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A few weeks ago The Razzies voted Battlefield Earth as the worst movie of the decade and the world pretty much responded with a “no duh”. In fact, even the movie’s screenwriter seems to agree and he’s responded by apologizing.
That’s right, he actually feels bad about the part he played in making an epic piece of crap. He could lash out at the world, blame film critics, blame studio marketing, or pretend the movie has fans; but instead J.D. Shapiro has decided to accept reality and face the music in an article posted on NYPost.com, where he says: “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.”
Shaprio explains how he came to the project and managed to get the job while wandering the halls of Scientology without actually becoming one of them. He also claims his script was different from what appeared on screen. He says, “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 buy it. There might actually be a decent sci-fi script in there somewhere. Apparently his script went through a lot of rewrites and by the time they were done they’d changed the entire tone. He blames a lot of on Travolta, refused to make the changes they wanted, and was fired so that they could do it anyway. He also theorizes that a lot of the changes had something to do with notes left by deceased Scientology founder and Battlefield Earth author L. Ron Hubbard, including some strange aversion to the color purple.
So maybe in the midst of all those explanations he’s kind of distancing from the movie. But give Shapiro credit, at least he’s owning up to how bad his movie is. That’s increasingly rare in Hollywood. Check out his full apology over at the NY Post.