Battlefield Earth Screenwriter Explains What Happened – Corey Mandell

Film Courage: In our 2017 interview Cory we touched
on the movie Battlefield Earth so maybe we can talk about it again and that is I
believe you’re one of the co writers on the movie?
Can you explain what happened and also help explain to other screenwriters
maybe what could possibly happen to them? Corey Mandell, Screenwriter/Instructuro: Sure
thanks for bringing that up. Film Courage: Oh sure…yeah I’m here to open all those old wounds.
Corey: Yeah so let me I’ll walk you through sort of what happened and how it
happened but then I it with your permission I want to back up and sort of
talk about a more important aspect to it so what happened is I I felt like I was
so unlucky out of the gate well no I felt
incredibly fortunate I sold this pitch really sick I was gonna make it he
almost made it but then there was just all this crazy stuff with German
investment studio politics just all the stuff that nothing to do with me or the
script it didn’t get me to Prague two projects later of a director of a
greenlit movie studio greenlit movie director in Africa scouting locations
and then the head of studio lost his job the new person came in and shut down all
of the projects that the previous person had greenlit so that now it was dead and
I could go on I had five projects in the first five years that were greenlit but
didn’t get made and so I just thought god hates me and I’m the unluckiest
person in the world and then I met more and more writers who had the exact same
stories and I realized oh it’s not that God hates me
God hates writers and it’s just this is just the nature of the beast
now I so I had a so I’m sorry so what happened is the last time I had a I’d
written script that almost got made but the star backed out and it’s just so
clear you need a star to get it over the finish line so I got a call from agent
saying that they want to meet you at MGM John Travolta was a huge star at the
time and for bath so I want you to go take
the meeting do not say yes to do not take the project but meet John Travolta
and his producing partner these are good relationships and you’re going to meet
the head of the studio head of MGM so I went in and took the meeting and they
told me what I wanted to hear and I wanted to hear it and they told me this
has nothing to do with Scientology you know we had a science we had a writer
from Scientology and the script is completely unusable we’re not following
the book literally in fact John’s gonna play the main character and the main
character in the book is like a young like 17 year old or 18 year old and you
know John’s middle-aged man at this point and we spent a big Star Wars movie
and it’s gonna be really fun and and just told me everything I’m on here and
John Travolta was like it was really good that make me feel really special
and it’s gonna be a great movie and all of this and I was very respectful but I
I said no but I was really tempted because I’m like this will get made and
this could be a big fun Star Wars movie maybe and it has Travolta he’s very
motivated to do this but I said no it was really hard because at the point I
was feeling like if I don’t get something made no one’s gonna hire me
again because you can write some scripts that get close to being made and they
don’t get me but at some point if you’ve written five six seven scripts that
haven’t actually got made then at some point people are gonna blame you and I
really felt like I was and I went in there I was getting there so then it
leaves MGM and it goes to Fox 2000 they pick it up and Laura Ziskin is running
Fox 2000 and she came she was when the first industry people ever met cuz I was
in film school and she came to speak to us and I was mesmerized she’s so
intelligent and she’s just so amazing and just feels it’s just so much ethics
and has was involved in some of my favorite movies
so they once again made a run at me and I have dinner and I said yes and Fox mm
you know they were very clear like this has got nothing to do with Scientology
and it’s gonna be this kind of a movie and all of it
I felt very secure in saying yes now I want to be
clear my wife said don’t say yes my agent said
don’t say yes my friend said don’t say yes my Golden Retriever Toby said don’t
say yes in his own golden retriever way so so everyone else was saying don’t do
it but I did it and I’m gonna come back to why I said yes the real reason I said
yes I’m gonna come back to that but I said yes and I got paid a lot of money
and I wrote this correct and two or three days before I turn the script in
Fox 2000 was out there was a change with Laura I mean Fox 2000 was out and the
project got picked up by franchise films which isn’t a real film company there
are a financing company since gotten a lot of trouble but so when I turned the
script in there was no studio there were no executives it was just John and his
producing partner and as far as I can tell spiritual advisors came in to fill
that void because there’s no real record of what the development was at that
point because it was no longer a studio movie and so there were changes to the
script that I was not involved in and then the movie got made and and it had a
miniscule budget for the special effects and it was terrible and I don’t mean to
be offensive thing was a Scientologist but in the industry that was not seen as
a positive in fact I went on I could round of meetings for a year after that
movie where people just brought me in to see how did this happen and are you a
Scientologist everyone wanted to know if I was a Scientologist which I am NOT and
so yeah so basically the once you turn a script in you don’t own that script you
have no control over the changes if it’s a studio film there’s going to be a
record of the developmental changes there was no record nobody well some
people know I have no idea who I’ve heard rumors but I have no idea who
rewrote it and why but they rewrote it back to the book and then John for some
reason decided instead of playing the seventeen-year-old character he was
gonna play the space alien he was gonna play like this giant space alien which I
don’t think was probably the best choice so anyway the movie was just a complete
unmitigated disaster I remember I was in Vegas when it came
out I was so depressed cuz I was like that’s it my writing career is over
