No one would have believed the most implausible aspect of this movie would turn out to be a black President who didn't get any shit for wearing a tan suit.


No one would have believed the most implausible aspect of this movie would turn out to be a black President who didn't get any shit for wearing a tan suit.

DEEP IMPACT

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. DEEP SPACE - NIGHT

TWO COMETS find themselves headed for the same ORBIT. They are called BIG BOPPER and FRANK.

FRANK

Hey Big Bop! Haven't seen you around in a while. How's tricks?

BIG BOPPER

If it isn't the Frankster! All good in the hood, man. I'm on my way to smash into Earth, actually.

FRANK

No fucking way! That's what I'm doing!

BIG BOPPER

Aw crap, what are the odds of that happening in a single summer movie season? Well, maybe it's for the best if only one of us goes.

FRANK

How do we decide who gets to go? We obviously can't do rock-paper-scissors because we're both rocks.

BIG BOPPER

Hmmm. Okay, how about you take the first shot at it and I'll be close on your tail so I can cover you in case something happens.

FRANK

Awfully magnanimous of you, buddy. Here I goooo!

Before FRANK can reach EARTH, he is BLOWN APART by BRUCE WILLIS.

BIG BOPPER

FRAAAANK! I WILL AVENGE YOUR DEATH!

BIG BOPPER angrily continues on his COLLISION COURSE for EARTH. BY THE WAY, THAT'S IT FOR REFERENCES TO ARMAGEDDON, THANK YOU.

EXT. RICHMOND, VIRGINIA - NIGHT

ELIJAH WOOD and LEELEE SOBIESKI are part of a STAR PARTY atop a HILLSIDE.

LEELEE SOBIESKI

Elijah, I know you're desperately in love with me, but would you mind keeping your telescope pointed up at the night sky instead of my skin pores?

ELIJAH WOOD

Sorry, but this is a stargazing party and we're the only two stars here. All the others are just background extras.

LEELEE SOBIESKI

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Why don't we make out --

ELIJAH WOOD

Make out, you say?

LEELEE SOBIESKI

Constellations. Why don't we make out some constellations.

ELIJAH WOOD

Very well.

(aims telescope up)

Hey, check six hours nineteen minutes right ascension, fourteen degrees fifty-nine minutes declination.

LEELEE SOBIESKI

That's just Skinner's butt balloon.

ELIJAH WOOD

No, I think it's an undiscovered star!

LEELEE SOBIESKI

I'm telling you, it's Skinner's butt balloon!

ELIJAH WOOD

But amateur astronomers with baby telescopes have a much better track record in finding new space shit than NASA does! I'll send it to doctor Charles Martin Smith so we'll know for sure.

INT. TUCSON OBSERVATORY - NIGHT

CHARLES MARTIN SMITH is operating the TUCSON OBSERVATORY all by his LONESOME. As he walks to his STATION, he casually BRUSHES A FEW SPARKING LIVE WIRES ASIDE and almost TRIPS OVER A RICKETY GANTRY.

CHARLES MARTIN SMITH

What's this? Coordinates from an astronomy club? Sure, I'll blow tax dollars on that.

He redirects the TELESCOPE while RECLINING DANGEROUSLY IN HIS CHAIR and nearly CHOKING ON A SLICE OF PIZZA.

CHARLES MARTIN SMITH

(coughs, wheezes)

Okay, let's see. Oh, that's just Skinner's butt -- wait, no. It's a comet! Let me calculate its exact orbit in a matter of seconds, which feels like it should take longer and more people.

(beepity boop)

OH MY GOD IT'S HEADED THIS WAY AND IT MIGHT MAYBE HIT EARTH IN TWO WHOLE YEARS I HAVEN'T A MOMENT TO LOSE!

Suddenly his MODEM MELTS and all the PHONES STOP EXISTING.

CHARLES MARTIN SMITH

Fuck, not again! I have to get this to NASA ASAP!

CHARLES runs from his STATION, which is then CRUSHED by a PIANO DROPPING FROM THE CEILING. He BOLTS OUTSIDE, hits his HEAD ON A GIRDER and LOSES HIS GLASSES, and gets in his CAR.

