Harrison Ford on ‘Ender’s Game’ controversy: ‘Not an issue for me’

Posted at 8:15 PM, Jul 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-18 22:15:38-04

By Emily Zemler, Special to CNN.

SAN DIEGO (CNN) — For actor Harrison Ford, who is starring in a movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s heralded and popular novel “Ender’s Game,” statements against same-sex marriage by the science-fiction author “are not an issue for me.”

At a Comic-Con news conference on Thursday, Ford responded to concerns that Card’s comments have overshadowed the production of the movie.

The author of the 1985 novel professed his opposition to same-sex marriage in 2009 when he joined he board of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex unions.

Although Card released a statement declaring the same-sex marriage issue “moot” after last month’s Supreme Court ruling striking down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, the film has continued to be plagued by controversy.

Ford told reporters that while he fundamentally disagrees with the author’s stance, the film stands separate from the issue.

“I think none of Mr. Card’s concerns regarding the issues of gay marriage are part of the thematics of this film,” Ford said. “He has written something that I think is of value to us all concerning moral responsibility. I think his views outside of those that we deal with in this film are not an issue for me to deal with and something I have really no opinion on.

“I am aware of his statements admitting that the question of gay marriage is a battle that he lost and he admits that he lost it. I think we all know that we’ve all won. That humanity has won. And I think that’s the end of the story.”

For Ford, “Ender’s Game” addresses its own social and political concerns.

The film is set in the future, depicting a child military trained by the government to wage interplanetary war.

Ford plays Col. Hyrum Graff, a military commander who trains the titular character of Ender Wiggin, played by Asa Butterfield.

Even though the movie is set in a science fiction universe, Ford said he has found many contemporary comparisons to the moral concerns of the story.

“This movie is very pressing, and I think the novel was pressing in recognizing something that we now have as a reality in our lives, which is the ability to wage war at a distance,” Ford said.

“So the morality of that military commander and the military command structure, the morality of a society which raises a military and wages war are the moral concerns of this film and something we are wrestling with daily.

“The issue of interplanetary warfare is the science fiction aspect of it, but what gives it such emotional tone and reality is that these are the concerns of our everyday lives.

“Drone warfare and the capacity that we have technologically is one part of the moral package. The other is the use of young people in the business of war, which has always historically been the case. Our youngest and fittest of our cultures have always been the ones who are first in line for warfare.”

Ford, who noted that it was particularly compelling to work with “talented young actors” such as Butterfield and Hailee Steinfeld, as well as Sir Ben Kingsley, was also asked whether he found any comparison between Col. Graff and his famed “Star Wars” character, Han Solo.

“Graff is a very complex character that’s charged with an awesome responsibility,” Ford said. “The complex moral issues are part of Graff’s story. Ender doesn’t really face so much the issues of morality until the end of the film until he knows what’s happened to him.

“Graff is aware of his moral responsibilities all through his part of the story. I was just delighted to be involved in a film of such high ambition with such talented people. I think Graff is a much more complex character than Han Solo, which doesn’t mean that I regret Han Solo.”

“Ender’s Game” is scheduled to be released in theaters on November 1. Summit, the film’s studio, released a new viral clip from the film Wednesday in honor of its presence at Comic-Con, and they also premiered atrailer for the film at the fan panel that followed the news conference.

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