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Trivia: Battlefield Earth

The Book

The Film

  • Creator Backlash:
    • Writer J. D. Shapiro openly apologized for this film, and went to get the Golden Raspberry Award himself.
    • Co-star Barry Pepper said that had he known he was going to win Worst Supporting Actor at the Razzies, he would have shown up to accept his award in person, too.
    • Forrest Whitaker has also gone on record saying that he regrets appearing in the movie. Apparently even Money, Dear Boy wasn't enough to justify it in his eyes.
    • Even the film's cinematographer has gone on record as saying that the overuse of color filters and Dutch angles wasn't his idea, and that he was given the smallest lighting budget he had ever worked with.
  • Deleted Scene: Plenty of 'em here.
  • Doing It for the Art: Hilariously enough, Shapiro admits in his letter above that he got involved at first because he read that the Scientology centre was "a great place to pick up women", and it snowballed from there.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • It's been pretty much stated that John Travolta was in charge of everything.
    • Before that, J.D. Shapiro, the first screenwriter was fired because the original studio (MGM) wanted to change his script too much (which he knew he would be a bad decision...). He practically disowned the film, and even decided to accept his Razzies.
    • This was the last movie Franchise Films helped finance. According to the lawsuit and federal investigation afterward, this studio made a living forcing movies to be severely under budget and taking the leftover as pure profit. In this case, the $75 million budget-film only got $44 million.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!:
  • Just Plane Wrong: Oh, so many examples. Nothing should be working after about a millenium, it takes years, not weeks to learn to fly one, none of them have flight-suits and yet they're all stunt dogfighter material. On the positive side, they do mention that Harrier jets can hover.
    • Harriers are so unreliable that the fact that they can even be repaired is almost ridiculous.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Forest Whitaker did it for the pay gig.
  • Real-Life Relative: Travolta's wife, Kelly Preston, plays Terl's girlfriend.
  • Re Cut: The version on VHS and DVD removes a few scenes, adds a scene of the heroes discovering the instructions for the nuclear warhead, and the opening crawl that states the bloody obvious. The versions aired on TV and streamed on Netflix are the original theatrical cut. For those scenes, see Deleted Scenes.
  • Springtime for Hitler: The film was the subject of a $121.7 million judgement, possibly being an attempt to deliberately profit from a bomb.
  • Stillborn Franchise: There were originally going to be sequels based on the rest of the book. It also indirectly killed Franchise Pictures as well.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Travolta had both a sequel and an animated series planned even before the film was released.
    • On another note, J. David Shapiro's first draft for the film.
    • Travolta has wanted to make this movie for quite a while, but he wanted to star as the rebellious human Jonnie. By the time he got funding, he decided he was too old to fit the role.

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