Deep Impact (movie)

Deep Impact or The Impact in Quebec, is an American film directed byMimi Leder, released in1998.


The night of In Richmond , Virginia , a school astronomy club observes the sky. Leo Biederman ( Elijah Wood ) notices a luminous object he does not recognize. His comrade Sarah ( Leelee Sobieski ) makes fun of him. His teacher can not identify him either, takes a snapshot and transmits it to the astronomical observatory . Dr. Marcus Wolf analyzes the photo by computer and discovers that the object is a new comet . Quickly he panics when the calculations of the trajectory of this comet reveal to him that it is heading right on the Earth. Wanting to give the alert, he hurriedly leaves the building in his vehicle. Driving carelessly down the narrow winding road to the observatory, his vehicle leaves the road, wanting to avoid a truck, crashes into a ravine and explodes, causing Wolf’s death.

A year later, journalist Jenny Lerner ( Téa Leoni ) investigating the secretary of the treasure Alan Rittenhouse ( James Cromwell ) thinks he is on the trail of a case of manners by discovering the secret surrounding a certain “Ellie”, that she suspects she is a mistress. She realizes she is being watched. US President Beck ( Morgan Freeman ) personally asks him in a brief interview, to wait to reveal what she has discovered about “ELE”. While doing research on the internet, she realizes her mistake and discovers that “ELE” means Extinction-Level Event ( massive extinction of living species).

President Beck is forced to advance the announcement of the discovery of comet Wolf-Biederman and publicly acknowledge that it is able to destroy life on Earth. To prevent it, the space mission Messiah was set up in order to deflect the comet from its trajectory.

Spurgeon Tanner ( Robert Duvall ), the last man to be on the Moon, is recruited to help this mission, but it does not reach its goal: only a fragment of the comet has disassociated, which will also hit the Earth.

The president announces that a gigantic shelter has been created in Missouri and that a million carefully selected people will be able to shelter there during the two years necessary so that the cloud of dust fades. He advises the population to flee the coast because the fragment of the comet will cause a gigantic tsunami . However, there is one last chance: nuclear missiles will be fired to try to destroy the comet.

Leo Biederman and his family are among the chosen for the shelter. To save Sarah, he marries her, with the consent of their parents. He asks that his wife’s family also be elected. But when she leaves, Sarah’s family is still not on the list and Sarah, refusing to leave her parents, stays with them.

Arrived at the shelter, Leo abandons his family and decides to return to fetch Sarah. She left with her family to seek refuge in the mountains. Leo grabs his father-in-law’s bike and goes out looking for them.

Meanwhile, we learn that nuclear missiles have failed to destroy or deflect the comet and that the end of the world is approaching. Knowing the journey without return, Tanner and his team decide to sacrifice themselves by going to throw the Messiah into the crater on the main comet, weakened by its entry into the atmosphere. Thanks to it, it scatters in multiple fragments that are consumed in the sky.

The operation is a success but could not prevent the first fragment from reaching Earth. The announced tsunami ravages the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and the water rushes inland, devastating everything in its path. Leo finds Sarah on time as she is stuck with her family in the traffic stream that is leaking the city. They avoid the wave of accuracy by taking refuge on the heights using the motorcycle.

Technical sheet

  • Title: Deep Impact
  • Québec title: The impact
  • Director: Mimi Leder
  • Scenario: Bruce Joel Rubin and Michael Tolkin
  • Music: James Horner
  • Photography: Dietrich Lohmann
  • Editing: Paul Cichocki and David Rosenbloom
  • Sets: Leslie Dilley
  • Costumes: Ruth Myers
  • Production: Joan Bradshaw , David Brown , Walter F. Parkes , Steven Spielberg and Richard D. Zanuck
  • Production Companies: DreamWorks SKG and Paramount Pictures
  • Distribution Companies: Paramount Pictures (North America); DreamWorks SKG (International)
  • Budget: 75 million dollars (56.9 million euros)
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Language: English
  • Format: Colors – 2.35: 1 – DTS / Dolby Digital / SDDS – 35 mm
  • Genre: Catastrophe , Science Fiction
  • Duration: 120 minutes
  • Release dates:  (first in Mexico),  (Canada, United States),  (Belgium, France, French-speaking Switzerland)


