Contrition is a wonderful thing. Now, I’m not the biggest sci-fi guy here, but even I know that Battlefield: Earth ranks among the worst films ever created—some would even say that it is the single worst movie in the history of cinema. That may well be, but the gentleman who penned the original script has now, on the record, officially apologized to mankind for helping to create the movie. That’s called integrity, folks.
The script was originally written by one J.D. Shapiro, who started work on the project way back in 1994, six years before its unfortunate release. Ten years later, it won the Razzie for Worst Film of the Decade.
The apology begins:
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.
Then it goes into some backstory, but coalasces around this point:
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.
I have no idea why they wanted to go in this new direction, but here’s what I heard from someone in John’s camp: Out of all the books L. Ron wrote, this was the one the church founder wanted most to become a movie. He wrote extensive notes on how the movie should be made.
So there you have it. There’s probably numerous why this movie was doomed from the beginning, but it looks like L. Ron Hubbard, the leader of Scientology, decided to meddle with movie-production.
Leave the movie-making to the movie-makers, and leave all the other stuff to, um, the other people.
Pretty safe to say I’ll never see this movie, not even in an ironic “bad movie night” fashion. No, sir.