While I'm not sure that extreme violence is quite as essential to the story as the post at the beginning of this thread seems to feel. Nor would I call Ender a "murderer," since his violence is only invoked in life-threatening situations. However, I share the concern that the film not "wimp out." I shudder at the thought of the Spielberg version, in which Ender finds out the truth Just In Time - the way Schindler repents at the end of Spielberg's magnum opus, while the REAL Schindler got away with a box full of diamonds.
The reason the Stilson scene was cut is because movies both magnify and compress. To begin with such an act of violence, when we can't get inside Ender's head to understand his reasoning, would overpower the rest of the story and make it impossible for many viewers to get into the film at all. Film magnifies violence because you can see it and remember it; what I could do to good effect in the book doesn't work at all in the movie. Instead, I replaced it with much milder violence directed at Peter.
However, the crucial scene with Bonzo is intact (though it will be filmed very carefully to avoid nudity), and the double-surprise ending will be preserved, so that the moral implications of Ender's actions remain as in the book. Since these are precisely the issues that matter most to me, you will know that if they are NOT intact, it meant that I lost control of the film after all. Up to now, however, I have managed to hold onto the integrity of the story, at least as I understand it, and am working with producers who are committed to doing the same.
- Orson Scott Card