Ever since the 2013 movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi classic Ender’s Game, many have been left wondering if there would be a sequel. Sure, the film did less than spectacular at the box office due to a boycott, but the expansive Enderverse series is rich with great stories. To most, the answer to what a follow-up film would be based on was obvious – Speaker for the Dead, the original sequel to Ender’s Game. Of course, there are many novels and short stories published later on that take place between the two books, but Speaker is the most well-known of the sequels.
However, Speaker takes a far different tone than Ender’s Game. While Ender’s Game can be considered an action novel, Speaker for the Dead takes a different path, dealing more in philosophical matters (meaning, a lot of talking). Orson Scott Card has said himself that Speaker is “unfilmable”, in response to a question from the audience. “It consists of talking heads, interrupted by moments of excruciating and unwatchable violence.” Speaker for the Dead isn’t the only unadaptable Enderverse novel – the Shadow Saga and the rest of the Ender Quintet lacks in action or an identifiable plot structure (no rising action, climax, etc.), making them poor choices to be converted to the big screen. Considering all this may leave you thinking, is there any possibility for more movies in the series?
The most recently published series in the Enderverse, the First Formic War Trilogy, takes a different path than its predecessors. The series takes place one hundred years before the events of Ender’s Game, telling the story of when the alien Formics, or “Buggers”, first entered the solar system and began to invade Earth. Consisting of books Earth Unaware, Earth Afire, and Earth Awakens, the trilogy is full of thrilling combat scenes, sharp dialogue, and rich characters. Unlike Speaker and Ender’s Game, the novels of the trilogy take place right after one another, instead of a three thousand-year timeskip. The First Formic War is my favorite Enderverse series to date, and personally I’d love to see a First Formic War movie trilogy – the events described in the novels would look fantastic on the big screen.
The two authors of the series have expressed interest in the idea, with Card and Aaron Johnston stating that they were considering adapting the novels into a television series or a movie. However, this was in 2013, before the Ender’s Game movie was released; it is unknown if there are still plans for these adaptations. Orson Scott Card has announced that he will be writing a series of sequels to Ender’s Game, named Children of the Fleet. These novels may be intended to be adapted to the silver screen, but no release date or plot summary for these books are out yet.
With the upcoming release of The Swarm, the first novel in the Second Formic War Trilogy, Card and Johnston will undoubtedly have another bestseller on their hands, putting the series back into the minds of many. If Lionsgate or the authors themselves are interested in creating more Enderverse adaptations, look no further than a First Formic War movie trilogy or television series. The action and overall theme of the series would match Ender’s Game far more than a Speaker for the Dead film.