|The idea for "Meteor" came from 2 sources: an article by Isaac Asimov speculating about what would happen should a meteor hit earth, and a study from M.I.T. suggesting that an impact from a mile-wide meteor would create a 10-15 mile wide crater and cause the biggest earthquake of all time. Producers Theodore Parvin and Arnold Orgolini took 3 years to secure financing for the film. Directing would be Ronald Neame, who knew about disasters, having helmed 1972's hit "The Poseidon Adventure". Sean Connery was pegged to star, but was unsatisfied with the initial script, as was the director and all concerned. Ronald Neame and Stanley Mann completely re-wrote the script, and Connery agreed to star. Joining the cast would be Natalie Wood, swayed by the idea of portraying a Russian scientist, she could use her native tongue. Also in the cast would be Brian Keith, Karl Malden, Martin Landau and Henry Fonda as The President.
Principal photography commenced on October 31st, 1977 and was completed January 27th, 1978 with a budget of $16 million.
The story concerns the efforts of a joint US-Russian team of scientists to stop a 5-mile wide meteor destined to hit the Earth, with the equivalant of 2.5 million megatons of TNT-ten times larger than the largest earthquake ever recorded.
It was decided that in the wake of F/X spectaculars like "Star Wars" and "CE3K", that the $4 million spent on effects wern't very good, and $1.25 million was added to the budget to drop and re-do 3/4 of the effects. Also lost was alot of the dramatic scenes between Connery and Wood etc. The effects are hit and miss. The scenes of devastion are poorly executed with colored stock shots of buildings and bridges being taken down by demolition and not a meteor dont help this movies credibility. The film was released October 19th, 1979 and was a commercial and critical disaster. Natalie Wood was very vocal about how they trashed her role in order to showcase the "special" effects.