CHARLES MARTIN SMITH

I've completely forgotten how to drive and I can't see shit without my glasses! But I can't afford to wait!

He GUNS THE CAR, smashes it into SEVERAL TREES, and finally HITS THE ROAD. Behind him, THE ENTIRE OBSERVATORY EXPLODES.

CHARLES MARTIN SMITH

Nay, ALL OF MANKIND can't afford to wait!

An ONCOMING TRUCK swerves into HIS LANE and DRIVES HIM OFF THE ROAD. The CAR TUMBLES down the HILL and then BLOWS UP. CHARLES crawls out of the WRECKAGE.

CHARLES MARTIN SMITH

That was close!

(checks watch)

Whew, I still have two years. There's no --

A WASP STINGS HIM and he DROPS DEAD because of ALLERGIES.

EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. - DAY

ONE YEAR LATER, REPORTER TÉA LEONI is interviewing SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY JAMES CROMWELL.

JAMES CROMWELL

Listen missy, I fucking hate reporters. You are soulless scum and if you were on fire, I'd go piss on your dog.

TÉA LEONI

Oh don't worry, this isn't even real reporting, it's just the next soul-sucking tabloid piece dumped on me because nobody takes my career seriously. I know my acting in this movie will always communicate silent disgust, but at least in this scene it's on point.

JAMES CROMWELL

What does it matter? What does any of it matter? We are but specks of dust on a speck of dust, subject to the whims of an uncaring universe.

TÉA LEONI

Neat, but I'm here about an alleged mistress you're trying to cover up?

JAMES CROMWELL

(grabs Téa, shakes her)

DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? WE'RE DOOMED! DOOOOOMED!

JAMES jumps on his BOAT and SAILS AWAY.

TÉA LEONI

That was excessive. Oh wait, I get it! This is still a decade where a politician caught in an affair can actually face repercussions for that!

On her way back to the OFFICE, TÉA is ABDUCTED BY THE FBI and brought before PRESIDENT MORGAN FREEMAN.

MORGAN FREEMAN

Mm-hmm, PRESIDENT Morgan Freeman! Drink it in, bitches!

TÉA LEONI

Goodness, the actual President? I'd be flustered if my acting range allowed for that!

MORGAN FREEMAN

Ms. Leoni, it appears you've stumbled upon something my administration has been able to keep under wraps thanks only to my voice, which truly is the most trusted in all of history! Seriously, I could read out my own obituary and people would believe it.

TÉA LEONI

Okay, time for some bluff poker, since this is obviously about something way bigger than an affair.

(blank face somehow turns completely blank)

So you admit that there is a secret being hidden from the truth by keeping the truth a secret!

MORGAN FREEMAN

Blast, you obviously found out about the impending event and now we must bring forward our deadline! If you sit on this for two days, I'll give you the first question at the press conference. Whoa, I am the worst poker player.

TÉA LEONI

Awesome, this'll do wonders for my career!

MORGAN FREEMAN

Be sure to enjoy still caring about long-term prospects like that for the next two days!

INT. WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

TWO DAYS LATER, PRESIDENT FREEMAN addresses the NATION in front of the WHITE HOUSE PRESS CORPS.

MORGAN FREEMAN

My fellow Americans, and also the rest of the world, but if we're being honest, just my fellow Americans. A little over a year ago, an astronomer discovered a comet that he believed might come into contact with Earth. He tragically died trying to warn us, but we found out at pretty much the same time, so I don't know what that was all about. In any case, we now know for sure that this comet will strike Earth roughly one year from now.

(beat)

Okay, I paused for effect there, but none of you seem to be reacting to this actually world-shattering announcement. Not even a general murmur of distress? Fine, what if I told you this comet is larger than Mount Everest, weighs over 500 billion tons, will obliterate everyone and everything you hold dear, and has already slept with your wife!

The PRESS CORPS collectively emits the TINIEST OF GASPS.

