38 cuts and revisions that changed your favourite films

Batman Begins (2005)

What Was Cut: A trick wall behind the waterfall that gives access to the Bat cave. The wall supposedly smashed enemies to pieces if they tried to gain access to the cave, but the sequence was cut from the film.

If It Had Stayed In: It would have added another bit of inventive gadgetry to proceedings, but perhaps been a bit too cartoonish for Nolan's distinctly real-world take on Batman. 

Batman Forever (1995)

What Was Cut: Alien designer H.R. Giger's distinctly biomechanical version of the Batmobile. Taking the Batmobile in a completely different direction, Giger's version is a tubey oddity that looks more like a pair of pincers than a car, with more than a dash of Alien's crashed extraterrestrial ship thrown in for good measure.

If It Had Stayed In: Though the design is pretty amazing in its own right, it's not something that looks like it belongs in the Batman mythos, so would have probably felt distinctly out of place. Even in Joel Schumacher's increasingly outlandish version of Gotham. 

Oz: The Great & Powerful (2013)

What Was Cut: If studioADI had landed the gig of designing Oz: The Great And Powerful, we could have ended up with a much creepier movie than the one we saw.

StudioADI created their own designs and models in a pitch for the job, with a vibe somewhere between '80s Jim Henson and the more disturbing elements of Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings. Ultimately they lost out to KNB, which may not necessarily have been a good thing…

If It Had Stayed In: The Great and Powerful could have been a legitimate follow-up to Return to Oz, in the nightmare-fuel stakes. 

Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003)

What Was Cut: "Don't know about that accent." In one of the weirdest deleted scenes ever shot, we discover the origins of the T-800. A Skynet promo video shows us the cyborg's outer shell was based on a Texan soldier who looks (but doesn't sound) a lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger. In fact he sounds a lot like Samuel L. Jackson... 

If It Had Stayed In: It would probably have done irreparable damage to the T-800 as a fearsome killing machine, and pushed Terminator 3's already lighter tone well and truly into goofball territory. As a Saturday Night Live sketch though, it would have been brilliant. 

Natural Born Killers (1994)

What Was Cut: The courtroom murder scene, in which Mickey (Woody Harrelson) murders Ashley Judd in court. While she's giving her testimony, he leaps across the courtroom and stabs her in the chest with a pencil…

If It Had Stayed In: It would have been a troubling development for Mickey. Until now he's only killed 'bad' people - here he kills an innocent.

Twilight (2008)

What Was Cut: Jennifer Lawrence, who auditioned to play Bella Swan in the fang-erific book adaptation. As we all know, in the end Kristen Stewart got the role.

"I think everything happens for a reason," commented a pragmatic Lawrence.

If It Had Stayed In: We'd have been denied Stewart's rampant lip-biting, plus Lawrence might have struggled to build a career quite so impressive as the one she has now in the shadow of Twilight. Some missed opportunities are actually dodged bullets. 

Hancock (2004)

What Was Cut: A lot of the script's original tone. Written as a much darker, Leaving Las Vegas-style character study of a devastated, alcoholic superhero, the film was intended to be far bleaker than the somewhat goofy Will Smith vehicle we got.  

If It Had Stayed In: Hancock could have beaten the Dark Knight trilogy, the MCU, Daredevil and Logan to the 'serious superhero' punch, kickstarting the genre's maturity a couple of years early. 

Battleship (2012)

What Was Cut: A series of amazing "non-slimy" alien design concepts that were never used in the film.

If It Had Stayed In: 
It wouldn't have changed the film's overall quality, but we might have had some cooler aliens to look at…

Lucifer Rising (1972)

What Was Cut: Twenty-three minutes' worth of stunning music by Jimmy Page, intended to be used as the score for Kenneth Anger's film. Alas, Anger and Page had a massive falling out, and Page's compositions were turned down and hidden away until 1981.

If It Had Stayed In: It would have given the film an even more unsettling, nervy vibe. Page's music is all Middle Eastern-esque chanting, with some gorgeous guitar thrumming.

Dodgeball (2004)

What Was Cut: The original ending, which sees the Average Joes losing to GloboGym. When test audiences cried foul, director Rawson Marshall Thurber was forced to reshoot a happy ending in which the good guys win. Needless to say, Thurber wasn't happy about it.

If It Had Stayed In: We'd have missed out on the sight of Ben Stiller in a greasy fat suit chowing down on hamburgers. And to be fair, it's important that we have that. 

Life Of Pi (2012)

What Was Cut: Tobey Maguire was originally set to play The Writer in Ang Lee's sumptuous book adaptation. However, he was replaced with Rafe Spall when Lee decided to go for a more international cast.

"I very much admire Tobey and look forward to working with him again in the future," Lee said.

If It Had Stayed In: It wouldn't have had much of an effect on the film - this isn't The Writer's story after all. Not really.

