The end of Ender's Game and Shazam!…but there's good news too! (updated)

It been a dark day for some movie fans this week.

For not only did the Los Angeles Times bring news that the long-hoped for Ender’s Game movie has been scrapped, but the previously announced screenwriter for Shazam! (aka, DC Comics’ movie about Captain Marvel) has written a very in-depth blog post about why that movie is dead in the water.

enders-gameFirst off, buried towards the end of Monday’s L.A. Times article—which is really all about the sequel book by Orson Scott Card called Ender in Exile—is this section about the status of the film:

[The attempt to film Ender’s Game] has resulted in two decades of fizzled studio meetings, dead-end scripts and a marathon director search. The author said he was not interested in a “tough-hero action film” and refuses to condescend to green-screen Hollywood. Card imagines a “film where the human relationships are absolutely essential—an honest presentation of the story.”

Ender’s Game was recently in development with director Wolfgang Petersen (In the Line of Fire, The Perfect Storm, Troy) on board, but Card did not feel comfortable with the movie’s direction. That project was scrapped early in November.

shazam-jeff-smithSecond, it was who spread the word of screenwriter John August’s blog post detailing how his script fell apart, and the part of the unraveling narrative that starts when the movie went to Warner Bros. is a doozy:

When we turned the new draft in to the studio, we got a reaction that made me wonder if anyone at Warners had actually read previous drafts or the associated notes. The studio felt the movie played too young. They wanted edgier. They wanted Billy to be older. They wanted Black Adam to appear much earlier.

(I pointed out that Black Adam appears on page one, but never got a response.)

Of course, August does have the last laugh…sorta:

I got paid well to write Shazam!, and I get to keep that money. The real cost is an opportunity cost—the other projects I could have written that might be in production now. More than anything, that’s one of the reasons production rewrites are so appealing to established writers: you know those movies are going to get made.

UPDATE (1/8/09): An “unnamed source close to the film” tells The Marvel Family Web that “the report of the Shazam! movie’s death” is (greatly?) exaggerated. I should point out that August only said that the project was “dead” in the sense that (the version August developed) won’t be happening,” but that “it may come back in another incarnation, with another writer.”

But all is not lost, movie fans! For in the midst of the dashing of some cinephile’s hopes comes a glimmer of hope from Hollywood Reporter about the Jonah Hex movie.

Jimmy Hayward, who directed the animated Horton Hears a Who! will make his live-action debut with Jonah Hex, the Warner Bros. western based on the DC Comics character.

Um, yay?

Posted on January 7, 2009 at 06:09 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
In: News

2 Responses

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  1. Written by Graehaus
    on 2009-01-07 at 08:44

    Nuts to see Black Adam in a movie, that would of been cool. but a Hex Movie sounds cool as well.

  2. Written by KitsuneFather
    on 2009-01-10 at 05:49

    Bleh. Trading one D-list DC hero movie for another. Would like to see something about Green Lantern before I need to see Jonah or Marvel.

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