There has been a lot of controversy related to Ender’s Game and the author of the source material for the film, Orson Scott Card, over the last several months, thanks to Card’s unpopular views on gay marriage. The brouhaha surrounding the film has kept fan’s eyes and ears off of the director of Summit Entertainment’s film, Gavin Hood, who also adapted Card’s novel for the big screen. While our brains were busy formulating opinions about Card, Hood was working to take a book largely told from the perspective of a young boy named Ender with a brilliant military mind and turn it into a story that could be observed from the outside. Despite many fans’ love of seeing the cogs in Ender Wiggins’ mind churn and strive, Ender’s Game largely works as an action film.

Still, because the perspective in the novel needed to be changed to suit the needs of the film and because Card’s original novel is highly detailed and accurate in its intentions, Ender’s Game is a different but similar adventure on the big screen when compared to its novel counterpart. Hood is smart to use a lot of touchstones from the book so that the plot doesn’t stray too far from its source material, and overall, Ender’s Game feels like a newly detailed story with a familiar overarching plot.

Following are the eight biggest changes I noticed in my screening of Ender’s Game. Plenty of other details were changed, of course, and feel free to remark on any changes you feel may have been more noticeable. There are many spoilers in the Ender’s Game book to movie comparison. Do not delve in if you want the film to be a surprise.

alien ships

The film begins with some historical context regarding why humanity is working to fight an alien civilization. There’s no time to let the details of the battles unfold throughout the movie, so audiences get an understanding of why humanity is preparing for a big battle right up front.

ender’s early days as a launchie

Ender Wiggin’s timeline is changed drastically in the film. In the novel, we first meet Ender at age six and he progresses into young adulthood and then adulthood by the end of the text. In the film, Ender is already an older child and Hood speeds up the urgency of the battle for humanity so that our protagonist can remain the same age throughout the film. It’s nice that they were able to keep the same actors in the roles. There is typically a disconnect when a character changes ages and actors partway through a film.

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