J.D. Shapiro, screenwriter of the notorious ode-to-Scientology that is Battlefield Earth, has penned an open letter apologising for his involvement in the widely despised film.
“Let me start by apologizing to anyone who went to see “Battlefield Earth. It wasn’t as I intended — promise. No one sets out to make a train wreck. Actually, comparing it to a train wreck isn’t really fair to train wrecks, because people actually want to watch those.”
“I read ‘Battlefield Earth’ and agreed to come up with a pitch to take to studios. I met with Mike Marcus, the president of MGM, and pitched him my take. He loved it, and the next day negotiations went under way. A few days after I finished the script, a very excited Travolta called, told me he “loved it,” and wanted to have dinner. At dinner, John said again how much he loved the script and called it ‘The ‘Schindler’s List’ of sci-fi.'”
“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.”
Shapiro also describes (at length) his sex-based motives for getting into the screenwriting game.
“In the end, did Scientology get me laid? What do you think? No way do you get any action by boldly going up to a woman and proclaiming, “I wrote Battlefield Earth!” If anything, I’m trying to figure out a way to bottle it and use it as birth control. I’ll make a mint!”
Seriously, read about the whole ordeal at the New York Post.
Last month, the Razzies named Battlefield Earth the worst film of the decade. Shapiro attended the ceremony and accepted the award. Glad to see, 10 years later, he’s finally able to come to terms with that which he has birthed.
Discuss: I’ve never actually seen Battlefield Earth – for obvious reasons. What do you think? Is it really that bad?