The director of the upcoming Enders Game film has responded to calls for a boycott due to the author’s anti-gay rhetoric, to say that the book the film is based on is “great”, and “is not about” equal marriage.

An online campaign is urging moviegoers to boycott the upcoming release of “Ender’s Game,” a big-budget Hollywood movie based on the work of notoriously anti-gay novelist Orson Scott Card, who last year described same-sex attraction as a “reproductive dysfunction”.

Card already responded to calls to boycott the film following accusations of homophobia, to ask for “tolerance” from proponents of equal marriage.

Gavin Hood, who is directing the Enders Game film spoke at Comic-Con of the controversy caused by homophobic comments made by Card.

He said: “My view is I’ve been a member of the Courage Campaign for many years and I’m a little distressed by his point of view on gay marriage.

“However, the book is not about that issue, so I hope people can still appreciate the book because I think he wrote a great book, and the themes and ideas in the book, I think, are universal and timeless and applicable, and I hope the book will still be appreciated as a great work of art, even though I don’t agree with the author. I optioned the book, not an author, and I love what the author said in that book.”

He went on to say that themes of kindness and compassion were what drew him to the story originally, and that he was surprised when he learned Card’s position.

“I think it’s slightly bitterly ironic that those themes that are present in the book are not carried through on his particular view on gay marriage,” he said.

Asa Butterfield, 16, who plays Ender in the film, said he supports the book and the film, despite comments made by Card. “You can’t blame a work for its author,” the British actor said.

He went on to say: “I agree with rights for everybody”, and said that Card’s personal views shouldn’t affect the audience’s perception of the film or book.

At Comic-Con there were no signs of any protest, despite the calls for a boycott.

Earlier this week, screenwriter of the Harvey Milk Biopic ‘Milk’, Dustin Lance Black, weighed into the argument to say that the campaign to boycott the film is “misguided”.

Lionsgate responded on Saturday, saying it has a longstanding commitment to the LGBT community, and that although it does not agree with Card’s personal opinions they are not linked to the book or the film.

The proponents of the boycott then replied to reject Card’s call for tolerance.