Solar Crisis (film)

Solar Crisis is a 1990 Japanese-American co-production science fiction thriller film directed by Richard C. Sarafian (credited as Alan Smithee). The screenplay was written by Joe Gannon and Tedi Sarafian (credited as Crispan Bolt), based on the 1990 novel Crisis 2050 by Takeshi Kawata, who co-produced the film. The film was first released in Japan in 1990, and in the United States in 1992.

Solar Crisis
Solar Crisis FilmPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRichard C. Sarafian
Screenplay by
Based onSolar Crisis
by Takeshi Kawata
Produced byRichard Edlund
James Nelson
CinematographyRussell Carpenter
Edited byRichard Trevor
Music byMaurice Jarre
  • Gakken
  • NHK Enterprises
  • Japan America Picture Company
Distributed byShochiku (Japan)
Trimark Pictures (United States)[1]
Release dates
  • July 14, 1990 (1990-07-14)
  • November 25, 1992 (1992-11-25)
(United States)
Running time
111 minutes
Budget$55 million[1]

The cast features Tim Matheson as Steve Kelso, Charlton Heston as Adm. "Skeet" Kelso, Peter Boyle as Arnold Teague, Annabel Schofield as Alex Noffe, Corin Nemec as Mike Kelso and Jack Palance as Travis. The executive producers were Takeshi Kawata and Takehito Sadamura. FX cinematographer Richard Edlund and veteran sound editor James Nelson were its producers.


To stop a solar flare from destroying the Earth, Steve Kelso is tasked to drop an artificially intelligent bomb on the Sun from the spaceship Helios. Arnold Teague, who believes the danger to be overstated, attempts to sabotage the mission so he can profit from the panic. Teague's agents on Earth clash with Kelso's father, Admiral "Skeet" Kelso, and his son, Mike.



Solar Crisis began shooting in November 1989 with an announced budget of $30 million. Nippon Steel, one of the investors, announced a Japanese theme park based on the film.[3]

Scientist Richard J. Terrile served as a technical advisor. He at first tried to convince the filmmakers to avoid sending a crew to the Sun, calling it unscientific. When it was explained to him that audience would demand such a plot point regardless of scientific accuracy, Terrile said he realized his job was to make impossible situations sound more plausible.[4]


TV Guide quoted the final budget as $43 million. The film opened in Japan in 1990, where it underperformed. In response, the producers extensively recut and reshot scenes to secure an American distributor. Sarafian had his name removed from the credits and replaced with the Directors Guild of America alias "Alan Smithee". Sarafian's son, Tedi, who performed rewrites, was credited as "Crispan Bolt".[1] Producers Edlund and Nelson also brought in Rene Balcer to do uncredited rewrites.


TV Guide rated it 2/5 stars and wrote, "Enjoy its awesome visuals or scorn its slipshod execution, Solar Crisis amounts to one small step for cinema, one giant leap for Alan Smithee."[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Solar Crisis". TV Guide. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  2. ^ a b "KURAISHISU NIJU-GOJU NEN (1990)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  3. ^ Pond, Steve (1989-11-10). "'TALKING' ABOUT BLOCKBUSTERS". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  4. ^ Kirby, David A. (2011). Lab Coats in Hollywood: Science, Scientists, and Cinema. MIT Press. pp. 147–149. ISBN 9780262294867.

External linksEdit