Orson Scott Card Won’t Make Squat From ‘Ender’s Game’ Box Office

via: The Wrap

Progressive people of the world, go ahead and see “Ender’s Game” this weekend with a clear conscience: Orson Scott Card won’t see a penny of your movie ticket money, TheWrap has learned.

Card’s volumes of anti-gay vitriol have sparked an “Ender’s Game” movie boycott movement that’s spanned multiple organizations, cities and social platforms in the lead-up to the film’s Friday release. Their common goal: To prevent the openly homophobic author from pocketing profits at the hands of enlightened moviegoers.

But multiple sources from both inside and outside the companies that produced the “Ender’s Game” film – distributor Summit Entertainment, visual effects company Digital Domain and book-rights holder OddLot Entertainment – tell TheWrap that Card’s fee has already been paid through a decade-old deal that includes no backend.

If you really want to hit Card where it hurts, boycott his book instead: Card still profits handsomely from the novel, perched at the top of the latest New York Times Best Seller List for paperback mass-market fiction.

Though it was whispered early on that Card’s contract had “escalators” – built-in box-office milestones with cash bonuses attached – individuals close to the film say he has no such profit participation.

And though Card takes a producing credit, he had zero say or creative input in the adaptation, according to all those involved with the movie who spoke with TheWrap about “Ender’s Game.” That stands in support of the idea that he’ll neither gain from its success, nor suffer from its failure.

The ink dried on Card’s current deal some 10 years ago, long before the emergence of Hollywood power authors like J.K. Rowling (“Harry Potter”), Stephenie Meyer (“Twilight”), Suzanne Collins (“The Hunger Games”) and E.L. James (“Fifty Shades of Grey”). Those women were outliers, making savvy deals that assured not only major profit participation, but also a major say in all kinds of decisions, from the script to the director to casting the leads.

That isn’t to say that Card, now a 62-year-old father of five, made a bum deal, wasn’t interested in his own material — or didn’t reap a king’s ransom from optioning “Ender’s Game.”

“It changes with every deal depending on the stature of the property and the author, how the picture is going to be financed and balancing all that out to decide if an author wants upfront cash versus backend participation,” said Jason Dravis, president of Monteiro Rose Dravis Agency, which has represented the authors of “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” and “The Hunger Games” in their deals. “There’s no set rule or trend that I’ve seen going one way or the other. It really depends on the individual author’s tolerance for risk.”

In Card’s case, it came down to a lack of tolerance for the protracted process.

After the book was published in 1985 to critical fanfare, its film adaptation bounced around for years, including an early stop at “Rocky” producer Robert Chartoff’s Chartoff Productions, which reportedly paid Card $1.5 million to develop the screenplay himself. He tinkered with it for several years but was never satisfied, and the project eventually landed at Warner Bros. in 2002.

By the time OddLot rescued it from studio development hell a few years later – assigning the screenplay reboot to director Gavin Hood – Card’s involvement, both creative and financial, had dissolved to virtually nil. For all intents and purposes, the “Ender’s Game” movie was out of his hands.

Read more at The Wire

4 thoughts on “Orson Scott Card Won’t Make Squat From ‘Ender’s Game’ Box Office

  1. Amy Bailey
    October 31, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    A friend will be very very happy to hear this. She was hoping to score free tix so that she wouldn’t give him any more $$.

  2. Kevin Slater
    October 31, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Same here. I’ll actually go see it in the theater now.

  3. Johnny Hunter
    October 31, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Now…that being said, the increased publicity has driven his book up the charts. And he owns those rights, so no sharing with publishers. That is how he will profit. And yes I am seeing the film.

  4. Amy Bailey
    October 31, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    ^True. His book “Enchantment” is one of my favorite audiobooks. I’m just glad I bought it a while ago. I’m really torn about sharing a good book vs. supporting an a$$hat. I wasn’t really planning to watch the movie anyway. Now it really depends on the reviews and whether folks think it aligns with the book.

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