20 Reasons You Probably Don’t Remember Armageddon


When Armageddon arrived in theatres—20 years ago this month—nobody seemed to take much notice of the scathing reviews. Earning an impressive $553 million worldwide, the film went on to become the second highest-grossing movie of 1998 (behind Saving Private Ryan) in spite of its rampant implausibility and the negative feelings of the cast and crew, including star Bruce Willis and director Michael Bay. Over time, the film’s shortcomings have become more widely acknowledged, and this massive blockbuster is now largely forgotten. With that in mind, here are 20 reasons you probably don’t remember Armageddon.

1. Bruce Willis had no interest in making the film.

He only signed on to get out of another Disney production (Broadway Brawler) that was spiralling out of control.

2. Like almost every other actor in Armageddon, Liv Tyler had little interest in the project.

She turned down her role twice before giving in.

3. Steve Buscemi has admitted that he only took his role for the money.

Billy Bob Thornton said the same thing.


4. Armageddon has five credited screenwriters.

And at least three uncredited—a sure sign of studio interference.

5. Bay encouraged his actors to improvise most of their dialogue.

Because the script was such a mess.

6. Bay has acknowledged that the film’s mission is implausible.

And that it would never happen in real life.


7. A bomb definitely couldn’t have broken the film’s asteroid in two.

It would need to be two billion times stronger than the largest bomb ever detonated on Earth.

8. Bay knowingly filled Armageddon with scientific inaccuracies.

He thought they would make the movie more entertaining.

9. Bay simply told his actors to “act weightless.”

When it came time to simulate zero gravity.


10. Bay attached guns to the Armadillos in the film.

After he learned that toy trucks sell better when guns are attached.

11. Bay made a special effort to make the asteroid look as “mean” as possible.

As opposed to a “nice” looking asteroid.

12. Ben Affleck tried to give Bay some much-needed advice.

He explained that training astronauts to become drillers would be far easier than training drillers to become astronauts.


13. Most of the romantic subplot was added late in the shoot.

It was an effort to cash in on the success of Titanic.

14. The film’s visual effects supervisor had a nervous breakdown during post-production.

Forcing Bay to take over his responsibilities.

15. Bay claims he had to make Armageddon in just 16 weeks.

He also claimed that “the studio literally took the movie away” from him.


16. Bruce Willis did not gel with Bay.

In fact, he has pledged never to work with the director again.

17. Armageddon has a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Even lower than the first Transformers movie.

18. Film critic Roger Ebert despised Armageddon. 

He called it “an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense, and the human desire to be entertained.”


19. The film earned seven Razzie nominations.

And Bruce Willis received the award for Worst Actor.

20. Michael Bay has actually apologised for Armageddon. 

He believes it’s his worst film to date.


Don’t remember Armageddon? In honour of its 20th anniversary, check out the trailer below.