This $553M Bruce Willis’ Hit Filming Was So Horrible He Never Worked with Its Director Again 

This $553M Bruce Willis’ Hit Filming Was So Horrible He Never Worked with Its Director Again 
Image credit: Legion-Media, Walt Disney Studios

The production of this movie was chaos from start to finish, but we know you love it as much as we do.


  • Bruce Willis almost never starred in Armageddon – but he disrupted the shooting of another movie, and had to work on Armageddon at a reduced fee.
  • After shooting Armageddon, Willis promised never to work with director Michael Bay again – according to the actor, Bay was constantly yelling, which created a tense atmosphere on the set.
  • Although the production process was difficult and Armageddon is not particularly realistic, it is still one of Bay and Willis' best films.

Bruce Willis would never have agreed to star in Armageddon if it were not for his agreement with Disney. Even before the release of Michael Bay's movie, Willis was supposed to star in the movie Broadway Brawler made by Disney.

Apparently, the actor got so used to the role that he started to get rowdy on the set, which negatively affected the work process.

In the end, it was decided to close the project and Willis was sued for disrupting the movie. To avoid paying a multi-million dollar fine, the actor offered the studio a deal – he would star in their next project, but instead of his usual $20 million salary, he would receive only $3 million.

Willis Promised Never to Work with Michael Bay After Armageddon

And although Willis later revealed that he would never work with Michael Bay again, it is difficult not to admit that Armageddon became one of the most iconic movies of his career.

And thanks to its financial success – Armageddon grossed $553 million worldwide – the actor ended up receiving almost the same money as if he had acted for his standard fee.

Here’s what Willis said about Bay in particular:

“Few people will work with him now, and I know I will never work with him again. It was a great crew, but a screaming director does not make for a pleasant set experience.”

Armageddon Was a Production Mess

Many things went wrong during the production of Armageddon. Just reading the synopsis of the movie, a viewer who is at least somewhat familiar with science and space will ask a fair question: why, given the time constraints, was it decided to send oil drillers into space who did not have the necessary training for the flight? After all, it is easier to train astronauts to drill than the other way around.

Physics students at the University of Leicester calculated that the hydrogen bomb method doesn't work: to explode an asteroid, you need to detonate a projectile with hundreds of times more destructive power than the most powerful bomb ever tested on Earth.

After a while, even Michael Bay admitted that the movie turned out to be far from his original plan. He apologized for Armageddon, explaining that the film was largely damaged by tight deadlines and pressure from the studio – filming lasted only 16 weeks in order to finish the project by the start of the summer season.

After the interview was published, Bay decided to disavow his words, stating that he had been misquoted. But the journalist who interviewed him provided an audio recording of the conversation, which dispelled any speculation about the interpretation of the director's words.

Armageddon is Still One of Bay's Best Movies

But despite all this, Armageddon is the embodiment of Michael Bay's creative method and simply one of his best movies. It can be revisited only for the shots where Steve Buscemi's character rides a hydrogen bomb to "feel the power between his legs," where Liv Tyler cries in front of the fading screen; and where we see Willis himself in a snow-white T-shirt watching life fly before his eyes after he has blown up the asteroid.

Sources: Showbiz CheatSheet, Oxford Academic