Real To Reel: The Joy Of Sects

Source: Sunday Mail
Date: January 3, 1999

If you think the idea of John Travolta as a 12-ft alien is bizarre, check this out...

The Hollywood rumour mill has it that Travolta is only after the role because of his religious beliefs.

As Terl in Battlefield Earth, he is the leader of an army of evil extraterrestrials who have taken over and forced humans to toil in underground mines.

Travolta is so keen to make the movie, he will act as producer as well as star.

But none of the big studios has agreed to foot the bill.

It is not just the pounds 80 million price tag which is putting them off. The script is from a book by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology.

Travolta has long been the controversial sect's most high-profile supporter.

His career was dead and buried until Pulp Fiction. Although that was a Quentin Tarantino movie, Travolta credits his comeback to his faith. In Phenomenon, Travolta played a small-town garage mechanic who became a genius after seeing a heavenly light inthe skies.

Critics panned the movie as a thinly-veiled hymn of praise to Scientology, yet it cleaned up at the box office. So, with faith, Battlefield Earth might yet see the light of day.

If it gets off the ground, Scientology founder Hubbard will have the last laugh from his grave.

In the late 1930s, he worked as a scriptwriter in Hollywood - but none of his projects ever made it to the silver screen.

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