- Deep Impact (film)
Original teaser theatrical poster
Directed by Mimi Leder Produced by David Brown
Richard D. Zanuck
Written by Bruce Joel Rubin
Starring Robert Duvall
and Morgan Freeman
Music by James Horner Cinematography Dietrich Lohmann Editing by Paul Cichocki
Distributed by North America:
Release date(s) May 8, 1998 Running time 121 minutes Country USA Language English Budget $75 million Box office $349,464,665
Deep Impact is a 1998 science-fiction disaster-drama film released by Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks in the United States on May 8, 1998. The film was directed by Mimi Leder and stars Robert Duvall, Elijah Wood, Téa Leoni, and Morgan Freeman. The plot describes the attempts to prepare for and destroy a 7-mile wide comet, which is expected to collide with the Earth and cause a mass extinction.
Another "space impact" film, Armageddon, was released about two months after Deep Impact in the United States. Deep Impact's greater scientific credibility was recognized, though Armageddon fared better at the box office; however, Deep Impact was still a major financial success, grossing over $349 million worldwide on a $75 million production budget. Both films were similarly received by critics, with Armageddon scoring 41% and Deep Impact scoring 46% on the Tomatometer.
On May 10, 1998, teenage amateur astronomer Leo Biederman (Elijah Wood) discovers an unusual object near the stars Mizar and Alcor at a star party. He alerts professional astronomer Marcus Wolf (Charles Martin Smith) at a local observatory. Wolf learns that the object is a comet, and calculates that it will hit the Earth, but dies in a car accident before he can alert the world.
A year later, MSNBC reporter Jenny Lerner (Téa Leoni) investigates the resignation of the United States Secretary of the Treasury (James Cromwell) and his connection to an "Ellie". She discovers that Ellie is not a mistress but an acronym: "E.L.E.", for "Extinction-Level Event". Because of Lerner's investigation, President of the United States Tom Beck (Morgan Freeman) advances the announcement of the grim facts: The comet—named Wolf-Biederman—is 7 miles (11 km) wide, large enough to destroy all life if it strikes Earth (although how the U.S. government learned of the comet's existence is not specified). The United States and Russia have been secretly constructing in orbit the spacecraft Messiah, which they plan to send on a mission to destroy the comet with nuclear weapons. Life changes drastically worldwide, and both Leo and Lerner become celebrities.
After landing on the comet, the Messiah crew members plant nuclear bombs 100 meters beneath the surface; one crew member dies while another is seriously injured. When the bombs are detonated, Messiah is damaged and loses contact with Earth. Instead of being destroyed, the comet splits into two smaller rocks nicknamed "Biederman" (1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide) and "Wolf" (6 miles (9.7 km) wide), either one still world-threatening.
Beck acknowledges Messiah’s failure, declares martial law, and announces that governments worldwide are building underground shelters. The United States' national refuge is in the limestone caves of Missouri. The US government conducts a lottery to select 800,000 ordinary Americans aged 50 and under to join 200,000 pre-selected scientists, engineers, teachers, artists, soldiers, and officials. Lerner and Leo's family are pre-selected, but Leo's girlfriend Sarah Hotchner (Leelee Sobieski) is not. Leo marries Sarah to save her family but the Hotchners are mistakenly left off the evacuee list; Sarah refuses to leave without them.
A last-ditch effort to use Earth's missile-borne nuclear weapons to deflect the two chunks of the comet fails. Leo returns home looking for Sarah, but her family has left for the Appalachian Mountains and are trapped on a jammed highway. Sarah's parents urge Leo to take Sarah and her baby brother to high ground; Sarah still does not want to abandon her parents, but they convince her to do so. Lerner gives up her seat in the last evacuation helicopter to her friend Beth, who has a young daughter. She instead joins her estranged father (Maximilian Schell) at her childhood beach house, where they reconcile and remember happier times. The Biederman fragment impacts in the Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda, creating an enormous, supersonic megatsunami. Leo, Sarah and her baby brother survive but Lerner and her father, Sarah's parents, and millions of others along the Atlantic coasts of North and South America, Europe, and Africa perish. A scene is shown with the destruction of New York.
The world braces for the impact of Wolf in western Canada, which will create a cloud of dust that will block out the sun for two years. This in turn will destroy all remaining life aside from that which has been evacuated underground. Low on fuel and life support, the crew of the Messiah decides to undertake a suicide mission with the remaining nuclear warheads. After saying goodbye to their loved ones by video conference, the Messiah reaches the fragment and enters a fissure to blow itself up, which breaks Wolf into much smaller pieces; these burn up in Earth's atmosphere, sparing humanity.
