I talked a little while ago about Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged being essentially unfilmable (but about to start filming anyway). I could kvetch for hours about how unfilmable Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game is, and how ill-fated any potential adaptation would be. Apparently Wolfgang Petersen, long attached to direct the project, has decided that he agrees -- or, more likely, he's just tired of waiting for the thing to get off the ground. According to sci-fi blog io9, Petersen is officially off the long-in-the-works Ender's Game movie, but the producers are busy looking for a new director and mulling casting possibilities.

If you listen to the new audiobook version of the novel, Card talks at length in his postscript about his vision for the movie, and his fears of how it could go wrong. One reassuring thing is that at least at the time he recorded the audiobook, Card was insistent on keeping Ender's age the same as in the book (6-9) despite Hollywood producers' fervent desire to make him a teenager and give him a love interest. Okay: but can you imagine a young child actor speaking the erudite dialogue of the novel's super-smart prepubescents? Some adult actors couldn't pull it off. Either the tone of the book or the ages of the characters have to be jettisoned -- I just don't see a way around it. Arguably making matters worse is that in writing the screenplay Card also decided to combine Ender's Game with Ender's Shadow, a sequel telling the same story from the point of view of an even younger and even smarter supporting character.

I had been assuming that the adaptation would just linger in development hell forever, but apparently it's still moving toward an early 2009 filming start despite Petersen's departure. I'm curious and worried.

[hat tip: Slashfilm]