Bruce Willis Refused To Watch NASA Attempt To Recreate Armageddon

By Doug Norrie | 2 weeks ago

bruce willis

Many movie fans will know that at one point, the Earth was threatened by an asteroid of an unspeakable size as it hurtled towards the planet on a deadly collision course. A group of oil drillers was tasked with heading into space, crash landing on the rock, and exploding that bad boy. Armageddon, starring Bruce Willis was a hit at the time with him and an ensemble cast flying down onto the asteroid and getting to work. Recently, NASA embarked on a similar endeavor, sending a satellite/spacecraft to an asteroid for a crash landing and they invited Willis to come along and watch. It would have seemed like a fitting, full-circle moment, considering his role in the film. But the actor refused the invitation. 

Apparently, this most recent NASA endeavor was to recreate some of what happened in Armegeddon, sending the satellite into the face of the asteroid as a test to see if they could deflect it and change the course heading. In the movie, this was the central idea with the difference being Bruce Willis and his oil-drilling pals had to dig down and drop a nuclear bomb in there as well. That wasn’t happening this time around, but apparently, NASA wanted to give Willis the chance to see it happen. Washington Post’s Christian Davenport broke the news:

The event the NASA group was inviting Bruce Willis to watch was called DART or Double Asteroid Redirection Test. The plan is somewhat similar to the story in Armageddon in that the ship is set to fling itself into an asteroid with the goal of knocking it off course if its path was going to be headed straight at Earth. The difference in this test compared to the movie is that there would be no humans involved in going to the rock, and this plan would be done years and years in advance of an impending crash. Also, I don’t think there was any Aerosmith playing in the background. 

It wasn’t clear why Bruce Willis turned down the invitation to watch the launch though it was merely a publicity stunt on that end. The spacecraft is headed to the Didymos system but will take about a year to get there. At that point, it will collide with Dimorphos hurtling at four miles per second (14,000 miles per hour) and scientists will see if the trajectory of the asteroid will change at all. This is an important test in seeing if we can, in fact, stave off human excitation and the end of the world if a rock collided with our little blue orb. 

There was no word if any other castmates of Bruce Willis in Armageddon were invited to witness the launch. That could have included Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Billy Bob Thornton, Steve Buscemi, Will Patton, William Fichtner, or Owen Wilson among others. The Michael Bay film earned more than $550 million dollars at the box office on its whopping $140 million budget. Critics weren’t on board, with the film sitting at 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. But it was a popcorn flick through and through. It was meant for the spectacle and it certainly achieved it on that end. Now let’s see if it inspired something that will actually work.