In a remarkable meeting of science fiction and real-life ingenuity, on November 23rd, NASA set a robot spacecraft into the cosmos to crash into an asteroid to test whether the flying debris will change its trajectory. If successful, the same technique could be used in the future to deflect potential asteroids heading toward earth. Sound familiar? This bizarre space mission shares its concept with the 1998 film Armageddon directed by Michael Bay.
An iconic film of popular culture upon its release in the 1990s, Armageddon stars Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Steve Buscemi, Billy Bob Thornton and Michael Clarke Duncan, Michael Bay’s bombastic action sees a team of deep core drillers go on a mission to destroy a deadly asteroid in outer space.
Noticing the similarities between his own film and the real-life mission, Michael Bay joked that it was his film that predicted such an event. Posting a news image of the event on Instagram, the director released the picture with a caption that read: “I told you so. But no one wanted to listen to me. NASA’S DART rocket lifted off today! It’s going to do a little BAYHEM in space!”.
In a further conversation about the ‘real-life Armageddon’, Bay told TheWrap: “Our plan was not far off. Thank God they’re doing something because these things [asteroids], they’re lethal. They come in 24,000 miles an hour, if I remember correctly – it’s an airburst to the ground”. The director’s third film after the highly popular Bad Boys starring Will Smith and The Rock with Sean Connery, Bay would go on to find considerable cinematic success in the coming decade.
Discussing how his film shared similarities to the NASA mission, the director added that the national agency was “not sending in an oil-drilling team, but our plan was not far off where they sent a craft to nudge it, either with a nuke or whatever, they just have to nudge it”.