Deep Impact

Movie released: 1998 | Set in: circa 2000

Summary Table
Event Likelihood Time frame
Catastrophic meteor impact extremely low at any time

Approach to the future
Serious scenario exploration


Futurism: 6

Entertainment: 8
A provocative and involving exploration of people’s response to impending disaster.

Plausibility: 8
A large asteroid could hit Earth at any time, and some day will, unless humans prevent it. However, though this could happen any day, the odds are that it won’t happen for a very long time.

Interesting depictions

A comet is found to be on collision course with the Earth, and the government and citizens prepare for catastrophe.

The government program to protect as many citizens as possible, and people with essential skills, is plausible and likely. The bulk of the populace might make more of an effort to ensure their own survival.

The scenario depicted is possible, but the amount of warning available might vary from decades to virtually none. With only hours or days to prepare, there would be very little that could be done to prevent the impact or to make surviving it more likely.

Past impacts have resulted in everything from global catastrophe to a bruise on a woman’s thigh. Most impacts occur in the oceans, and a medium-size object would have the effects depicted: enormous tsunamis destroying everything on surrounding coasts, even those thousands of miles away.

With sufficient warning, a threatening object might be deflected, perhaps with nuclear blasts. But no real defensive plans exist now, and most Earth-orbit-crossing objects haven’t been discovered.

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The futures depicted in the movies