The film, which was based on the writing of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, and stars Scientologist John Travolta, grossed just $30 million, worldwide -- a troubling number, considering the film's budget was a whopping $73 million. What do you do when you've co-written a film that is universally acknowledged as one of the worst ever made and which recently picked up the Razzie for Worst Picture of the Decade? Well, apologizing is a good place to start, which is exactly what screenwriter J.D. Shapiro has done in the New York Post.
The film, which was based on the writing of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, and stars Scientologist John Travolta, grossed just $30 million, worldwide -- a troubling number, considering the film's budget was a whopping $73 million.
Shapiro, who also penned 'Robin Hood: Men in Tights' and is working on a King Arthur spoof, describes how he initially got into Scientology to meet women (because, apparently, "there is nothing hotter than a girl offering a free stress test").
Once involved, Shapiro soon found himself in a meeting with Travolta and a room full of Scientologists being offered the chance to pen 'Battlefield Earth.' "A few days after I finished the script, a very excited Travolta called, told me he 'loved it,' and wanted to have dinner," says Shapiro. "At dinner, John said again how much he loved the script and called it 'The 'Schindler's List' of sci-fi'."
Having completed the ''Schindler's List' of sci-fi,' Shapiro soon found himself inundated with terrible script notes from the Scientologists who then basically fired him, rewrote the whole thing, adding layer after layer of awfulness to it, before putting dreadlocks on Forrest Whitaker, chasing Barry Pepper around, and losing all their money.
You can read the whole of J.D. Shapiro's very long apology here.
What do you think? Do you accept Mr. Shapiro's apology, or was the film too terrible to forgive? Below is a clip of legendary film critic Roger Ebert tearing 'Battlefield Earth' apart on its release in 2000.