25 years ago today, Armageddon resulted in the greatest DVD commentary ever
"I know there’s no fire in space, but it is a movie, and most people don’t know that."
Released in cinemas on 1 July 1998, Armageddon went on to become the biggest box office hit of that year, released less than two months after 1998's other asteroid-needs-astronauts-to-blow-it-up movie, Deep Impact.
Directed by Michael Bay and starring Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck and... half of Hollywood, the script was worked on by no less than NINE writers, including J.J Abrams (Lost), Tony Gilroy (the Bourne movies), Scott Rosenberg (Con Air) and Robert Towne (Chinatown).
Bruce Willis reportedly only became involved in the movie as a way to stop Disney from suing him, when his other production with them - Broadway Brawler - was shut down 20 days into filming when Willis allegedly fired huge sections of the cast and crew.
With the $28 million budgeted rom-com down the drain, Willis agreed to appear in three Disney movies at a discounted rate ($3 million per movie instead of his usual $20 million), alongside The Sixth Sense (another massive hit) and The Kid (as average as average can get).
Following its massive $553.7 million haul at the box office, Armageddon was then released on DVD in November 1998, and alongside the movie, we got one of the most legendary collection of commentaries in movie history.
Director Michael Bay, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and stars Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck individually recorded their commentaries for the movie, and an editor cut them together over the movie's epic 151 minute runtime. And to say that the commentary has proven to be even more entertaining than the movie itself is not an exaggeration.
And so to celebrate the movie's 25th anniversary, here are our ten favourite quotes from the Armageddon commentaries. And yes, they're all exclusively from Bay and Affleck. These aren't in any particular order, but we love each and every one of them without limit.
Michael Bay: "God, he’s got these baby teeth, Jerry, I don’t know what to do!" (Michael Bay to Jerry Bruckheimer, about Ben Affleck)
Ben Affleck: (as his character arrives in the movie) "This is where I first come into the movie."
Michael Bay: "I was very unimpressed when I went to NASA."
Ben Affleck: "You ever notice how everyone in these movies, they always have to be the best? Bruce Willis is the best deep-core driller? I didn’t know they rated deep-core drillers. You know what I mean? Like, if you went around and asked somebody, ‘Who’s the best deep-core driller?’ How do you know? Who keeps track of these things?"
Michael Bay: "This writer begged me to rewrite the script. He rewrote 53 pages in two days, and when I read the script, it was pure shit."
Ben Affleck: "I asked Michael why it was easier to train oil drillers to become astronauts than it was to train astronauts to become oil drillers and he told me to shut the fuck up. So that was the end of that talk. [Impersonating Michael Bay] 'You know, Ben, just shut up, OK? You know, this is a real plan.' I was like, 'You mean it’s a real plan at NASA to train oil drillers?' and he was like, 'Just shut your mouth!' See, here’s where we demonstrate that, because Bruce is gonna tell the guys that they did a bad job of building the drill tank. See, he’s a salt-of-the-earth guy and the NASA NERDONAUTS don’t understand his salt-of-the-earth ways, his rough-and-tumble ways. [Through barely contained laughter] Like somehow they can build ROCKET SHIPS but don’t understand what makes a good tranny. Eight whole months? As if that’s not enough time to learn how to drill a hole, but in a week we’re gonna learn how to be astronauts? [Impersonating Bruce Willis’s character, Harry Stamper] 'Oh one whole week? We’re gonna learn how to fly into space? I need my guys.' Why do you need ’em? 'They’re the best.' Everyone’s the best. Why are they the best? 'I don’t know, they just are.' I mean, this is a little bit of a logic stretch, let’s face it. They don’t know jack about drilling? How hard can it be? Aim the drill at the ground and turn it on."
Michael Bay: "I’m the kind of director who doesn’t like effects." (Michael Bay is the director of five Transformers movies, just FYI)
Ben Affleck: "This is where you just have a random helicopter in the background for no real reason, just because you’re a big movie and you’re expensive and you can. You have no idea how much of a headache having a helicopter in the background causes us - safety this and money that, only so many hours they can fly, they’re on walkies, winds blasting everywhere. If I hadn’t brought it up you probably would’ve forgotten about that yellow helicopter in the background by now."
Michael Bay: "I know there’s no fire in space, but it is a movie, and most people don’t know that."
Armageddon is available to watch on Disney+ right now... unfortunately without the commentary.
- 10 years ago this week, this massive box office hit should have been a huge flop
- Prime Video has just added one of the best shows of 2023 so far
- Top secret monster movie with all-star cast filming in Ireland
- Released 35 years ago this week, Who Framed Roger Rabbit was originally too intense and scary
- The 13 best (and 5 worst) movies of 2023 so far