June 01, 2011 12:19pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Talent Managers Sue Author Orson Scott Card Over 'Ender's Game' Commissions (Exclusive)
Science fiction writer Orson Scott Card is fighting with his talent managers over alleged commissions due from the film and web adaptations of Ender's Game.
A movie version of Ender's Game has been long anticipated by sci-fi fans. The 1985 novel garnered many prizes, including the Hugo and Nebula awards, and is now regarded as a classic of the science fiction canon.
When Card signed up for representation in 2006 at NIAD Management, his contract specifically excluded handing over 10% commission on the Ender's Game project, which the contract noted was then in development with Warner Bros., director Wolfgang Petersen and Chartoff Prods.
After Warners' option on the novel expired in 2008, the project began being shopped to other studios, including Universal. Eventually, Card agreed to produce 13 webisodes for Electronic Arts and signed off on a new movie version being produced by Odd Lot Entertainment. The most recent news about the film's development is that Summit Entertainment was looking to acquire an Ender's Game script penned by Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine).
Now that the film has seemingly gotten off the ground, NIAD wants its 10% commission, taking the position that its contract with Card only excluded the potential Warner Bros. version of the film. In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, NIAD points out the work and introductions it made to get this film project going.
According to the lawsuit, Card got $125,000 from Electronic Arts for the webisodes. His compensation from the Odd Lot film isn't known. In 2009, according to the complaint, Card's attorney informed NIAD that he didn't feel that paying commissions on the Ender's Game project was necessary pursuant to the agreement between the parties.