I was actually secretly a little relieved but I was mostly depressed I
remember talking to my agent who like talked me off the ledge and he’s like
people in this industry know what happened and they are not gonna hold
this against you and your career is not over it’s gonna be a little more
challenging but your career is not over if this ever happens again your career
is over that you can survive this one and again just I think I was just so
blessed and fortunate I continued to work as a writer at my full quote with
heads of Studios major directors for four more years like it should have
ended my career I was fortunate that I had a track record of writing scripts
that had attracted major elements that almost got made didn’t get made so I had
that so people were willing to say okay this
was an unmitigated disaster we’re not gonna hold this one against you and and
I got to keep working I think if I was a newer writer without that track record
it would have been over for me but I want to I want to sort of back up
because all of that kind of does it kind of it kind of divorces me of a lot of
the responsibilities of sort of like okay I knew I shouldn’t say yes but I
said yes and then right for her in the script in the studio backed out and it
was franchise films and and all that’s true but I want to back up after the
really Scott deal happened an agent Barbara Dreyfus was an agent the time
just she wasn’t my agent but she was such a good person that she took me out
to lunch if that wasn’t her client and she said Cory the script that you wrote
to get your career and the script you wrote from a droplets that really is
going to make now is not the most important script of your career the most
important script of your career is the next script that you write because now
you’re on the radar now people know who you are
this next script will seal your fate this next script will put you on a
trajectory what career do you most want and that’s what the script needs to be
people are gonna offer you a lot of money to write scripts that you don’t
want to write you have to say no you will be scared that the offers will will
slow down and they may not come you have to take that risk
the offers won’t slow down worst case everyone offers a script everyone offers
your project to write and you don’t want to write it you say no to everything and
worst case they stop offering you things write a spec you have to write the
script that you most want to write that is authentic you have to write the
script that you’re going to that is going to be a 10 on a scale and the
tents got to be exceptional because this next script is going to seal your fade
down the road if you want to take a project just for because you’re getting
paid obscene amount of money you can do that down the road not right now and it
was one of those times when when she said that I Scott this chill up my spine
I’m like this is true I was offered a project I didn’t want to write I said no
it was offered another project I said no the studio came back and offered me more
money I said no they came back and offered me a lot more money I thought
about it I said oh I’ll write the script I absolutely do not want to write the
script I said no he’s really hard then they
said we want to meet with you at least so I went to meet to get the
relationship and in the room they offered me more money and they talked it
all up and they played in my ego and I said yes so there I was like I failed
this test really early on and like from that moment on I was just I was always
reacting I didn’t have a center I was just reacting I was scared I just wanted
more I just wanted I didn’t want the deals to end and I just kept taking
deals that in my soul I knew I shouldn’t be taking but I did and if you do that
over time it’s going to lead to Battlefield Earth if you just keep
reacting and you don’t find your integrity in your Center and you just
give your power to the industry and do whatever it takes to keep getting work
it’s going to end terrible I feel like I completely deserve
Battlefield Earth it was the I was just making reactive fear-based decisions and
that’s what it leads you to and I was able to talk myself into taking that
project yes I didn’t know Fox 2000 would drop out I had no idea about fan choice
films there was a lot I couldn’t foresee but I knew in my heart that I should say
no and I said yes so I own that and I deserve that
I can now look back at it and say it was it was literally one of the greatest
things that have ever happened in my life because I was so afraid of
rejection I was so afraid of what other people thought this movie came out and
like you could imagine looking through the LA Times or the New York Times at
the reviews I mean they were brutal I mean this this movie is a punchline
to jokes today I mean this is considered one of the worst movies of all time and
I am one of the credited writers and even though most people don’t understand
how the industry works and what that really means I am one of the credited
writers I’m one of the worst movies of all time I you for me like there was no
greater sense of rejection or shame it was it was beyond what I was most afraid
of didn’t kill me I came out of it stronger I came out of it humbled I came
out of it for the first time starting to hear that voice inside me I started to
pay attention to who I was I started to realize and then when my father died I
realized life doesn’t last forever and I realized that I’d been living my life
based making all these fear-based decisions and not saying Who am I and
what matters to me and why am I on this planet and those questions and that led
me ultimately after 40 I worked for four years after breaking I wish I was
breaking bad Battlefield Earth I worked for four years after that and then I
walked away and just to be clear I don’t want to make it look
like I was at the height of my career and I walked away the offers were
getting harder and harder they were slowing up it was getting harder and
harder to book a job I felt like I could squeeze another one out but I walked
away because I didn’t want to write I didn’t want to do this anymore and the
one thing that I’ve loved in life is teaching and I was teaching at UCLA like
once a year for for the fun of it when I was writing and I remember talking to my
wife and I’m like if I could just teach like I feel like that’s my purpose and
she’s like then that’s what you’re gonna do and I was thinking I can’t make that
