Like horror, natural disaster productions hold a special place in the hearts of moviegoers – primarily because they pit majestic and uncontrollable nature against human pettiness and immeasurable ambition. From “The Day After Tomorrow” to the recent “Final Destruction: The Last Refuge”, there are countless titles of the genre in question – but one of them has become an Afternoon Session classic and is always being revisited. by countless viewers: “Deep Impact”.
Released in 1998, the feature film was released around the same time as “Armageddon” and has been somewhat eclipsed, although having received relatively better international reviews. Amassing a sizable global box office ($ 349 million), the tale starred Robert Duvall and Téa Leoni facing the imminence of a catastrophic event – a meteor that will crash into Earth.
To celebrate its 23rd anniversary, CinePOP decided to remember the iconic production by making a brief list of ten behind-the-scenes curiosities.
After discovering that a comet was on a collision course with Earth, one of the astronomers died in a car accident. The footage is based on the actual death of Eugene Shoemaker, a scientist who helped discover a comet that collided with Jupiter in 1994.
CELEBRATING A LEGACY
Cinematographer Dietrich Lohmann was very ill during the film’s production phase – and the cast and crew discovered he was dying of leukemia. A special dedication was made to Lohmann in the end credits, as he passed away shortly after the recordings ended.
Shortly before the film’s release, astronomers announced that the 1997 asteroid XF11 would crash into Earth at a speed of 100 mph at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 26, 2028, helping to boost ticket sales. Shortly thereafter, a new orbit predicted that the asteroid in question would deviate from the planet 965,000 kilometers.
Jon Favreau, who played Dr Gus Partenza in the film, said the cast were very uncomfortable in astronaut uniforms. During breaks, they had to be hung on sort of giant hangers by their costumes and taken outside to get some fresh air.
Several federal sites, such as the White House Situation Room and the Strategic Planning Rooms in the Pentagon basement, were visited with the permission of screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin so he could research the first drafts. Of the history.
SPIELBERG IN COMMAND
Acclaimed director Steven Spielberg was interested in directing the film, but decided to make way for Mimi Leder (“A Little Piece of Heaven”) to direct the production. Spielberg, meanwhile, stayed behind the scenes as an executive producer.
In the Blu-ray Special Edition, specifically in the “Making an Impact” featurette, it is shown that there was a scene in the original storyboard that showed a ship impaling the Chrysler Building in New York City during the tsunami sequence. . However, the scene did not go through the first digital animation processes and, for this reason, it was not included in the final cut.
NASA IN WEIGHT
One of the NASA officials in the film is played by Gerry Griffin, who is, in real life, a former space agency flight director. Griffin also chaired the Apollo 12 mission and later became director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
During the school reunion, one of the students makes the hilarious observation, “Now you’re going to have sex more than any student in your class” to young astronomer Leo Biederman (Elijah Wood) . The speech was improvised by Jason Dohring and the reactions of the other students were sincere.
The ship that goes into space to destroy the comet is called The Messiah (The Messiah, in the original). It’s not only a fitting name, but also an inner joke. When designing the first space shuttle, NASA built a life-size mockup. It was nicknamed the Messiah because, according to flight controller Jerry Greene, everyone who entered it exclaimed “Jesus Christ! regarding its size.
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