  • Robert Duvall VF : Jean Lescot ) : Spurgeon “Lou” Tanner
  • Téa Leoni VF : Micky Sebastian ) : Jenny Lerner
  • Elijah Wood VF : Charles Pestel ) : Leo Biederman
  • Vanessa Redgrave : Robin Lerner
  • Morgan Freeman VF : Benoît Allemane ) : President Beck
  • Maximilian Schell VF : Claude Giraud ) : Jason Lerner
  • James Cromwell VF : Jean-Pierre Moulin ) : Alan Rittenhouse
  • Jon Favreau VF : Philippe Vincent ) : Gus Partenza
  • Mary McCormack VF : Julie Dumas ) : Andrea Baker
  • Leelee Sobieski VF : Alexandra Garijo) : Sarah Hotchner
  • Blair Underwood VF : Serge Faliu ) : Mark Simon
  • Dougray Scott : Eric Vennekor
  • Charles Martin Smith VF : Gilbert Levy ) : Dr. Marcus Wolf
  • Kurtwood Smith VF : Joseph Falcucci ) : Mitch
  • Caitlin Fein and Amanda Fein : Caitlin Stanley
  • Joseph Urla VF : William Orsat ) : Ira Mostakel
  • Una Damon : Marianne Duclos
  • Mark Moses VF : Georges Caudron ) : Tim Urbanski
  • Derek from Lint : Theo Van Sertema
  • Charles Dumas : Jeff Worth
  • Suzy Nakamura : Jenny’s assistant
  • Alimi Ballard : Bobby Rhue
  • W. Earl Brown : McCloud
  • Katie Hagan VF : Kelly Marot ) : Janine Biederman
  • Denise Crosby : Vicky Hotchner
  • Frank Whiteman : Priest
  • Jason Dohring : Jason Thurman
  • Jasmine Harrison : Child
  • Rahi Azizi : Student
  • Hannah Werntz : Holly Rittenhouse
  • Tucker Smallwood : Ivan Brodsky
  • Merrin Dungey : Sheila Bradley
  • Kimberly Huie : Wendy Mogel
  • William Fair : Gray Man
  • Francis X. McCarthy  (in) : General Scott
  • Ellen Bry : Stofsky
  • Lisa Ann Grant : Reporter
  • Leslie Dilley : Waiter
  • Concetta Tomei : Patricia Ruiz
  • Mike O’Malley : Mike Perry
  • Gerry Griffin : NASA Official
  • Charlie Hartsock : David Baker
  • Jennifer Jostyn VF : Hélène Chanson ) : Mariette Monash
  • Don Handfield : Dwight Tanner
  • Jason Frasca : Steve Tanner
  • Cynthia Ettinger : Attractive Woman
  • Benjamin Stralka : Little boy
  • Stephanie Patton : Brittany Baker
  • Michael Winters : NASA guy
  • John Ducey : Young Lieutenant
  • Christopher Darga : Leader of the section
  • Joshua Colwell : CAPCOM
  • Cornelius Lewis : Sergeant on the bus
  • Kevin La Rosa : Driver
  • Bruce Weitz VF : Hervé Jolly ) : Stuart Caley
  • Betsy Brantley : Ellen Biederman
  • O’Neal Compton VF : Jean-Claude Sachot ) : Morgan Entrekin
  • Rya Kihlstedt VF : Ivana Coppola ) : Chloe
  • Alexander Baluev  (en) : Mikhail Tulchinsky
  • Gary Werntz VF : Jean-Luc Kayser ) : Chuck Hotchner
  • Richard Schiff VF : Philippe Peythieu ) : Don Biederman
  • Laura Innes VF : Dominique Chauby) : Beth Stanley
  • Ron Eldard VF : Daniel Lafourcade ) Oren Monash

About the movie

  • That same year, in 1998 , Armageddon came out with a similar story (an asteroid heading straight for the earth). It was also necessary to modify part of the speech of the President ( Morgan Freeman ) in which he said: ” Life will go on, we will prevail. This is not Armageddon » 1 . In its frame, Deep Impact is also different from Armageddon. Except for the final scene, the intimate point of view of the various protagonists is privileged to spectacular and special effects. The “rescue” and intervention on the comet finally takes a short time, the director concentrating more on the human and social consequences of the disaster.
  • When Marcus Wolf ( Charles Martin Smith ) discovers the comet, he is alone and eating a pizza, like Mark Shermin when he learns the landing of the extraterrestrial vessel in the movie Starman of 1984 , played by the same actor.
  • When Marcus Wolf sends an email about the comet, we can see the messages in his mailbox. One of them comes from “cshoemaker arizona.unv”, referring to Carolyn and Eugene M. Shoemaker , comet specialists who have been hired as advisors for the film.
  • After the discovery of the comet, one of the astronomers dies in a car accident. This is a direct reference to the accident that cost Eugene Shoemaker the in Australia.
  • One of the members of NASA in the film is none other than Gerry Griffin  (en) , who is a former NASA flight director. He led the Apollo 12 mission and later became director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston .
  • The cockpit of the Orion spacecraft resembles the front of an American space shuttle , while its rear boosters resemble those planned for the Soviet Space Shuttle . Probably due to the fact that his crew is composed of Russians and Americans.


  • Bohemia , performed by Mario Sereni and Nicolai Gedda
  • The Hole , performed by Randy Travis
  • Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words) , played by Tom Jones
  • It Must Be Angel Day , performed by Larry Dean & the Shooters


  • Award for the best performance in a dramatic film by a young actor for Elijah Wood at the YoungStar Awards in 1998.
  • Nominated for the Best Sci-fi Award, by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films in 1999.
  • Nominated for Best Actor in Science Fiction for Robert Duvall and Morgan Freeman , best actress in sci-fi for Téa Leoni , Best Supporting Actor in sci-fi for Elijah Wood and Best Second female role in an action movie for Vanessa Redgrave at the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards in 1999.
  • Award for Best Supporting Actor for Morgan Freeman at the 1999 Image Awards .

Notes and references

  1. ↑ In French: “Life will follow its course, we will overcome this test. This is not the Apocalypse. “

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