Drive (2011)

What Was Cut: Hugh Jackman was originally meant to play the stoic, tight-lipped Driver, a role that eventually went to Ryan Gosling. Hard to remember a time when losing a role to Gosling wasn't the norm…

If It Had Stayed In: The Driver would arguably have been a far less interesting character - Jackman looks like an action hero, whereas Gosling brought a lithe, insidious menace to his version of Driver.

Anchorman (2004)

What Was Cut: Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph were both excised from the first Anchorman film. Poehler played a bank clerk, while Rudolph was the member of a gang who robs the bank.

"Even back then, I was like, 'This movie is so long, I'm never going to make it in this,'" Poehler jests.

If It Had Stayed In: It would have undoubtedly been a great scene, but Poehler's probably right. Anchorman is not a film in need of any more diversions. 

The Avengers (2012)

What Was Cut: Stan Lee's extended cameo, which totalled three minutes but was reduced to little more than a vox pop in the finished film.

Includes the immortal line "Ask for her number, moron!"

If It Had Stayed In: It would have been great, but perhaps extending one of Stan's cameos to the status of bit-part might have been a distracting case of too-much-of-a-good-thing. 

The Abyss (1989)

What Was Cut: Edited back into the director's cut, this brilliantly bizarre sequence was originally a lost stand-out of James Cameron's aquatic sci-fi. In the scene, Bud (Ed Harris) watches as a massive tidal wave threatens to spill over numerous US cities, as alien judgement for Mankind's warring ways. 

If It Had Stayed In: It would have been a deliciously dark twist to what was essentially an '80s summer blockbuster.

Elysium (2013)

What Was Cut: They look like sex bots, but these unused android designs were actually for 'sexy robot fashion models', as designed by Aaron Beck.

They still look like sex bots to us…

If It Had Stayed In: It would have added an extra wrinkle to the fascinating world that Neill Blomkamp created with Elysium

Iron Man (2008)

What Was Cut: Ghostface Killah - whose first album, Ironman, was released in 1996 and calls himself Tony Stark - originally had a cameo appearance in the 'real' Tony's first big screen outing.

If It Had Stayed In : It would have been a bizarre little joke that arguably few viewers would have understood.

Especially, as Killah explains: "We called each other Tony onscreen. I'm like, 'Tony Stark, I got your jet, I didn't mess it up.' He was like, 'I got the Bentley for you, I laced it up.'" Um, yeah…

Skyfall (2012)

What Was Cut: Appearing in the teaser trailer but never making it into Skyfall's final cut, a scene of Bond jogging through Regent's Park, presumably in a sequence that takes place before his MI6 Re-Evaluation test.

If It Had Stayed In: Sam Mendes' film is a real, visual celebration of London, and this shows off Regent's Park in a way that few film's have. 

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

What Was Cut: A really exciting ground-level fight between the Howling Commandos and HYDRA, in which bombs explode, the earth shakes and people get vaporised by blue energy.

Yes, that's us getting our first glimpse of the Cosmic Cube tech.

If It Had Stayed In: It would have given Cap an even more personal vendetta against HYDRA, and also given us a really cool action scene.

Alien: Resurrection (1997)

What Was Cut: A scene scripted by Joss Whedon involved Ripley 8 (Sigourney Weaver) et al making their way through a jungle-like greenhouse, only to be attacked by xenomorphs through the foliage.  

If It Had Stayed In: It would have been a really interesting, and potentially very cool, look at Aliens stalking and killing in fresh environment. And probably been a much better, and more fitting, action set-piece than the shonky, underwater CG xeno sequence we got. 

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

What Was Cut: A nightmare of a scene. After Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) sends Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) to Toontown, he removes a sack from Eddie's head and reveals that Eddie now has a cartoon pig's face over his own.

One turpentine shower later and Eddie's back to normal. Close shave…

If It Had Stayed In: The film would have been even more terrifying than before. And it's already brilliant horrific.

X-Men: First Class (2011)

What Was Cut: In what has now been affectionately branded 'Dragneto', Michael Fassbender wore a wig and a dress in the stripclub scene of this prequel.

Professor X (James McAvoy) shows off his psychic powers by making Angel (Zoe Kravitz) see a vision of Magneto in drag…

If It Had Stayed In: It might have made us less intimidated by Magneto, which wouldn't exactly have worked in the film's favour later on. 

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

What Was Cut: Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber's film originally went out with a far superior ending, making for one of the best deleted scenes ever.

Realising that he has truly, irrevocably messed up with his temporal tinkering, Ashton Kutcher's time-traveller journeys all the way back into his mother's womb. There, he strangles himself using the umbilical cord…

If It Had Stayed In: The tweenie Kutcher fans would have been upset, but we would have applauded a film that dared to got for a far braver, far smarter conclusion. 

Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

What Was Cut: Extreme Easy Living 2, a fake video game created for the Disney animation, but scrapped before it made it into the film. It's sort of a mix of The Sims and Grand Theft Auto.

If It Had Stayed In: It would have added to the film's rich tapestry of legitimate video game loving with a bit more homegrown satire. 

