Bruce Willis Paid Dearly for Trying to Follow Tom Hanks That Led to His Forceful Casting in $553M Michael Bay Movie With Ben Affleck With Reduced Salary 

Reviewed by: Sayantan

Bruce Willis Paid Dearly for Trying to Follow Tom Hanks That Led to His Forceful Casting in $553M Michael Bay Movie With Ben Affleck With Reduced Salary

Numerous actors embark on a journey into directing as an artistic expansion of their careers. Assuming the role behind the camera offers them a fresh vantage point for storytelling. A few, such as Tom Hanks, have successfully made this transition, garnering critical acclaim. Even Bruce Willis tried his hands at direction.

Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis in Armageddon
Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis in Armageddon

Directing empowers actors to mold narratives, draw compelling performances, and express their artistic vision. It additionally grants them increased autonomy over their professional trajectories and access to diverse and demanding projects. While not all actors thrive in this dual capacity, their exploration of directing frequently injects the cinematic realm with novel viewpoints and innovation.

Also read: “He told me to shut the f–k up”: Ben Affleck Was Puzzled Trying to Find Logic in Michael Bay’s $553M Bruce Willis Starrer for Which He Risked His Life 

Bruce Willis Was Forced To Act In Armageddon

Armageddon represents just one of the many blockbuster action films in Bruce Willis’ extensive career. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a movie he was eager to undertake; in fact, he might never have taken the role if it weren’t for the peculiar business-related conditions that led to his casting. Essentially, he found himself more or less compelled to star in the film.

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A still from Armageddon

In early 1997, Bruce Willis commenced filming Broadway Brawler, a romantic sports comedy where he portrayed a former hockey star facing a midlife crisis while searching for love and purpose. Willis not only acted in the film but also took on a producing role. However, after a mere 20 days of shooting, he abruptly halted production, parting ways with director Lee Grant, cinematographer William Fraker, and costume designer Carol Oditz. An attempt to revive the project with director Dennis Dugan, a collaborator from Willis’ Moonlighting days, failed after just one day, leading to the ultimate termination of Broadway Brawler.

Cinergi, the production company, had already invested a substantial $17 million in the film. To cover these expenses and settle their debts, Cinergi executives turned to their parent company, Disney, for financial assistance. Disney’s top executive, Joe Roth, agreed to provide the funds under one condition: Bruce Willis had to commit to starring in several Disney-produced films, each with a reduced salary of $10 million, approximately half of his usual fee. The first film that Willis was obliged to make as part of this agreement, produced by Disney’s subsidiary Touchstone Pictures, was Armageddon.

Also read: “Second movie, little gold man, not too bad”: Quentin Tarantino Was Stunned By Steven Spielberg’s Scarily Accurate Prediction That Became True For His $213M Bruce Willis Movie

Armageddon Wasn’t The Only Film In This Deal

In addition to Armageddon, Bruce Willis had committed to a three-film deal with Disney, which included his roles in The Sixth Sense and The Kid. While The Kid enjoyed moderate success, raking in $110.3 million at the box office, it paled in comparison to the phenomenon that was The Sixth Sense. 

Bruce Willis in Sixth Sense
Bruce Willis in Sixth Sense

The M. Night Shyamalan-directed movie was a stroke of cinematic brilliance, earning both critical acclaim and an astonishing $672.8 million in revenue, all while being produced on a relatively modest $40 million budget. This unexpected success of two out of three films in a contract Willis had been compelled to accept turned out to be some of the most significant achievements of his career.

Armageddon can be streamed on Prime Video.

Also read: “I’m so glad I had the idea to cast him”: Harvey Weinstein Shamelessly Stole Credit for Quentin Tarantino’s Idea After Forcing Him to Cast Bruce Willis in $213M Movie  

Source: Looper

Written by Priya

Priya’s a skilled writer who thrives on capturing the glitz, glamour, and drama of the entertainment industry. Whether it’s writing about the upcoming movies, or delving into the behind-the-scenes dramas, she always likes to be in the know. Priya intends to do the same during her time at Fandomwire.