fear voice was still like I can’t make any money doing that and she’s like do
it you you you just spent 10 years doing something for the money and you were
miserable I mean ah I waited like 40 pounds more than this I had treated
myself and other people badly has so much pain so much rage jeez you deserve
you know we got money in the bank for now
you deserve to to pursue just what you love just try it
so I did and and I am so proud of I have six teachers now teaching under me I’m
so proud of what we built over the last seven years I’m so proud of everyone has
gone through our program who’s not working and selling stuff and I would
never be the teacher I was today if it wasn’t for Battlefield Earth I’ll just
talk about process and creative integration and it all came from that
pain that I own that it was my fault that it happened yeah I said yes what I
knew I shouldn’t and it is the best thing that ever happened to me
you know from that moment on it’s like when I when I want to make an instinct
or I have to make a decision in my my instinct is to do this but I have this
fear voice of what what would people think or you could be rejected it’s like
well it ain’t gonna be a bad as battle filler you know and I survived that so
yeah it really softened me and it really made me like really pay attention to
like my instincts and my impulses and that that’s allowed me to be the teacher
that I am so I think everything happens for a reason
and I think that I was put on this or to teach and Bala fell earth was a big
part of that and it’s it was a big part of my training to be the teacher that I
am and I remember when I first started teaching like well no one’s gonna take a
class for me like who’s gonna say hmm let’s take a writing class from the guy
who wrote one of the worst movies ever it I can’t explain it but ever since I
started like my classes are sold out we we have waiting lists as I said I have
six teachers that teach under me I don’t know why but but I think people it’s all
referral-based and I think people realize that what we’re teaching no one
else is teaching we’re really teaching people how to change your relationship
with writing how to change your process and how to become an even better writer
than you knew you could be we’re not teaching paradigms and rules we’re
actually teaching people how to be writers so sorry if I overreacted but
and there’s anything else that you’re curious about in terms of bath or thumb
I’m happy to answer it don’t you think it’s it’s almost better to have someone
who’s gone through so many ups and downs teach something rather than somebody
who’s either flatlined or yeah it’s been just nothing but successes well how
somebody get up always because most people’s careers are never just a
straight line it’s not yes I agree and I mean so first of all I feel so and just
the danger of over answering it I think what I do uniquely as a teacher is that
I can help writers recognize their process either you’re in charge of your
process or your process is in charge of you and for so many creative people
they’re not fully aware and responsible for their process they’re not in charge
of their process and I’m really good and working with writers to figure out like
where their pain and fears and and where they have an unhealthy relationship and
where it’s sabotaging them and what they can do to get to heal that and to evolve
their process to become a much better writer and part of it is the whole time
I was writing I was obsessed with process I talked to every successful
writer every unsuccessful writer but particularly success writers and I
wanted to know what’s your process what’s your process because I was I
thought if I could you’re out the right process I could
heal myself I could change my relationship with writing it was really
painful to know I was getting paid a lot of money and I was writing something but
it was never even close to my potential like I knew I was so much better than I
was then I was limiting myself to be so I was always looking for a better
process and and it never helped me I couldn’t overcome my demons but I I have
an encyclopedic I just I didn’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of writer
processes so when I worked with writers I think especially because I I fought so
hard against my demons and I never actually overcame them I think I’m
really attuned to people fight with their demons and so when I first started
teaching to be perfectly honest I taught to get out of the house I talked those
lonely as a writer I talk because it was fun I talk because I wanted to be a
stand-up so at least I it was sort of a way of performing but the real reason I
was teaching is I wanted to help people evolve their process heal their process
a lot of people I want to teach people I want to teach people how they could
become reach their full potential because I figured if I could do that for
someone else that I would know how to do it for myself and what I found is I’m
really good at doing it for other people and I can’t do it for myself so so yes
to rap back to your question I think there are people who just know nothing
but success they’re really smart I think they can give really good feedback on a
script I think they’re really smart and they can really be beneficial but often
in terms of process they don’t even know they’re doing things about knowing
they’re doing it and they can’t always empathize or connect with people who are
struggling in certain ways so yeah I think the fact that in some ways you
know I did a 19-4 hire studio projects I worked with great people I got really
close on some projects I made good money in some ways I was very successful in
terms of credits and Battlefield Earth and and enjoying writing and feeling
like I was writing the best of my I was a failure so I feel like I was
both successful and it fell to depend on how you want to look at it and I do
think that really helps me as a teacher because I can work with someone who’s
brand-new who’s really struggling as we know why they’re struggling and I work
right now with a lot of show runners who are so amazing
but they just want to get that much better so I can I can use all of all of
that collective experience and I think that I in a lot of ways I think my
writing career was there to launch my teaching career I just didn’t know it at
the time it is yeah you

