionable to be uncircumcised.) This was long before the movie was announced, but I still have a young enough relationship to the book that my ideas of its execution are fresh and pliant. Despite the bad reviews I might still give Ender a chance, just in the dollar theater.
As for my total geek out fantasy movie which will never ever be made?
I’m fairly specific on this one, so I doubt this will ever happen except in my wildest dreams. I’d cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Morpheus King of Dreams (You see it right? Just take his Kahn outfit and give him black eyes). Death’s tricky but all I know is not Helena Bonham Carter. And one more thing, it’s not a movie. Each of the 10 volumes would work best as a mini-series, maybe 20 total episodes of 1.5 hours. And I don’t really trust Americans to make this so I’m looking at you Stephen Moffat or pretty much anyone at the BBC.
Ah, well. A man can dream.
Do books ruin movies for you? Do you think there’s a relationship between how long you’ve lived with a book and how much you’ll judge any movie adaption? Who would you cast as Death?