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Exclusive: Ender's Game Director Explains How They'll Deal With Violence

The big-budget adaptation of Ender's Game is already running into its share of controversy, with the studio separating itself from the anti-gay views of the book's writer, Orson Scott Card. And while the road for a big-screen Ender's Game has undeniably been paved by The Hunger Games, which is also a story of children put in violent situations, the filmmakers are very, very aware that you don't exactly want to see kids onscreen getting slaughtered. When Kelly caught up with them today ahead of their big Hall H panel, director Gavin Hood-- who was speaking to her along with producer Roberto Orci-- explained how they plan to handle walking that line:

I think that all those elements of bullying, which is a great theme in the world right now, and how kids deal with being bullied, which we know is so powerful in the book, that?s in the movie. But what I try to do as a ?lmmaker in terms of handling questions of violence, is I don?t believe in showing violence for violence?s sake and repetitive violence. For me, what I have found is an act of violence can be so sudden, what?s more interesting is the aftermath. And so, our movie is not, I hope, in any way, really violent. I don?t want it to be a violent ?lm, but the effect of the moment of violence on the psyche of the protagonist and the people around him is profound as it is in the book. It has to be, and so those key scenes in the book--Bonzo in the shower are absolutely in the movie, and they shock in their suddenness, but they are not in any way indulgent. I?m not interested in showing blood ?ying around the room or any of, none of that. What?s more important is to see how these young character handle it and that?s why I think it?s an important ?lm. As a parent, I want my kids to go to a movie and not be spoken down to, deal with dif?cult themes, but be able to talk about it, not celebrate that, just talk about it.

Ender's Game doesn't have an official rating yet, but it's not hard to imagine the studio aiming for a PG-- something a little more accessible than the PG-13 Hunger Games series-- so you can see why they're treading lightly around the issue of violence. And based on the reports from people who saw the footage in Hall H today, they're not missing anything in terms of making the battle scenes perfectly intense anyway. Click here to read all the details from Kelly's live blog, and check back later for the rest of her interview with Gavin Hood and Roberto Orci. Ender's Game comes to theaters November 1 this year.