This article on Moviefone is a false, made-up bit of reporting. I know because I was there. Armageddon was the first production I worked on. I took in everything that I could and remember it well.
This Moviefone article says that “It’s unclear where the initial idea for ARMAGEDDON came from.” It’s actually very clear and very well documented – for example, in Peter Bart’s THE GROSS (1999).
Jonathan Hensleigh, who’d just done THE ROCK with Michael Bay, came in with a great three-sentence pitch about a ragtag group of guys working with NASA to stop an asteroid. Hensleigh’s inspiration was the oil-well firefighter Red Adair, with a touch of THE DIRTY DOZEN. Michael and Hensleigh worked together on the idea for a few weeks, then took their 20-minute pitch to Joe Roth at Disney; Joe interrupted midway through and bought it in the room; he said it would be his July 4 movie for 1998, and gave it the name ARMAGEDDON.
Hensleigh and Michael set to work on the script. It was only through working with Ivan Bekey, who headed Advanced Concepts for NASA, that we became aware of any competing project.
With regard to the assertions that our production was marred by “skullduggery,” “moral compromise,” a “deeply insecure” director, etc. – my reaction is: (a) False, and (b) What kind of journalistic standards exist here? Someone apparently told the writer that Michael said he’d committed intellectual property theft and “actually stole dailies.” This didn’t happen and I don’t understand how slander like this makes it to press.
President, Bay Films
I had the great pleasure of working with one of the few African American U.S. SEAL team members.
Remi Adeleke was supposed to be on the movie for two days—but I was so impressed by him—that I kept him on for four months.
Remi, never told me this on the shoot, but at the end of filming, he sent me this great inspiring letter.
Now that filming is wrapped, I would like to take the time to extend my gratitude to you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of your family. Filming has been a tremendous blessing for my family and I, and we are so grateful to you.
Along with thanking you for allowing me to participate in your film, I would also like to thank you for inspiring me to be a Navy SEAL. I could never find the opportunity to share my story with you, so I’ll share it in this letter as a thank you, and hopefully a beacon of encouragement for you.
I lived in Nigeria until the death of my father in 1987. I was five at the time of my father’s death. Immediately after my father died my mother moved my brother and I to the United States. My brother and I grew up in one of the toughest inner cities in New York, the Bronx. Though we didn’t have much, my mother would save her money to take my brother and I to the movies at least once a month. We would get dressed, and jump on the 1 train towards the heart of Manhattan. Movies served as a way for us to escape from the reality of our upbringing.
In 1995, your first film, Bay Boys, was released. As with other outings, my mother took my brother and I out of the Bronx, and we headed to downtown Manhattan to watch the film. Out of all the movies I had seen in my 13 years of life, Bay Boys had the biggest impact on my life. See, I grew up around drug dealers, hustlers, gangs, players and athletes. Through the music I grew up on and my environment, I could only imagine becoming like those I grew up around and listened to. Bad Boys allowed me to see life through a different lens. For the first time on the movie screen I was able to see two heroes (Mike Lowery & Marcus Brunett) – who look like me, and who had my same demeanor – running and gunning, and saving the day. For the first time I thought, “I don’t have to be a drug dealer or athlete; I can be like Mike, or Marcus.” A year later my mother took us to see The Rock, and it was after watching The Rock that I knew what kind of gunslinger I would want to be if I ever had the chance too: a Navy SEAL.
Eventually the inspiration died out, and I found myself back in the streets: stealing, hustling, and eventually selling drugs. Though I chose a dark path for a while, the thought of what your films showed me I could be was always in the back of my head.
After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, and through a series of events, I decided that if I stayed in the Bronx, I would either end up dead or in prison. So, it was during this time of contemplation that the inspiration – first embedded in me through your films – rose back up in me. And though I couldn’t swim, didn’t have the academic scores (at the time) to be a SEAL, and weighed 150 pounds soaking wet, I followed your inspiration and joined the Navy to become a Navy SEAL. It was a tough road, but eventually I was able to get into SEAL training and make it through. In return the SEAL Teams further changed my life, allowed me to make a difference, allowed me the opportunity to serve with the greatest warriors on the planet, and allowed me to have a family.
I can’t remember where I heard it or read it, but I read somewhere that you “make movies to inspire the 15-year-old” (forgive me if I’m wrong or misquoted). Well, I was 13 when Bad Boys came out and 14 when the Rock was released (almost 15). As a Minister I try to always relay to the congregants I speak to that sometimes it’s not always about reaching the masses, sometimes it’s about reaching that one person who will not only reach the masses, but also affect generations. Your films have indeed fulfilled their mission in my life; they inspired a street kid from the Bronx to achieve heights that I could have never imagined, and hopefully through my changed life and SEAL career the effects of your inspiration in my life will affect generations.
So again, thank you so much for helping to bring my life full circle, by casting me in your film, and more importantly, thank you for helping to change the trajectory of a lost teenager’s life through the use of film and story. It’s impossible to pay you back for the blessings you provided my family and I, but my prayer is that this letter of encouragement will suffice as payment.
Former Navy SEAL & Actor
“The recipients of awards are soon forgotten, but the effects of changed lives last forever”
Our director John Krasinski, actress Emily Blunt, and crew did a fantastic job!! A QuietPlace opened at $50 million at the box office: https://s4te.com/2IC3inL
Paramount Pictures’ thriller directed by John Krasinski soared past estimates to a massive $50.3 million opening in 3,508 theaters. That’s enough to land it the second highest domestic opening of the year to date behind “Black Panther,” which opened in February with $202 million. Since its debut at South by Southwest, “A Quiet Place” has garnered rave reviews. It currently holds an solid 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a B+ CinemaScore.
We were deep in conversation with Michael Bay when it hit us: How did our failures bring us here? The film we had written and executive produced had just premiered to a wildly energized opening night audience at SXSW, and Bay was already discussing what we could work on next. It was only yesterday that we were two kids sitting side-by-side in an Iowa multiplex, trying to hide genuine tears of emotion from each other as Bruce Willis sacrificed himself at the climax of “Armageddon.” Now the man behind the Bayhem was standing in front of us as a producer on our film, because three words brought us together: “A Quiet Place.”
After much thought I’ve decided to close down the forums. It’s been a long time running.
These forums in their original form where the social media of its day. We had some good times and not so good times, but what most of us had in common was that we liked Bay’s movies.
I first started the first forums back on Xoom.com in 1998 around the time of Armageddon came out; that’s 20 years ago!
Anyway, I would like to thanks all of you who made it fun with your posts and hung in there. I would especially like to thank those that helped out when this was a fan site, with moderator duties, such as Greg, Andreas, The Great, and the amazing Sora.
The main site www.michaelbay.com, as always, will be up.
So, goodbye and thank you from the bottom of my heart; it’s been real.
A teaser image of our new movie from Platinum Dunes, staring Emily Blunt and directed by John Krasinski.