MORGAN FREEMAN

I'll take it. Over the last eight months, the United States and Russia have constructed a spacecraft that will take six astronauts to the comet so they can intercept it. We've named this ship the Messiah, which is a bit on the nose, but at least it's not called the Icarus. Now I will introduce the crew set to undertake this daring mission.

He points to a VIDEO SCREEN that shows the SIX ASTRONAUTS.

RON ELDARD

Thank you, Mr. President. I'm Ron Eldard, mission commander, and I've got a kid on the way, so you can probably guess how that's gonna go.

JON FAVREAU

I'm Jon Favreau, medical officer, and I'll be talking about explosive outgassing so much that I'll honestly be disappointed if that isn't what kills me.

ALEKSANDR BALUEV

I am Aleksandr Baluev, nuclear specialist, but I am really only here to give off the impression that this is an international crew.

BLAIR UNDERWOOD

I'm Blair Underwood, navigator, and I will be contributing so little that it's honestly fine if I'm no longer mentioned from this point on.

ROBERT DUVALL

I'm Robert Duvall and I'll be your pilot. Since these inexperienced whippersnappers have never even left the simulator, I was brought on because I'm a retired astronaut who hasn't been in space for years. That balances things out, yes?

MARY MCCORMACK

And I'm Mary McCormack.

(beat)

I'm the woman.

PRESIDENT FREEMAN takes the FLOOR again.

MORGAN FREEMAN

These six brave men and woman will fly the Messiah on a five-month journey to the comet and blow it up by drilling holes and dropping nuclear bombs inside. Now I'll take a few questions.

TÉA LEONI

Oh fuck, that's me. Uhmm gosh, I have so much to point out! If I only get one question, I'll ask about that Armageddon reference just now. I thought those weren't allowed, yet you're saying the plan is to drill holes into the comet?

MORGAN FREEMAN

It's not an Armageddon reference. We just happen to have the exact same plan, except we've trained astronauts how to use a drill and not the other way around because obviously.

TÉA LEONI

One more question, please! Mr. President, if we've known about the comet for over a year, why haven't we built an entire fleet of Messiahs? Why isn't every nation on Earth pooling resources? I highly doubt China is thinking "Relax, the Americans and one Russian got this."

MORGAN FREEMAN

This movie already has way too many characters and plotlines to follow, so we're forced to condense things. The Messiah is our one basket and the eggs will take off in two months. If you have any personal drama you'd like to introduce or settle before the mission takes up all the screen time, I suggest you get to it now.

TÉA LEONI

I suppose I can reconcile with my estranged father after he --

MORGAN FREEMAN

Nobody cares. NEXT QUESTION! FROM SOMEONE ELSE THIS TIME!

EXT. COMET - NIGHT

After a whole heap of PERSONAL DRAMA back on EARTH, the MESSIAH has finally reached the COMET.

ROBERT DUVALL

There she is. Alright guys, we've been cooped up in this tin can for a timeskip of five months, so can I assume we've all used that time to bond and there won't be any friction?

RON ELDARD

Fuck you, grandpa. Our team dynamic is exactly the same as when we left. We're going to second-guess you at every turn.

ROBERT DUVALL

Brilliant. Okay, strap in and I'll fly us down to the comet.

JON FAVREAU

What? Why does the senior citizen get to drive?

ROBERT DUVALL

You know, in Mark Twain's time, the riverboat pilots on the Mississippi each knew only a few miles of the river, meaning they had to --

RON ELDARD

Jesus fuck, let's go already!

ROBERT successfully navigates through the COMET'S TAIL and sets the MESSIAH down on the SURFACE.

MARY MCCORMACK

Let's hustle! We only have a few hours to plant the nukes before the sun hits the comet and boils its surface!

RON ELDARD

Agh, my nuke is stuck! I'm crawling down the shaft to see if I can jimmy it loose.

JON FAVREAU

Hurry up! There's going to be so much explosive outgassing soon!

RON ELDARD

I got it! All nukes are at depth!

ALEKSANDR BALUEV

Mission complete! Let us now detonate and save the human race from extinction.

MARY MCCORMACK

We have to get clear of the comet first!

