John Travolta Made ‘Worst Movie in History’ With 7 Razzies, But Doesn’t Regret It
Travolta claimed that this movie was better than Star Wars.
In 2000, the science fiction movie Battlefield Earth, was released. Everyone in Hollywood knew that the movie, based on the novel by Ron Hubbard, would cause a lot of trouble. Everyone except John Travolta.
The book was written by the founder of Scientology, and was always considered unsuitable for adaptation. As a result, John Travolta, who had been trying to get a movie made since the mid-80s, did not succeed until the late 90s, when his career was at its peak.
Warner Bros. and Franchise Pictures put the project into production. Travolta, who was a producer, invited Quentin Tarantino to direct, but he immediately rejected such an offer as well as many other famous directors.
In the end, the movie was directed by Roger Christian, who was recommended to the filmmakers by George Lucas, who had worked with Christian on the Star Wars universe.
All the problems occurred after the filming was finished. The first disaster happened during the test screenings. Viewers panned the make-up, the plot and all the actors.
Roger Christian blamed such a flop on the unreasonably low budget. According to him, the excessive use of "Dutch angles" (it’s a shot taken from an off-kilter perspective) was a necessary measure because the movie's lighting budget was the smallest he had seen in all his years of work. He used such angles to get more light into the frame.
Only John Travolta did not give up. In all interviews he referred to Battlefield Earth as the Schindler's List of sci-fi movies, adding that it was better than Star Wars.
This did not help much, as rumors about the quality of the project quickly spread throughout Hollywood. As a result, the movie failed miserably, grossing $29 million against its $73 million budget.
But the difficulties of Battlefield Earth did not end with its release. One of the investors sued Franchise Pictures, accusing them of fraud. The studio was accused of spending only $44 million when the official budget was $73 million.
As a result of the trial, Franchise Pictures was ordered to pay more than $100 million. Such a lawsuit eventually bankrupted the studio.
The final nail in the coffin was the fact that the movie won 7 Golden Raspberry Anti-Awards. In 2005, it was named the worst drama of the last 25 years, and in 2010, Battlefield Earth was also named the worst film of the decade.
Travolta, however, was not too upset. To this day, he says that the movie was excellent and that he would like to star in a sequel.