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Yes, Battlefield Earth is loosely based on the novel of the same title by author and founder of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard. Originally intended to be a two-part move, Battlefield Earth depicts the first half of the novel. A sequel was intended to be made shortly after, but these plans never occurred.
No. While the author of the novel Battlefield Earth, L. Ron Hubbard, is also the founder of the Church of Scientology, little or no Scientologist views are presented in the book. John Travolta was intent on making this film as both a follower of L.Ron Hubbard and as a fan of the source material. However, the film focuses on the science fiction aspects of the original novel, and does not intentionally promote any religious agenda. Slight similarities between themes of the novel and film and teachings of Scientology do exist, but the connection is more incidental than anything else.
Several things. The book was long and verbose, and was difficult to condense into a two-hour movie; in fact, only the first half was filmed, with the second intended to be the sequel. The pulp science-fiction plot was considered to be clunky and outdated, and despite John Travolta's enthusiasm for the film, many studios were unwilling to finance the movie.Upon release, the film received a critical drubbing, with common criticisms such as the poor acting, an outrageous and inconsistent plot, and a baffling visual style employed by the director (which included an excessive use of slow-motion and Dutch angles). This led to poor word of mouth before and after the release. In addition, the often poorly portrayed image of Scientology instantly tainted public perception, and the motives behind making this movie based on a novel by Scientology's founder L. Ron Hubbard seemed to overwhelm viewer objectivity.Lastly, production company Franchise Pictures was sued in 2004 by its German investors when it was discovered that it had been inflating film budgets, including that of Battlefield Earth. Franchise Pictures was forced to pay $121 million in damages and ultimately went bankrupt as a result.
The British Version misses a headbutt. Approx 2 seconds are cut. A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.
Originally, there were plans to make a sequel to Battlefield Earth, since the movie covers roughly half of the novel of the same title. Shortly after Battlefield Earth was released in 2000, Travolta indicated he would move forward with a sequel. However, a year later he stated that a sequel was not in the works. Because of the poor reception that Battlefield Earth received, coupled with the collapse of Franchise Pictures, plans for a sequel failed to gain any serious traction and were abandoned.
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