The film closes with President Beck speaking to a large crowd in front of the United States Capitol (which is under reconstruction), where he urges the nation and the world to continue their recovery.
- Robert Duvall as Capt. Spurgeon "Fish" Tanner, rendezvous pilot of the Messiah.
- Elijah Wood as Leo Biederman, he discovered the comet.
- Téa Leoni as Jenny Lerner, reporter who discovered the government concealment.
- Morgan Freeman as Tom Beck, President of the United States.
- Vanessa Redgrave as Robin Lerner, Jenny's mother.
- Maximilian Schell as Jason Lerner, Jenny's father.
- Leelee Sobieski as Sarah Hotchner.
- James Cromwell as Al Rittenhouse, secretary of the Treasury.
- Ron Eldard as Dr. Oren Monash, NASA, commander of the Messiah.
- Alexander Baluev as Michail Tulchinsky, Russian Federal Space Agency, Orion nuclear engine engineer and nuclear weapons specialist.
- Jon Favreau as Dr. Gus Partenza, medical officer of the Messiah.
- Laura Innes as Beth Stanley.
- Mary McCormack as Andrea "Andy" Baker, NASA, pilot of the Messiah.
- Richard Schiff as Don Biederman, Leo's father.
- Blair Underwood as Mark Simon, NASA, navigator of the Messiah.
- Mike O'Malley as Mike Perry, Leo's teacher.
- Charles Martin Smith as Dr. Marcus Wolf, who discovered that the comet would intersect Earth.
- Dougray Scott as Eric Vennekor.
- Kurtwood Smith as Otis Hefter, mission control director, Houston.
- Denise Crosby as Vicky Hotchner, Sarah Hotchner's mother.
- Jason Dohring as Jason.
As Deep Impact was a Paramount/DreamWorks co-production, Paramount distributed it in the USA, and DreamWorks overseas. International video distribution rights were originally with Universal Studios. Deep Impact was also the first DreamWorks film to be co-produced with another major studio.
Jenny Lerner, the character played by Tea Leoni, was originally intended to work for CNN. CNN rejected this because it would be "inappropriate". MSNBC agreed to be featured in the movie instead, seeing it as a way to gain exposure for the then-newly created network.
Deep Impact - Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack album by James Horner Released May 5, 1998 Recorded 1997 - 1998 Genre Film score Length 77:12 Label Sony James Horner chronology Titanic
The Mask of Zorro
The music of the film was composed and conducted by James Horner.
No. Title Length 1. "A Distant Discovery" 3:59 2. "Crucial Rendezvous" 3:58 3. "Our Best Hope" 13:24 4. "The Comet's Sunrise" 5:05 5. "A National Lottery" 8:25 6. "The Wedding" 4:00 7. "The Long Return Home" 4:43 8. "Sad News" 3:46 9. "Leo's Decision" 3:08 10. "The President's Speech" 4:29 11. "Drawing Straws" 10:41 12. "Goodbye And Godspeed" 11:34
Deep Impact debuted at the North American box office with $41,000,000 in ticket sales. The movie grossed $140,000,000 in North America and an additional $209,000,000 worldwide for a total gross of $350,000,000. Despite competition in the summer of 1998 from the similar Armageddon (which cost almost twice as much as Deep Impact to make), Deep Impact was still a box office hit and was the higher opener of the two. Domestically, it became the highest grossing film directed by a woman and held that record for a decade until Twilight claimed the record in 2008.
The film had a mixed critical reception. Based on 50 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, 46% of critics enjoyed the film, with an average rating of 5.7/10. Metacritic gave a score of 40 based on 20 reviews. Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times said that the film "has a more brooding, thoughtful tone than this genre usually calls for", however Rita Kempley and Michael O'Sullivan of the Washington Post criticized what they saw as unemotional performances and a lack of tension for the scenario.
In 2005, Paramount's parent company, Viacom, announced its acquisition of DreamWorks, and completed it in early 2006. Around that time, Viacom split into two companies, the other being called CBS Corporation. CBS inherited Paramount's TV operations, now called CBS Television Studios. Worldwide video and theatrical rights to Deep Impact are with Paramount, while American television rights are in the hands of Trifecta Entertainment & Media (inherited from CBS Television Distribution in 2009.
- ^ "Release in 1998 USA". Internet Movie Database. http://us.imdb.com/ReleasedInYear?year=1998&country=USA&&nav=/Sections/Years/1998/include-byreleasedate. Retrieved 2008-03-23. [dead link]
- ^ Plait, Phil (2000-02-17). "Hollywood Does the Universe Wrong". Space.com. http://www.space.com/opinionscolumns/opinions/plait_000217.html.