Comments 100

  • Much respect to him. We've all heard the stories (such as stallone with assassins) of other hands basically bastardizing scripts. He survived the disaster and is doing what he really loves. He can never be classified as a failure. He writes and he teaches to write.

  • Nobody who does what they love for a living can ever even be a failure.

  • yeah, its pretty easy for someone (whos successful) to tell you to say no to a project.

  • Battlefield Earth is a very funny movie. I hate when people say it's the worst movie ever. Not even close. I think it's hilarious. It's not meant to be, but it is. The aliens talk a lot about leverage.

  • The Internet is so awesome sometimes

  • Love the heartfelt response.

  • Poor guys writing Talent was stuffed into the meat grinder and turned into sausage through no fault of his own. I think most people who work at a job as hard as they can with great dreams only to be shoved into the same grinder by their worthless superiors can understand this man's plight, because I certainly can.

  • Great book. Horrible movie.

  • Saw this film at a free advanced screening. Upon leaving the theater I wanted to ask for my money back. What a complete waste of time.

  • I would love to take his class. I've done some writing in the past but haven't in so long. I've got great ideas just lack the discipline to get them on paper.

  • There are so many great movies that don't get made because the people with the money are gigantic goitres.

  • Battlefield Earth sucked so hard as it trivialised the book into a pathetic 'sci-fi action' film … if it told the books actual story without the Hollywood BS – it would have been a great film.

  • All due respect, but nobody “deserved” Battlefield Earth… awesome retelling and i admire the honesty of this guy. An object lesson in fear-based decision-making.

  • I don't think it's that bad. Zenu would have liked it.

  • He keeps saying it didn't end his career, yet all the evidence points to the contrary

  • I understand all the problems critics and film industry has with this film. but when I watched battlefield earth in 2001 I really enjoyed it. I thought Travolta was hammy and hilarious, I really enjoyed Barry Pepper, and the sci fi elements were fun to watch. The film was too long but I generally liked it.