ALEKSANDR BALUEV

Are you fucking kidding me? The sunrise is right on top of us! We risk losing the ship if we try to take off now and then we will not be able to detonate because Houston does not have fire control for some reason! Why would we even call our ship the Messiah if we were not going to die so that others may live?

RON ELDARD

This isn't a suicide mission! Everybody back to the ship! I won't die until I've seen my son!

The SUN then hits the COMET. RON is BLINDED by the INTENSE LIGHT and JON is VENTED INTO SPACE by EXPLOSIVE OUTGASSING.

RON ELDARD

AAAAH MY EYES I WILL NEVER SEE MY SON TRULY WHAT AN IRONIC TURN OF EVENTS!

JON FAVREAU

AAAAH I AM DOOMED TO FLOAT THROUGH SPACE UNTIL MY OXYGEN RUNS OUT OR MY INESCAPABLE FATE COMPELS ME TO TAKE MY OWN LIFE!

(dies whenever)

As soon as everyone is BACK ON BOARD THE MESSIAH, ROBERT TAKES OFF and CLEARS THE COMET'S TAIL.

ROBERT DUVALL

Prepare the arming sequence.

ALEKSANDR BALUEV

Hang on, we're still in the blast zone.

ROBERT DUVALL

Detonation on my mark. Three.

ALEKSANDR BALUEV

Didn't you hear me? We're still in the blast zone! If we detonate now, we will most likely die!

ROBERT DUVALL

Two.

ALEKSANDR BALUEV

WHAT THE FUCK WHY DID WE EVEN BOTHER TAKING OFF AT ALL THEN?

ROBERT DUVALL

One.

ROBERT detonates the NUKES, which sends out a SHOCKWAVE that HAMMERS THE MESSIAH.

ALEKSANDR BALUEV

oh no our ship is damaged who could have foreseen this

INT. WHITE HOUSE - DAY

PRESIDENT FREEMAN is sitting in the PRESS ROOM. He looks to be THUMBING THROUGH THE SCREENPLAY OF HIS NEXT FEATURE.

TÉA LEONI

Mr. President? What is your response to the Messiah's failure?

MORGAN FREEMAN

Hmm? The what now?

TÉA LEONI

The Messiah failed, sir. The bombs broke the comet in two pieces, but both are still headed for Earth.

MORGAN FREEMAN

Seriously? We're not done yet? I thought this was just a callback for a few pickup shots!

TÉA LEONI

No sir. Keeping the focus on the space mission was Armagedd--

MORGAN FREEMAN

(glares)

TÉA LEONI

Uhh, was that other movie's whole deal. We seem to be charting the actual societal repercussions of an event like this. You know, less explosions, more feelings.

MORGAN FREEMAN

Oh very well. Time for another solemn speech.

PRESIDENT FREEMAN addresses the NATION ONCE MORE.

MORGAN FREEMAN

Hello America. It is my sad duty to report that we're only halfway through the movie. The Messiah failed so bad, we're now going to be hit twice. Fortunately, we have two contingency plans. The first one involves nukes again because that's clearly our answer to everything. We will launch our entire nuclear arsenal at the comets once they're in range. I can assure you that the missiles will be effective and --

An AIDE comes up and WHISPERS SOMETHING into his EAR.

MORGAN FREEMAN

The missiles have failed. Time for the second plan then! While we were constructing the Messiah, we've also built a giant network of caves in Missouri where one million Americans can survive until the two-year impact winter passes. We've named it the Bunker.

A MURMUR OF CONFUSION rises from the PRESS CORPS.

MORGAN FREEMAN

Haaah! Got you! Of course we're calling it the Ark. Jeez! What the fuck else would we call it? But if I may continue along that religious theme for a moment.

(so solemn)

I believe God will be there for us in our hour of need. May He continue to bless us with His divine countenance and hear our prayer. Amen.

TÉA LEONI

That's how you want to end one of your most defining speeches ever? Thoughts and prayers?

MORGAN FREEMAN

Yes. Whelp, I guess we can let all that personal drama from before resurface while we sit and wait for the inevitable.

TÉA LEONI

Oh right, my father did show up with some old photos of --

MORGAN FREEMAN

Nobody cares! Hey, my ride's here.

