It’s the worst of all time!
It’s the year 3000 A.D., and the Earth is lost to the alien race of Psychlos. Humanity is enslaved by these gold-thirsty tyrants, who are unaware that their ‘man-animals’ are about to ignite the rebellion of a lifetime.
Battlefield Earth (also referred to as Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000) is a 2000 American science fiction action film based on the 1982 novel of the same name by L. Ron Hubbard. It was directed by Roger Christian and stars John Travolta, Barry Pepper and Forest Whitaker. The film follows a rebellion against the alien Psychlos, who have ruled Earth for 1,000 years.
Travolta, a Scientologist, had sought for years to make a film of the novel by Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. He was unable to obtain major studio funding due to concerns about the script and its connections to Scientology. In 1998, it was picked up by independent production company Franchise Pictures, which specialized in rescuing stars’ pet projects. Production began in 1999, largely funded by the German distribution company Intertainment AG. Travolta, as co-producer, also contributed millions of dollars; he envisioned Battlefield Earth as the first in a two-part adaptation of the book, as it only covers the first half of the novel’s story.
Battlefield Earth was a critical and commercial failure, frequently described as one of the worst films of all time. Reviewers criticized virtually every aspect of the film, including the acting, cinematography, script, special effects, and art direction. Audiences were reported to have ridiculed early screenings and stayed away from the film after its opening weekend.
It received nine Golden Raspberry Awards, which until 2012 was the most Razzie Awards given to a single film, and won Worst Picture of the Decade in 2010. Franchise Pictures was later sued by its investors and went bankrupt in 2004 after it emerged that it had fraudulently overstated the film’s budget by $31 million; this, coupled with its poor reception, ended Travolta’s plans for a sequel.