  • Lesson here: If you are a chemist and a meth dealer comes to you, invites you to their lab and says "I want to make product with you, don't worry it won't be meth" you're an idiot if you believe them.

  • Those who can't do teach, unless they can do Battlefield Earth. Then they have 6 teaching underneath them.

  • White supremacy is intricate, and at the same time its simple.

  • hehe, has nothing to do wtih scientology ? beside the story beeing the basis of the religion … not much no haha.

  • I love how the internet completely destroyed scientologists so bad that they are universally known as nutters.

  • While it is unintentionally funny it's far from the worst movie I've ever seen

  • This interview, this video and the timing for me personally is just a titan Godsend. Corey, thanks for your honesty for the interview, for me I am sure and the sake of many potential screenwriters is very impactful and profoundly educational. Thank you thank you and thank you, have a good weekend.

  • What happened? They tried to make a movie out of a really bad story is what happened lol…

  • “God hates writers” haha perfect.

  • What a cool guy… anyone else would have done the same thing. Having John Travolta wanting your script would have been hard to turn down back then. It may have been a good movie if they wouldn't have butchered his script.

  • He survived. I suspect not many do.

  • IMDB says Battlefield Earth was his last writing credit ….. how the hell is his career not dead

  • Query: he talks about taking – what I understand to be – writing job after writing job that he didn't want to do, but his decisions were 'fear based'.
    IMdB has two, count them two, screen writing credits for this guy, one of which is *Battlefield Earth*. That seems to be a contradiction.

  • Scientology happened.

  • This guy is a massive tool

  • This is a good guy and a real writer, I have to check out his other movies goes to IMDB ohhhhhhhhhhh shhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit

  • Without the context of actually watching it, that is my favourite video title of the week

  • Who taught him his process? YOUR FRIENDLY BARTENDER! (I hope that was a ghostwriter and hot him who wrote that scene.)

  • I assume he’s still working and successful. I’m happy for him, you’d figure anyone who had their name attached to this movie would be living in a cardboard box under an overpass.

  • Heres what happened. LRH is a joke. A joke writer and Scientology is a joke. Anything and everything associated with LRH is garbage. Fuck Tom Cruise fuck David Miscavige and FUCK SCIENTOLOGY lmfao

  • For a professional writer, he sure says, "So.." a lot! "So amazing!" What's wrong with just 'amazing'?

  • Battlefield Earth is a GREAT book!

  • I'm curious: couldn't he just ask to not be credited? Even if people in industry would find out by other means, the fact that he asked not to be credited would speak pretty clearly..

  • This flick had its charme, I've seen a lot worse.

  • This is basically click bait

  • Too bad he does not have his original script. It would be fascinating to read that vs the book vs the .. er… ?movie?
    I read the book after seeing the movie and was stunned the movie ended like 25% into the book.

  • dude.. he hasn't written anything important… why would i want to learn from him?

  • Here's a movie pitch for you. Guy devotes his life to pursuing his creative dreams, achieves them, he's filled with fear and depression, then is forced to walk away for his own health and sanity. And what does he do instead? He teaches others how to have the same experience he did. Roll credits.

  • i love Battlefield Earth for how bad it is, it makes it a real fun movie to watch

  • So you were paid well for several scripts that were presented to ie studio, that never got made? The definition of 'success', versus screen writers for award winning films?

  • great interview!!!

  • This dude seems like the most sincere and down to earth dude in Hollywood….I hope he can still work on projects that are deserving of his skills

  • Lol my bro made me think for the longest time he took me to a r rated movie for the first time i loved it this movie now its all a lie

  • The original book was . . . okay, not great. I think it could have been great, but it just had some persistent flaws in it.

    The main character was a little bit too much of a Mary Sue. His plans were always HUGELY successful. He was amazingly good at everything he tried to do.

    The bad guys were too over the top as villains. They were a little too comic-booky, being evil just for the sake of being evil. There was an explanation for this, but it wasn't a very plausible one. (Evil psychiatrists took over the entire species and basically mind-controlled them to a certain extent.)

    The science was a little bit whacky, what with the bad guys breathing a gas that would ignite and explode in the presence of radiation and evil psychiatrists conquering the entire Psychlo species.

