'Battlefield Earth' Sequel Conisdered

Oct. 19, 2000 -- Battlefield Earth may have been one of the most critically mauled movies of the year, but that's not stopping John Travolta from talking about a sequel.

“The bottom line is that I feel really good about it. Here I was taking big chances, breaking a new genre,” said Travolta.

“I am so thrilled, believe it or not, at the outcome, because I didn’t believe I could get it done,” an upbeat Travolta told journalists this week, adding that critics have a history of disliking sci-fi movies.

Asked whether there would be a Battlefield 2, he said, “Sure. Yeah.”

Let’s hope for an alien intervention before the film’s release.

‘Monolithic Monstrosity’ Based on the 1980 book by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, Battlefield Earth stars 46-year-old Travolta, one of Hollywood’s most vocal followers of the Church of Scientology, as the leader of a manipulative race of aliens bent on world dominance. Travolta also produced the film, which he said took 15 years to persuade studios to green-light.

Released in May, it was vilified by critics variously as “deeply dumb,” “laughably bad,” and a “monolithic monstrosity.” In addition to receiving a critical lynching, it has tallied just $21 million since its opening. The futuristic flick cost $70 million to make.

Battlefield Earth’s failure was also rumored to have bumped the release of Travolta’s next film, Nora Ephron’s Lucky Numbers, in order to give his reputation time to heal. “It could very well be [that studio representatives] wanted to distance themselves from Battlefield Earth, which left a bad taste in moviegoers’ mouths,” speculated Robert Bucksbaum, president of box-office tracking agency Reel Source, back in June.

Trying Something New Travolta optimistically claimed that the movie is now winning fans on the Internet and is growing on audiences.

“When I felt better about everything was when George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino and a lot of people that I felt knew what they were doing saw it and thought it was a great piece of science fiction. The book stood for something classic and this hopefully will too,” Travolta added.

Travolta, who reinvented his career by switching from light comedy to playing a philosophical hit man in the 1994 movie Pulp Fiction, said he enjoyed the challenge of doing something different.

“My whole career has been based on trying something new. If I don’t try something new, I worry,” he said.

Lucky Numbers opens Oct. 27 and stars the actor as a lowlife TV meteorologist who tries to coerce a Lotto-ball girl (Lisa Kudrow) into rigging a lottery drawing.

Reuters contributed to this story.