The director of the upcoming Enders Game film has again weighed in on controversy surrounding the release of the film because of anti-gay comments by the book’s author Orson Scott Card, to say that it is “very sad” that he holds those views.

Gavin Hood, who is directing the film, set to be released in the UK in November, made the comments in an interview with the Advocate. He said that Card’s public opposition to equal marriage went against the themes of the book.

“Orson wrote a book about compassion, and empathy, and yet he himself is struggling to see that his position in real life is really at odds with his art,” he said.

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.

In defense of the film, in the face of calls for a boycott, Hood said in the Advocate interview that he hoped people would stay open to discussion about the “irony” of the situation.

“The story of Ender is really a young person in search of his identity and in search of his own moral compass,” Hood continued.

“It is so ironic that the writer of the work that has helped so many [young] people, gay and straight, to find empowerment, to feel empowered, to find their own moral compass – it’s very sad that [Card] himself is struggling with these issues.”

Speaking at Comic Con last month, Hood spoke out to say that the book the film is based on is “great”, and “is not about” equal marriage.

Ender’s Game, starring Harrison Ford, will be released on 25 October in the UK and on 1 November in the UK.