Thursday’s Summit panel provided a platform for Ender’s Game producer Robert Orci to speak eloquently about the film’s values in light of homophobic remarks by the book’s author.

Controversy erupted recently in the wake of Orson Scott Card’s comments against gay marriage. However Orci echoed sentiments expressed earlier in the day by director Gavin Hood and star Harrison Ford as well as a statement issued by Lionsgate in the days leading up to the show.

“Our first reaction was you never want to invite controversy but we decided to use the attention that’s on this no matter how it got here to completely and unequivocally support Lionsgate’s statement in support of LGBT rights and human rights,” said Orci.

“A lot of people worked on this movie… I would hate to see the efforts of all these people thwarted by opinions of [a few], particularly because the message of this book is of tolerance and empathy.”

Lionsgate has distanced itself from Card’s views and said it would hold a premiere to benefit LGBT causes. Card’s book was first published in 1985.

Hood and Orci introduced first-look footage showing star Asa Butterfield as a brilliant young warrior manipulated by Harrison Ford’s General Graff to thwart an alien invasion. Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley and Viola Davis also star.

When asked by a member of the audience how Han Solo might fit in as a solider in Graff’s army, a bewildered Ford replied: “I don’t think [he] would be a good soldier in anyone’s army. I think he is what we would call now an independent contractor.”

Lionsgate will release Ender’s Game on Nov 1. Sierra/Affinity handled international sales on the OddLot Entertainment production.

The first part of Summit’s panel covered another sci-fi adaptation involving young protagonists. Divergent director Neil Burger joined trilogy author Veronica Roth and stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer and supporting cast to talk up the first adaptation and show first-look footage.

Divergent takes place in a dystopian Chicago where people must choose which personality faction they belong to.

Roth revealed that in her upcoming third book the story will be told from the point of view of Woodley’s character Tris and James’ character Four.

Divergent will be released in IMAX worldwide on Mar 21, 2014.

  • Terry Gilliam was unable to attend a panel that showed the first 10 minutes in 3D of his upcoming sci-fi drama The Zero Theorem [pictured] starring Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton and Matt Damon. Voltage Pictures handles international sales.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone dropped into downtown San Diego to introduce a screening of their prison break thriller Escape Plan. Summit handles US rights.
  • A DreamWorks Animation panel revealed that will Cate Blanchett, Djimon Hounsou and Kit Harington have joined the voice cast of How To Train Your Dragon 2. The panel featured two clips from the upcoming animation as well as footage from 2014 release Mr. Peabody & Sherman.