Operation Clambake


Las Vegas Sun
April 23, 2000

Columnist Kate Maddox: Travolta's passion fuels 'Earth'

Kate Maddox's column appears Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Reach her at kmaddox@lasvegassun.com.

Yet another example of Scientology's popularity in Hollywood is John Travolta's personal commitment to promote his new sci-fi thriller "Battlefield Earth."
Travolta (and other celebrities including Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Jenna Elfman, Kirstie Alley and Lisa Marie Presley) is a staunch defender of the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. "Battlefield Earth" is based on one of Hubbard's pulp novels and Travolta was in town Thursday to start the buzz and get some media attention for the flick, which is scheduled for release in May.
Travolta also wanted to get a tour of the MGM and Studio 54 so he could check out the setting for the world premiere of the movie, which will be May 11 at the MGM. A celebrity-packed after-party will take place on the dance floor at Studio 54 -- which has some old photos of Travolta taken at the original nightclub in New York City.
Travolta, who with wife Kelly Preston recently had a baby daughter, seems to be very excited about the Vegas opening. Movie premieres are always a big deal with the paparazzi, and Travolta promised to bring some of his Hollywood pals to walk the MGM red carpet. Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis and Nicolas Cage were some of the names he dropped for a scheduled appearance at the premiere. About 650 people are expected to attend the opening and party. According to the movie's star, "Battlefield Earth," which is rumored to be a special effects space odyssey along the lines of the "Star Wars" movies, is possibly going to produce a sequel or two.