Posted on Thursday, October 31st, 2013 by Angie Han
Good news for fans of Ender’s Game who don’t want their movie ticket dollars lining the pockets of notorious homophobe: They won’t. After all that controversy over author Orson Scott Card‘s extreme conservative views, a new report indicates that Card doesn’t actually stand to make any money off of Gavin Hood‘s film, and never did.
However, devotees of Card’s story aren’t totally in the clear. Card is still profiting from sales of his original novel, which has climbed to the top of the New York Times bestseller list in advance of the film’s release. Hit the jump to learn why Card won’t rake in any of that sweet box office dough.
According to sources who spoke with TheWrap, Card made his movie deal a decade ago and has already been paid for it. The agreement did not include any backend, so he won’t make any more from it no matter how well the film does at the box office. Moreover, the site reports, although Card gets a producing credit, he did not have any creative control over or input into the film.
While it’s more typical these days for popular authors to have backend pay or some degree of creative control written into their contracts, it was less common when Card struck his initial deal. That fact, combined with his impatience over the long, drawn-out process, led to Card not receiving any profit participation. Which doesn’t mean he hasn’t already reaped the rewards.
A film adaptation of Ender’s Game has been in the works for decades. At one point early on, Card was paid $1.5 million to adapt the screenplay himself. But that incarnation never came together. By the time the current version came started to come together under OddLot Entertainment, though, Card had no financial or creative stake in the project.
Card’s outspoken anti-gay stance has proven to be a PR challenge for the marketing team. LGBT groups like Geeks Out called for a boycott of the movie, and the cast and crew have worked hard to separate themselves from Card’s statements. Card himself even issued a half-assed response at one point, asking for “tolerance” of his anti-gay views. Lionsgate, for its part, has promised to host a benefit premiere with proceeds going toward the LGBT community.
But now that we know a boycott won’t hurt Card’s bank account anyway, the better way to protest him would be to stop buying his books. Frankly, avoiding those purchases shouldn’t be too difficult in this day and age. Those who still want to read his novels can check them out at the library, borrow them from a friend, or, ahem, pirate digital copies — at which point they’ll discover a wonderfully moving tale about empathy in the face of war. Oh, the irony.
The Ender’s Game movie, which you can now appreciate with a clear conscience, opens this weekend.