- ^ "Disaster Movies". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=disaster.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
- ^ AP: MSNBC gets role in ``Deep Impact after CNN declines 30/4/98: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-19861267.html
- ^ "Deep Impact (1998)". Box Office Mojo. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=deepimpact.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
- ^ "Deep Impact (1998)". http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/deep_impact/?name_order=asc. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
- ^ "Movie Review — Deep Impact". The New York Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?_r=2&res=9407E6DB1231F93BA35756C0A96E958260. Retrieved December 23, 2009. [dead link]
- ^ Kempley, Rita (March 8, 2000). "'Deep Impact': C'mon Comet!". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/deepimpactkempley.htm. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- ^ O'Sullivan, Michael (March 8, 2000). "High Profile, Low 'Impact'". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/deepimpactosullivan.htm. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- Deep Impact at the Internet Movie Database
- Deep Impact at the TCM Movie Database
- Deep Impact at Box Office Mojo
- Deep Impact at AllRovi
- Deep Impact at Rotten Tomatoes
- Deep Impact -vs- Armageddon at Movie Smackdown!
Films directed by Mimi Leder 1990sThe Peacemaker (1997) · Deep Impact (1998) 2000sPay It Forward (2000) · Thick as Thieves (2009) Steven Spielberg filmography 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
- The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
- War Horse (2011)
- Lincoln (2012)
- I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978)
- Used Cars (1980)
- Continental Divide (1981)
- Poltergeist (1982)
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
- Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
- Gremlins (1984)
- Back to the Future (1985)
- The Goonies (1985)
- Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)
- The Color Purple (1985)
- An American Tail (1986)
- The Money Pit (1986)
- *batteries not included (1987)
- Harry and the Hendersons (1987; uncredited)
- Innerspace (1987)
- Empire of the Sun (1987)
- Three O'Clock High (1987; uncredited)
- The Land Before Time (1988)
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
- Back to the Future Part II (1989)
- Always (1989)
- Dad (1989)
- Arachnophobia (1990)
- Back to the Future Part III (1990)
- Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
- Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)
- An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)
- Cape Fear (1991)
- We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993)
- Schindler's List (1993)
- The Flintstones (1994)
- The Little Rascals (1994; uncredited)
- Casper (1995)
- Balto (1995)
- Twister (1996)
- Men in Black (1997)
- Amistad (1997)
- Deep Impact (1998)
- The Mask of Zorro (1998)
- Saving Private Ryan (1998)
- The Last Days (1998)
- The Prince of Egypt (1998; uncredited)
- The Haunting (1999; uncredited)
- Wakko's Wish (1999)
- The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000)
- Evolution (2001; uncredited)
- A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
- Jurassic Park III (2001)
- Men in Black II (2002)
- Catch Me If You Can (2002)
- The Terminal (2004)
- The Legend of Zorro (2005)
- Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
- Munich (2005)
- Monster House (2006)
- Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
- Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
- Disturbia (2007; uncredited)
- Transformers (2007)
- Eagle Eye (2008)
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
- The Lovely Bones (2009)
- Hereafter (2010)
- True Grit (2010)
- Super 8 (2011)
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
- Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
- Real Steel (2011)
- The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (2011)
- War Horse (2011)
- Men in Black III (2012)
- Cloud Atlas (2012)
- Night Gallery (1970)
- Columbo (1971)
- Amazing Stories (1985–1987)
- Tiny Toon Adventures (1990–1992)
- A Wish for Wings That Work (1991; uncredited)
- Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation (1992)
- Family Dog (1993)
- seaQuest DSV (1993–1995)
- Animaniacs (1993–1998)
- ER (1994)
- Pinky and the Brain / Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain (1995–1999)
- Freakazoid! (1995–1997)
- High Incident (1996–1997)
- Toonsylvania (1998)
- Invasion America (1998)
- Band of Brothers (2001)
- Taken (2002)
- Into the West (2005)
- On the Lot (2007)
- United States of Tara (2009–2011)
- The Pacific (2010)
- Falling Skies (2011–present)
- Terra Nova (2011–present)
- The River (2012–present)
- Smash (2012–present)
Games Short films
- Tummy Trouble (1989; played with Honey, I Shrunk the Kids)
- Roller Coaster Rabbit (1990; played with Dick Tracy)
- Trail Mix-Up (1993; played with A Far Off Place)
- I'm Mad (1994; played with Thumbelina)
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