Dear Hollywood (but mainly Summit Entertainment),
First off let me congratulate you on being lucky enough to be the new proud owners of the distributing rights and overseeing the production of one of the most critically acclaimed Science Fiction novels of all time. It's merits include both Nebula and Hugo awards, places on top 100 lists for science fiction and young adult fiction, and recommended reading by the US Marine Corps in training lower ranks for roles of leadership.
Suffice to say that while there are some flaws in some of your movies (P2, Sorority Row, Sex Drive, Twilight) you also have some great titles under your belt (Hurt Locker, and ugh...Twilight), and as for the unlucky blokes you bought it off of? Well let's just say I couldn't be more thrilled the people who brought me The Spirit are far from the editing room.
That being said allow me to break it down for you.
Your responsibility as makers of this film is to fight every urge in your body not to do the typical Hollywood rigamarole of ruining yet another Science Fiction endeavor in hopes of snagging a larger audience...because we all know it's gonna suck if you do.
How do I know this? Let's hypothetically think of Ender's game from a big wig movie executive who's never read the book who reads through the lovely script which is being provided by none other than Mr. Orson Scott Card himself.
"Hmmm, children? Sounds like a good PG movie, lets remove the war on Earth to strictly with the aliens and make the brother and sister more of a supporting role as encouragement. Kid getting picked on makes a good underdog so we'll leave that...but killling?! HARUUMPH! No matter, perhaps we can rewrite it with some funny prank scene in the zero gravity laser tag room. also remove that s*** at the end about the bug aliens not knowing humans were sentient beings, it'll just confuse the audience. Blow it up, everyone celebrates, kids a hero, goes home."
That movie sounds terrible right? Now let me present my case as to why, preferably, you should just use the book as a script. Ender's Game was first released in 1985 and has since been translated to 28 languages and currently sells up to 100,000 to 200,000 copies a year in the United States. While the readership is growing, it would be safe to say your primary fan base for watching this movie is going to be 18-50 year old males.
I believe it goes without saying this shouldn't be a kids movie.
Ender's game is, in words best put by John Kessel (whose full article is found in the references below)
The superior child whose virtues are not recognized. The adults who fail to protect. The vicious bullies who get away with their bullying.
A child, who despite the hatred and ostracizing of his peers, continues to press onward, succeed and eventually (and unwittingly) save the world.
Considering its yearly take in book sales, it's achievements in literature, and it's addressing of a theme prevalent in our culture today (bullying amongst youths), my advice as a consumer and a geek would be to bet the farm on this one, and spare no expense.
Do it and not only will you make yourselves very rich, you'll also warm the hearts of many geeks worldwide.
P.S.- Also you should have the kid from Super 8 play Ender...tell me I'm not right.
Email me: MickJoest@Geektyrant.com Twitter: @MickJoest