  • I own the movie, only watched it once it hangs on my wall of shame to remind me not to trust facevalue. 😉

  • I don't really care why he said yes, I want to know why everyone was telling him to say no before the script was written.

  • i tried to watch that movie 3 times but never could get very far into it before giving up.

  • That was an amazing amount of self-actualization, realization, and humility. Feels like one of the most heartfelt interview responses I've seen.

    The funny thing is, I didn't really think the movie was that bad if I compare it to the book.

  • I've read the book and I think it's decent enough (no, I'm not a Scientologist either), but to this day I haven't been able to watch more than 20 minutes of the movie. But I have a real issue with what Corey Mandell has said here about the screenplay he wrote. If you are going to convert a book into a movie (or vice versa, for that matter), you do have to make some changes. But if you are going to make major changes that significantly alter the story, then why are you using the book's title and author's name?

    In my opinion, if you don't have enough respect for the book's characters and plot to be as faithful to the author's original intention as the medium allows you to be, then just call it an original work and don't mislead your audience into thinking it's related to something they might know and like. You might still make a masterpiece, but it won't be the masterpiece people who are familiar with the original work would expect it to be. At the very most, you could say your work is "inspired by" the original work, and that would be a fair acknowledgement, IMO. But the more you change it, the more you turn it into something your own, and the less it becomes related to the original work.

  • That was more then honest, heavenly father bless you guys

  • a lot of people didn't like Battlefield Earth, I liked it. I thought it was an ok SiFI movie.

  • Great insight there, what a lovely guy.

  • Don’t make decisions based on fear when your heart is telling you to do the opposite

  • he says he wrote for Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford etc. But what movie? I've been googling for like ten minutes and have found nothing. Found nothing about metropolis either. Sounds like BS

  • Wow… "I wanna be a screenwriter!!" You want to donate potentially great ideas to people who will bastardize them? o.O

  • >Why is it we're programmed to operate on the basis of preserving ego who for all its promises assures only destruction?

  • Such wisdom to impart, I very much enjoyed listening to this.

  • His IMDB lists 2 credits as a writer, battlefield Earth and a 1991 TV movie with a 4.9/10 rating, I don't like "screenwriting teachers" who claim to have worked for ages yet have no results to back this up, I'd respect him much more if he was upfront that he's only had one other credit to his name in his 30+ year career.

  • Funny fact: he is not being interviewed, he is talking to his psychologist

  • Why is that a thing? Why do people have to be such assholes?
    "There was a guy, and he had all these things planned. New guy comes in, and shuts down everything the other guy had already started."

    Why? What the fuck? Just let things be.

  • He went so deep on this, it’s like seeing a movie about the movie! Doing artistic projects for the money versus refusing projects to stay authentic to who you are, it reveals the reality of what a viewer is being subjected to when choosing a film to watch. Viewers don’t want to be bamboozled into watching something lacking integrity or a product that insults their intelligence, all for a payout.

  • I feel really bad for the guy, it's clear this weighs a lot on him.

  • "Nobody deserves Battlefield Earth"

    No, we all deserve Battlefield Earth. It is a penance for all of mankind's sins.

  • The first word of the vid wasn’t “Scientology” so I downvoted and moved on.

  • has this guy done anything since Battlefield Earth?

  • This is gold.thank you.

  • Why is it terrorists never shoot up the fkin Scientology "church"?? Hmmm..

  • The writing wasn’t the major issue. BFE was a bad book to begin with. Very very pulpy and more suited to a 50s sci to film than a modern one. It’s plot it’s paper thin, the characters very poorly constructed archetypes, it’s badly paced and the dialogue is like the Simpsons
    parody take on a 50s Sci film.

    The whole film is dire. Hilarious and so bad it’s good, but so so missed the mark. It’s effects are poor, design is poor, it’s shot badly and REALLY badly graded and timed, performances are atrocious (but funny unintentionally) all those Dutch angles, the weird slo mo, the massive plot holes etc…

    It works best as it exists now; as a meme and one of those films that is so bad you HAVE to watch it. I’ve seen every video on it, I’ve watched it a dozen times alone and with friends and always have had a good time! It does serve a purpose in that regard and Travolta brings an extra special layer of cringe to it.

