Lionsgate is attempting to put some distance between its big franchise bet "Ender's Game" and the project's same-sex marriage controversy, saying author Orson Scott Card's personal views are "irrelevant" to the film -- and noting the studio's longstanding support of the LGBT community.
The $100 million "Ender's Game" is a key fall release for Lionsgate, as it represents the studio's next shot a lucrative YA franchise.
In a statement released Friday, Lionsgate said: "As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community, champions of films ranging from 'Gods and Monsters' to 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' and a company that is proud to have recognized same-sex unions and domestic partnerships within its employee benefits policies for many years, we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage. However, they are completely irrelevant to a discussion of 'Ender's Game.'"
Card -- upon whose 1985 novel "Ender's Game" is based -- has been an outspoken and consistent opponent of gay marriage for years. In 2009, he joined the board of the National Organization for Marriage, which was created to pass California's Proposition 8, banning gay marriage.
Lionsgate's statement notes that there are no anti-gay themes in the story.
"The simple fact is that neither the underlying book nor the film itself reflect these views in any way, shape or form. On the contrary, the film not only transports viewers to an entertaining and action-filled world, but it does so with positive and inspiring characters who ultimately deliver an ennobling and life-affirming message. Lionsgate will continue its longstanding commitment to the LGBT community by exploring new ways we can support LGBT causes and, as part of this ongoing process, will host a benefit premiere for Ender's Game."