The first time I saw “Battlefield Earth” was at a friend’s house during a birthday party, and we were all sipping on various boozes. There were so many Star Wars style “wipes” (scene transitions) that I decided to make a drinking game out of it: every time the movie had a wipe, we’d yell “Wipe!” and take a sip. It was a fun way to watch a VERY bad movie. Which is really too bad, because the book is a rather nifty bit of sci-fi, regardless of how crazy/evil Hubbard was.
Anyway, the guy who wrote the screenplay for this fetid turd-nugget has officially apologized. His comments are pretty interesting… Turns out that he didn’t write what eventually came to the screen: the Scientologists (including Travolta) fucked it up by getting their grubby hands in there and changing stuff. So basically they’re no better than your typical Hollywood executives! Who knew?
My script was very, VERY different than what ended up on the screen. My screenplay was darker, grittier and had a very compelling story with rich characters. What my screenplay didn’t have was slow motion at every turn, Dutch tilts, campy dialogue, aliens in KISS boots, and everyone wearing Bob Marley wigs.
…Then I got another batch of notes. I thought it was a joke. They changed the entire tone. I knew these notes would kill the movie. The notes wanted me to lose key scenes, add ridiculous scenes, take out some of the key characters. I asked Mike where they came from. He said, “From us.” But when I pressed him, he said, “From John’s camp, but we agree with them.”
I refused to incorporate the notes into the script and was fired.