No matter how fantastic a movie makers’ thoughts about a few scenes are, sometimes it doesn’t really go according to the idea and often results in throwing those scenes out at the last minute.
Not always, these decisions are best for the movie. They might be done by a greedy studio pressurising the director to come up with something new and different or stressing technological issues of bringing the original scenes together.
Whatever the reason is, these five movies all pulled out all the fascinating scenes for extremely inferior ones. Could have been less impactful fight scenes or even slight plot changes that have affected the rest of the film.
These scenes were either never shot or released to the public, serving merely as tantalising teases for what could’ve been if circumstances were different.
1) THE ORIGINAL CAP VS. WINTER SOLDIER FIGHT- CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
The street fight between Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) in Captain America: The Winter Soldier is one of the MCU’s most-celebrated action scenes to date.
Yet despite its stripped-down intensity, it also suffers from sloppy editing and overly busy direction, making it tough to fully savour the apparent effort that had been put into the silky smooth fight choreography.
However, the scene’s choreographers recently uploaded a “previz” version of the fight (see below), with two stunt performers acting out the stage in a warehouse, the results of which are decidedly tighter and more fluid than what made it into the final film.
Also, it’s far easier to control shooting conditions indoors. Still, even so, there’s a night-and-day difference between the bracingly intense original sequence and the rougher, less visually coherent final product.
2) THE CAR GRAVEYARD-CARS
It’s fair to say that Cars isn’t one of Pixar’s best movies, but it’s still a beautifully animated family romp, albeit one which very nearly flirted with themes a little more daring and adventurous.
Animatics were completed for a scene just after Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) gets separated from his big rig pal Mack and ends up at Radiator Springs.
While trying to get back on the Interstate and find Mack, Lightning finds himself hurtling through a dense forest area, which appears to be a car “graveyard,” packed with the “corpses” of other vehicles as well as a ghost-like car with tree branches for arms which tries to grab Lightning.
Pixar has never been one to shy away from challenging material riffing on the impermanence of everything, so it’s a massive shame they removed this genuinely creepy and atmospheric scene before animators could get to work on it.
Instead, Lightning’s journey to Radiator Springs is decidedly less arduous in the final film, with any scrap of boundary-pushing creativity disappearing into the ether.
3) ALL THE OTHER COLONISTS DIE-PASSENGERS
Sci-fi drama Passengers is unquestionably one of the most disappointing films of the last few years, squandering a tantalising premise on style-over-substance thrills and a tone-deaf execution.
The central conceit sees engineer Jim Preston woken up from stasis onboard a spaceship 90 years too early due to a malfunction. To avoid living the rest of his life alone, he awakens the hottest fellow passenger he can find, Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence), without ever explaining this to her.
Though the film does engage with the apparent ethical minefield of Jim’s actions, this issue was ultimately brushed under the carpet in favour of a Titanic-in-space romance that feels a little too close to Stockholm syndrome to be genuinely comfortable.
But Jon Spaihts’ original script took a far more delicate and considered approach to this dynamic, by placing a greater focus on the spaceship’s dysfunction and delivering a third act bombshell where the other 5,000 sleeping colonists end up ejected into space, killed in an instant.
This would immediately alter the morality of Jim’s actions because while him saving Aurora’s life would undeniably be a negligent act of his desperate loneliness, it makes it much harder to argue that the result is purely creepy. It’s the reason she’s still breathing, after all.
Would Passengers still be a divisive and problematic movie with this other third act? Probably, but it’d certainly be more interesting than what we ended up with – not to mention more effective as both a tragedy and a romance.
4) SKYNET WINS- TERMINATOR SALVATION
Terminator Salvation’s ending is, even for the standards of the Terminator franchise, totally ridiculous.
After John Connor (Christian Bale) got wounded during an encounter with a T-800, his life is saved by human-cyborg hybrid Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), who volunteers his own heart to be transplanted into Connor’s body. Roll credits.
But a far darker and more exciting ending was initially conceived, in which John dies. Yet, to keep the myth of the resistance leader alive, his skin would be grafted onto Marcus, effectively making the figurehead of the resistance a Terminator.
But it gets much better, the final scene in the film would see all of the main characters – namely John’s wife Kate (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) who are brought into a room to meet cyborg-John, only for his eyes to flicker red and for him to murder everyone in the room, with some latent Skynet programming kicking in.
Even accepting the shock value of having Skynet score a decisive, unambiguous win, the added irony of Connor – or Connor’s likeness, at least – causing the downfall of the resistance is just too damn delicious.
But of course, this isn’t the ending that franchises rebuilt on, and though the conclusion had fierce support from Christian Bale himself, it was scrapped for being “too dark” – aka not conducive to franchise longevity.
5) PINHEAD JOINS THE PARTY- FREDDY VS. JASON
The inherent problem with “vs” movies is that neither rights-holder wants their IP to lose, and so these films typically always end with a cop-out “no contest” finale, where there’s no outright winner, or they end up joining forces to battle a bigger foe.
That was certainly the case with 2003’s enjoyably daft Freddy vs Jason, which ended with Jason (Ken Kirzinger) emerging from Camp Crystal Lake holding Freddy’s (Robert Englund) decapitated head.
But of course, Freddy winks at the camera mere moments before the end credits roll, indicating the battle is far from over.
The film’s ending went through numerous iterations, perhaps the most tantalising of which would’ve seen Freddy and Jason’s fight interrupted with the pair being strung up by chains.
At that moment, Pinhead (Doug Bradley) emerges from the shadows and quips, “Now, gentlemen, what seems to be the problem?”
While this ending wouldn’t have provided any additional closure to the titular battle – quite the opposite it would’ve been one hell of a set-up for a potential sequel, which despite Freddy vs Jason’s commercial success curiously never happened.