End-of-the-World Movie Facts: “Deep Impact”

How do you feel about those “end of the world movies” , when you’re not sure what to expect, but it’s very rarely that the good guy doesn’t prevail? So, this brings me to the kind of movies that include a wayward comet set out on a course to destroy the world. This brings us to the plot of “Deep Impact,” which is the focus of this article.

“Deep Impact”

The Plot

Hidden about the stars , an object that causes a disruption in the scientific community is discovered by a young astronomer and his teacher. At the time, they don’t realize that they have just stumbled upon a comet that is following a course to directly hit the planet Earth. Unfortunately, the teacher loses his life in a car crash, as he is on his way to deliver the findings to the President.

In the movie, NASA is planning to send astronauts on a space mission (called Messiah) to destroy the comet before it gets too close to the planet. Yet, the mission is a failure and the President begins to inform the public and his staff of a series of unique caves that have already been built. The government holds a lottery to create a list of randomly selected people to serve as the 1,000,000 people chosen to save the human population from extinction when the comet finally makes contact. The chosen will consist of 800,000 regular citizens and 200,000 military personnel, scientists, and other officials.

In the movie, characters are played by the likes of Robert Duvall (as a captain), Tea Leoni, Elijah Wood, Vanessa Redgrave, and Morgan Freeman (as President Tom Beck). To learn more about the movie, consider the following interesting facts:

Facts About “Deep Impact”

1) After revealing the course of the comet, one of the astronomers is killed in an automobile accident. This takes a page from real life, as astronomer Eugene Shoemaker (who took part in discovering the Shoemaker-Levy 9 Comet) died in 1997 in the Australian outback.

2) One of the NASA officials in the movie was actually played by a former NASA flight director , Gerry Griffin , who was part of the Apollo 12 mission and would later take on the position of director of the the Johnson Space Center located in Houston. Playing one of the NASSA officials associated with mission control , Joshua Colwell also served as a technical advisor for the movie.

3) A NASA space probe meant for the exploration of the interior of the comet named Tempel 1 was called “Deep Impact.” In 2005, one part of the Deep Impact probe was successful in impacting the nucleus of the comet. All of this is pure coincidence, as the name of the mission and movie had no connection at the time.

4) “Deep Impact” is known as the first film to put MSNBC on the map for serving as a major station for the news and journalism.

5) Interestingly, the scene that shows Jenny Lerner (played by Tea Leoni) engaging in a meeting with the President , the shot takes place in the actual kitchen where Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968.