Battlefield Earth trailer

Battlefield Earth producer says critically panned John Travolta movie ‘should never have been made’

Adaptation of L Ron Hubbard’s 1982 novel is considered one of the worst films of all time

Louis Chilton
Tuesday 02 February 2021 15:06

The executive producer of the 2000 science fiction flop Battlefield Earth has said that the film “never should have been made”.

The film, an adaptation of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard’s 1982 novel of the same name, starred John Travolta. It is frequently listed among the worst films of all time by critics and viewers.

Battlefield Earth is set in the year 3,000, when the planet Earth has been reduced to a wasteland.

Travolta plays the villainous alien Terl, while Barry Pepper plays Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, the film’s hero. Forrest Whitaker, Kim Coates and the late Kelly Preston also feature. 

Speaking to Vice, executive producer Andrew Stevens recalled the film’s failure, saying: “It was a s*** concept with a s*** book and a s*** script that should never have been made.”

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One of the film’s stars, Christian Tessier, was more forgiving in his reflection on the film, however.

“I remember us trying our best to make something out of something that was probably going to fail,” he said. “I think it was a combination of too many worlds mixed into one. The language never was consistent.”

One of the writers who worked on the film, JD Shapiro, has been vocal in his disdain for the project before, describing his script as “the worst script ever”.

“It wasn’t as I intended – promise,” he once wrote. “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.”

Battlefield Earth is currently unavailable to stream anywhere in the UK.

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