ROBERT DUVALL, T�A LEONI, ELIJAH WOOD,
VANESSA REDGRAVE, MAXIMILIAN SCHELL AND MORGAN FREEMAN,
STAR IN "DEEP IMPACT," THE THEATRICAL THRILLER
TO BE REBROADCAST SUNDAY, AUG. 7 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
DEEP IMPACT, the theatrical suspense film starring Robert Duvall, T�a Leoni, Elijah Wood, Vanessa Redgrave, Maximilian Schell and Morgan Freeman, about the world's reaction when faced with a potential cosmic collision, will be rebroadcast as the "CBS Sunday Movie," Sunday, Aug. 7 (9:00-11:26 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Originally broadcast 4/15/01)
The film, hailed as "a thriller with brains"�"refreshing"�"inspirational"�and "exhilarating," is the story of the world's reaction to a death sentence.
When scientists make the earth-shattering discovery that a 500 billion ton comet � which is nearly the size of Manhattan � is on a collision course with our planet, a team of astronauts is assembled to undertake a desperate mission to deflect it before it ends life as we know it.
Leoni plays Jenny Lerner, an ambitious television reporter who gets word of a scandal in the White House and is demanding answers about a mysterious woman known only as Ele. While pursuing the story, Jenny is abducted by the FBI and led to President Tom Beck (Freeman), who reveals the identity of E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event) and the government's secret plan to deal with the approaching comet. At the president's request, Jenny withholds the story until he can call a news conference to announce the launch of a joint U.S.-Russian space mission to try to divert the comet.
Duvall portrays veteran shuttle pilot and moonwalker Spurgeon Tanner, who is brought out of retirement to command the mission aboard the experimental spaceship Messiah. It is to land on the violently erupting surface of the massive comet and plant nuclear charges in the hope of either breaking it up or changing its orbit.
In the months that follow, not only these few individuals but everyone in the world must struggle to find meaning in their lives in the face of looming catastrophe. A plan is set in motion to establish underground shelters in which a fortunate few may survive the impact, even if all other life on earth is wiped out.
As the day of cataclysm draws nearer, human reactions range from panic to noble resignation. Jenny attempts to bring her estranged parents (portrayed by Redgrave and Schell) together. Teenage astronomy student Leo Beiderman (Wood), who first glimpsed the comet with his backyard telescope, and his girlfriend, Sarah (Leelee Sobieski), grow up seemingly overnight and make profound choices in the face of the world-shaking calamity.
Mimi Leder directed the 1998 Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks Pictures presentation, which was produced by Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown. Steven Spielberg, Joan Bradshaw and Walter Parkes are the executive producers. The screenplay was written by Michael Tolkin and Bruce Joel Rubin.