    His remarks about ‘pulp fiction in space’ the ‘Schindler’s list of sci fi’ etc make it even funnier. Everyone failed here and I don’t think anyone deserves hate for it! Or to be black listed! Barry Pepper and Forrest Whittaker all done well etc…
    Travolta…well go see Gotti!

    It’s almost like the sci fi Showgirls. It’s so funny because it takes itself so seriously. It tries so so hard to be everything it is not. The failure is what makes it hilarious. I almost am sorry that the second part of the book was never filmed!

    It’s in the pantheon of films so bad they are good and become a cult classic in a way because of the reputation it has. If nobody was talented working on it it would be forgotten. It takes a huge amount of talent to crash and burn that hard.

  • Turn about is fair game, he completely re-wrote the original book into a in name only screenplay, and then he was upset that someone partly changed it back.

  • “Hollywood has the best moral compass, because it has compassion” — Harvey Weinstein, 2009.

    Hollywood and Scientologists all belong to cults. One is a fake religious cult the other is a real POLITICAL CULT. Watching men confused that they are men is why they are in Hollywood getting huge salaries. Not because of talent.

  • "Saying no makes them horny." — Brian K. Vaughan

  • Let me make this very simple. They took a 1,200 page book and tried to turn it into a 2 hour movie. The end.

  • Don't be afraid to say no even in a cut throat industry where you may not know where your next meal is coming from.

  • This movie had the capability to be such an awesome amazing movie. The book was a story of victory and Triumph against insurmountable odds but ended up being such a waste of time and money. I sincerely hope that this movie gets remade at some point in the future.

  • I Love this talk!
    (God hates artists too btw
    AND i'm also telling people that you learn sooOOOOoo much moRe when things go wrong than when they go right.
    (when things work it's fun but you learn nothing)

  • Battlefield Earth is not a great movie, but I enjoyed watching it. There were HUGE holes in the story, but it was about as (or more) good as the very BEST SciFi/SyFy production that channel has ever made. I do feel for what was done to his name by a group of people who had no business making a movie.

  • Very Inspiring. Makes Me want to write novels.

  • Sounds like a screwjob Battlefield earth

  • Wow, he came 👌🏻 close to having written a sequel to Bladerunner directed by Ridley Scott.

  • Anyone who is or has been a student of Corey understands that he has transmuted a negative experience into purposeful training and the encouragement of other writers. He is honest, skillful, and engaging. You can tell him and his team truly care about the work they do to cultivate powerful writers. I am honored to have the opportunity to learn from this man. I strongly suggest others to attend his class. FYI – No one asked me to leave this comment but I decided to take his class based on his last Film Courage interview posted 2 years ago. I'm sure there's someone thinking about taking his class now just as I was months ago. Do it!

  • Wow, this is such a raw interview. It is good he found his passion through teaching.

  • There will always be a film that comes along and takes the worst movie category from Battlefield Earth.

  • Mate- you’ve got balls and amazing courage and honesty! Thanks for telling the truth and for sharing!

  • Great interview! I've taken some classes with Corey and can attest that he's a gifted teacher. And yes, I think his mistakes give him a bigger view of how things work with writers and their processes. I'd never heard the full story of Battlefield Earth before, only snippets.

  • This is an amazing interview.

  • That is why some screenwriters should become writer-directors as this is the sort of thing will happen, where they change the script without your consent. But Corey's advice is very much appreciated.

  • Given Battlefield Earth was a total rewrite, why didn't you get your name taken off the film?

  • Such an incredibly insightful and honest moment.

  • Shoot I might be an idiot but I actually kinda liked BE. Fun movie, interesting characters…still don’t get why it gets so hated on…

  • The original writer JD Shapiro blames this man, Corey Mandell, for ruining the Battlefield Earth script.

  • Fantastic interview great work

  • Artists are like entrepreneurs, they take risks.
    Only the ones who never try, laugh at the ones who do try, and sometimes experience setbacks.

  • Battlefield Earth was like Chernobyl of movies. It kept claiming its victims even long after it was over.

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