(fucks off to the Ark)

EXT. RICHMOND, VIRGINIA - DAY

ELIJAH WOOD arrives at LEELEE SOBIESKI'S HOUSE, where he finds her FATHER, GARY WERNTZ.

ELIJAH WOOD

Mr. Werntz, have you seen Leelee? We were supposed to meet after school to further develop our earlier scene.

GARY WERNTZ

Oh hey Elijah. I have no clue where she is. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm chaining my dirtbike to everything in the garage and boarding up all the windows. It's no longer safe out there. Society's starting to crumble.

ELIJAH WOOD

And yet you don't seem worried about your daughter.

GARY WERNTZ

Maybe the imminent threat of total annihilation shows a man what his priorities are. Ever think about that? Now hand me another chain, will you?

Eventually, ELIJAH finds LEELEE on the HILLTOP where he first saw the COMET, which is MEANINGFUL.

ELIJAH WOOD

Hey Leelee! I love you desperately. Listen, you know about the lottery where 800,000 random Americans get to join the 200,000 preselected candidates for the Ark? Guess what! I've been preselected!

LEELEE SOBIESKI

Of course, you discovered a comet, which is an invaluable skill when spending two years in a dark hole!

ELIJAH offers a RING to LEELEE while briefly WINKING AT THE CAMERA.

LEELEE SOBIESKI

What's this?

ELIJAH WOOD

If we get married, we become family and I can get you into the Ark! It's your only way to survive.

LEELEE SOBIESKI

That's your play here? "Marry me or fucking die?"

ELIJAH WOOD

When you put it like that, it does sound shitty. Okay, what if I throw in your parents too? I hate the way your dad chugs milk straight from the carton, but what the hell.

LEELEE SOBIESKI

My gut tells me to put my life in the hands of the lottery instead, but then again, I'm sure there'll be at least one divorce lawyer who ends up in the Ark too. Sold!

When BOTH FAMILIES are PICKED UP FOR TRANSPORT by the MILITARY, it turns out LEELEE'S PARENTS are NOT ALLOWED ON THE BUS.

ELIJAH WOOD

There must be some mistake! Check again!

SOLDIER

Nope, says so right here. "Chugs milk straight from the carton." Only Mrs. Sobieski goes.

LEELEE SOBIESKI

I'm not going without my parents!

GARY WERNTZ

Honey, you have to go!

ELIJAH WOOD

Yes, you have to go! Come on!

LEELEE SOBIESKI

No, I'm not going! Elijah, you have to go!

ELIJAH WOOD

Okay, I'm going!

When the BUS arrives at the ARK, ELIJAH straight up ABANDONS HIS FAMILY to GO BACK FOR LEELEE.

ELIJAH WOOD

I'm not going without Leelee!

He finds LEELEE'S FAMILY stuck in a TRAFFIC JAM.

ELIJAH WOOD

Leelee! I'm not going without you!

LEELEE SOBIESKI

No, I'm not going! Not without my parents!

GARY WERNTZ

ENOUGH WITH THE GOING AND THE NOT GOING! Leelee, take your brother and get on Elijah's dirtbike! Hey wait, that's MY bike!

LEELEE SOBIESKI

Take my WHO?

EXT. CAPE HATTERAS - DAY

When she learns that her VANESSA REDGRAVE has COMMITTED SUICIDE, TÉA gives up her PLACE IN THE ARK to be with her FATHER, MAXIMILIAN SCHELL.

TÉA LEONI

Are you happy now, dad? The theme of fatherhood running through all this personal drama has compelled me to spend my last waking moments with you, on a beach near where the smaller comet is scheduled to hit, even though I sort of blame you for mom taking her own life.

MAXIMILIAN SCHELL

Please, she did that because no one over fifty was eligible for the lottery, not because I left her for a woman your age. Who then left me because of that first reason, mind you.

TÉA LEONI

Let's call it an even split. Anyway, I'm here now, so let's reconcile. In the face of my own death, I realise that all I ever wanted was for my dad to --

MORGAN FREEMAN

NOBODY CARES!

