Earlier this month, screenwriter J.D. Shapiro won a Razzie Award for worst screenplay of the decade. The killer script that earned him this distinction: Battlefield Earth, the L. Ron Hubbard/Scientology/John Travolta extravaganza that burned many an eyeball back in 2000. Along with accepting the award in person, Shapiro wrote an explanation of his involvement with the film for the NY Post called: "I penned the suckiest movie ever -- sorry."

How could he come to make the worst script of the first 2000's? "It started, as so many of my choices do, with my Willy Wonker." Shapiro writes about touring the "Scientology epicenter" in Los Angeles to meet women, and how instead, the center's president was interested in him writing a Hubbard adaptation, even though he was a bit snarky with his opinions on the sci-fi religion. He soon met John Travolta and Kelly Preston, helped pitch a script, got it in the works, and handed in a screenplay that Travolta loved ... at first. Shapiro explains: "Then I got another batch of notes. I thought it was a joke. They changed the entire tone. I knew these notes would kill the movie. The notes wanted me to lose key scenes, add ridiculous scenes, take out some of the key characters. I asked Mike where they came from. He said, 'From us.' But when I pressed him, he said, 'From John's camp, but we agree with them.'"

You unlucky fellow movie fiends who saw the film -- you know the results. It was a true waste of time. At least now, however, the ordeal has resulted in a rather entertaining editorial. I just wish there was a studio ballsy enough to share a Scientology satire. Methinks there's a great comedy hidden in Shapiro's Battlefield experiences.
categories Movies, Cinematical