According to industry experts, Ender’s Game is unlikely to get a sequel. That said, it hasn’t stopped fans of the novels from dreaming of an Ender’s Game 2 movie.
If there’s one film genre that constantly treads the fine line between massive success and monumental box-office flop, that would be military sci-fi flicks. Their inflated budgets and frequently limited mass appeal are to blame for how volatile they are, and why those movies are so unpredictable when it comes to their popularity.
2013’s Ender’s Game is one such film. The idea of bringing a sci-fi novel written in 1985 to the big screen more than thirty years later was almost guaranteed to generate mixed feelings among fans of the sci-fi genre. And while most people who watched the film found themselves thoroughly enjoying it, some critics were quick to lambast the movie as an example of what Hollywood should have left in oblivion.
Now, almost ten years after the release of Ender’s Game, times have changed drastically in the sci-fi landscape. We’ve gone through another Star Wars trilogy, not to mention how things have changed from a technological point of view regarding film production and distribution thanks to the advent of streaming services.
Developments like The Mandalorian’s virtual sets have revolutionized how sci-fi movies and shows are made. What if these innovations could apply to Ender’s Game too? Could Gavin Hood’s 2013 adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s novel become a legitimate franchise in the future? Well, stranger things have happened in Hollywood.
The 2013 film ended on a positive yet definite note, with Ender flying away into the cosmos, determined to rekindle the Formic race. The movie might have ended right there, with no further need for an obvious sequel – but that doesn’t mean that a potential Ender’s Game 2 doesn’t have some source material to adapt, should it ever be made.
After the 1985 novel, Card wrote four different sequels to the story of Ender, chronicling his travels across many worlds and galaxies. While the movie made it seem like the story of Ender’s Game was more or less done by the end of its runtime, the novels encompass an epic odyssey all over the galaxy. It’d be a shame if we never got to see that in live-action.
Unfortunately, we have to be realistic. 2013’s Ender’s Game amassed $125.5 million at the box office against its $115 million budget. That’s a minimal profit for Lionsgate, and it might be the most prominent reason why we might never see a sequel arrive in theatres – at least not anytime soon.
However, even though Ender’s Game may be unable to return the money invested in its production, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the studio won’t want to make a second instalment in some other form. As we mentioned before, the movie predates the heyday of Netflix and other streaming services, so if there ever was a time when the prospect of Ender’s Game 2 seemed attainable, that would be now.
As studios struggle to find ways to stay relevant in this new era, it seems likely that any upcoming projects will be made available through streaming services, rather than through traditional avenues. If that happens, then Ender’s Game has a chance to become a major franchise.
Another glimmer of hope for fans of the franchise is that actors Asa Butterfield and Abigail Breslin have aged enough to fit the time skip present in the second Ender’s Game novel.
It seems fair to say that we shouldn’t get our hopes up too much. Even if a sequel to Ender’s Game gets made, it remains to be seen whether Gavin Hood would still be involved in the project. Meanwhile, disillusioned fans looking for more Ender’s Game should definitely check out the novels by Orson Scott Card.