Suddenly, the SMALLER COMET BREAKS ATMOSPHERE and ROARS OVERHEAD. Its MASSIVE SHOCKWAVE CLEAVES THE WATER IN HALF until it SLAMS INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN with the SHEER FORCE of FIVE BILLION NUCLEAR BOMBS. The BLAST, which BLOOMS INTO A NOW BLOODRED SKY SWEPT CLEAN OF CLOUDS, creates a GARGANTUAN TIDAL WAVE that CONSUMES THE ENTIRE EASTERN SEABOARD. COUNTLESS INNOCENT SOULS are CRUSHED as the VERY EARTH ITSELF IS UPROOTED. The ENDLESS WALL OF WATER then STOPS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ELIJAH AND LEELEE.

ELIJAH WOOD

That was lucky.

LEELEE SOBIESKI

Yeah, close one.

INT. MESSIAH - NIGHT

HARK, the MESSIAH has made its way back to EARTH.

ROBERT DUVALL

Okay you kids, gather round!

RON ELDARD

If you're going to read Moby Dick to us again, I swear --

ROBERT DUVALL

Nope, I've got a plan that I think Aleksandr is going to like.

ALEKSANDR BALUEV

It is too late to go save Jon Favreau now! I still think it is weird that I, the single Russian of this American crew, was the only one who even suggested we go after him.

ROBERT DUVALL

No, not that. We can't do anything about the smaller comet, but explosive outgassing has created a fissure in the big one that we can use to fly our remaining nukes in there. Looks like we do get to live up to our ship's name and die horribly!

ALEKSANDR BALUEV

Ah, explosive outgassing. Is there anything it will not do? Jon would have liked this plan.

(wipes away tear)

RON ELDARD

Wait, we sacrifice ourselves? I'm not -- but what about --

ROBERT DUVALL

It's the only way, Ron.

MARY MCCORMACK

This will at least give them a chance.

RON ELDARD

No, I'm on board with all that. It's just --

(wistful look)

I really wanted to know how Moby Dick ends.

ROBERT DUVALL

(heartfelt smile)

RON ELDARD

It's been a pleasure serving with you, sir.

ROBERT DUVALL

The honour's all mine, Ron.

They FLY the MESSIAH into the COMET and manage to DESTROY IT FROM WITHIN at the cost of THEIR OWN LIVES. Alas, their VALIANT SACRIFICE IS FOR NAUGHT. Instead of a SINGLE STRIKE, the KINETIC ENERGY from the COMET is now DISTRIBUTED ACROSS ITS DEBRIS FIELD, which BLANKETS THE ENTIRE FACING SIDE OF EARTH. The ATMOSPHERE is HEATED TO INCANDESCENCE, igniting an UNIMAGINABLE FIRESTORM that INSTANTLY STERILISES HALF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. OCEANS are BOILED OFF as the AIR is PERMANENTLY CHOKED with ASH AND DUST, creating a RUINOUS WASTELAND that will NEVER HARBOUR LIFE AGAIN. This APOCALYPTIC EVENT then simply DOESN'T HAPPEN AFTER ALL.

MORGAN FREEMAN

Instead, the bombs shattered the second comet into a million pieces, each no bigger than a chihuahua's head, and they all burned harmlessly in our atmosphere. We can now look to the future with a newfound hope. We must come together to rebuild. With every brick we lay, with every child we --

The SAME AIDE FROM BEFORE shows up again to WHISPER IN HIS EAR.

MORGAN FREEMAN

Okay, I'm told everyone is super pissed that I'm standing here like I didn't just abandon my citizens after gradually stripping them of all hope, and now there's mass psychological trauma to deal with because mortality came knocking at every single door on the planet.

(beat)

Huh, I didn't think this movie about a looming disaster bringing people together needed a human antagonist, but it turns out it was me all along!

PRESIDENT FREEMAN is then ABSOLUTELY CRUSHED in the ELECTIONS, because EVERYONE OVER FIFTY WILL VOTE LIKE CRAZY if you tell them to FUCK OFF AND DIE.

END

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