Spider-Man (2002)

What Was Cut: Numerous visual concepts from Jim Carson Design, including different versions of the Green Goblin and a slinky design for Black Cat.

Perhaps most interesting is the early concept art for a mechanical webshooter, which eventually got swapped out in favour of an organic, mutation-fuelled version. 

If It Had Stayed In: The web-shooters would have more successfully played up the all-important science-geek side of Peter's personality, something that's very much at the forefront of Spider-Man: Homecoming. 

Ghostbusters 2 (1989)

What Was Cut: Eugene Levy, who appeared as Louis Tully's cousin Sherman, in a late scene where he helps free the Ghostbusters from incarceration.

While he's talking about his dead grandfather, who he says he saw at the foot of his bed after he'd died, the Ghostbusters speed off, leaving him at the curb with Louis, who'd promised Sherman a ride in ECTO-1A. 

"I thought you were like the fifth Ghostbuster?"

If It Had Stayed In: It would have been a fun grace note in a film full of them. And also fleshed out Louis a bit more. 

The Hangover Part 2 (2011)

What Was Cut: The tiny role of Tattoo Artist created numerous headaches on the first Hangover sequel. Originally Mel Gibson was set to cameo in the role before Liam Neeson took it on. When Neeson was unavailable for reshoots, though, he was replaced wholesale with Nick Cassavetes.

“We were in a complete time crunch so I called up Nick and asked if he would do the part,” director Todd Phillips explained to Variety. “He came in and crushed it, and that is the scene that you will ultimately see in the film. [I'm excited for everyone] to see the film. It turned out great.” Er, yeah…

If It Had Stayed In: A Taken-era Neeson would arguably have been far more amusing. 

Predators (2010)

What Was Cut: That awesome shot from the trailer in which dozens of Predator target triangles dot Adrien Brody's hero.

When the film came out, there was only one target on him, which is surely tantamount to false advertising…

If It Had Stayed In: We might have got the epic battle that the trailer promised, instead of the comparative letdown we got instead.

Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge Of The Sith (2003)

What Was Cut: In early drafts of George Lucas' script, a young Han Solo appears.

He's being raised by Chewbacca on Kashyyk, and even meets Yoda, whom he gives a clue about the whereabouts of General Grievous. Lucas commissioned concept art for a young Solo, but then dumped him from the script.

If It Had Stayed In: It would have been undeniably awful, exacerbating the prequels' problem of an over-connected, ever-shrinking universe to intolerable proportions. 

The Birds (1963)

What Was Cut: Hitchcock originally planned to end his movie with something far more iconic than what we got, a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge crowded with flocking birds.

If It Had Stayed In: It could have rivalled Planet Of The Apes in the 'most epically doom-laden final shot' stakes, but would also have lost the low-key, ambiguous dread of the ending we got. 

Alien 3 (1992)

What Was Cut: H.R. Giger's 'alien kiss'. Giger was asked to redesign the xenomorph for Alien 3, and he did so by making it even more sexual and lithe than it had been before. Because, you know, obviously he did.

He also added the vicious little idea of this sexy new alien 'kissing' its victims, then ripping their insides out using its deadly tongue …

If It Had Stayed In: It would have led to even gorier, more psychosexually disturbing deaths than we're used to seeing in an Alien film. Which would have naturally made it peak-Alien. 

King Kong (2005)

What Was Cut: A whole load of logo concept art for Peter Jackson's remake, courtesy of artist Tom Schillinger. Schillinger made over 20 different logos for the film, any of which would have been awesome on the final poster. We particularly like this rock-carved variant…

If It Had Stayed In: The film might have had a fresher identity than it got by using the obvious, '30s deco-inspired logo that was eventually approved. We'd still love to see all of Schillinger's designs turned into an alternative-run poster series. How about it, Jackson?

The Lovely Bones (2009)

What Was Cut: Ryan Gosling. He was cast as the father in Peter Jackson's book adaptation. Weeks before filming, though, Gosling was fired.

According to the actor it's because he was too fat. He put on 60lbs for the role, thinking it would work for the character. Jackson disagreed and replaced him with Mark Wahlberg.

If It Had Stayed In: We'd have had a chubby Gosling on our hands instead of an earnest Wahlberg. Probably would have been better. 

Kill Bill: Vol 2 (2004)

What Was Cut: Bill (David Carradine) fights Michael Jai White in an epic skirmish that never should have been cut - mostly because it shows us just how deadly Bill can be.

If he can better Michael Jai White, we should definitely be afraid. Very afraid.

If It Had Stayed In: It would have livened up what is an undeniably talky sequel, made Bill a more tangible threat, and given that last scene between the Bride and her prey a great deal more tension. 

Bridesmaids (2011)

What Was Cut: "Wanna watch me dance?"

This is a brilliantly kooky scene in which Annie (Kristen Wiig) meets the young son of a guy she's going on a date with. It was cut when it was decided that we didn't need to see Annie going on a load of unfortunate dates amid the rest of her tribulations.

If It Had Stayed In: An over-long film would have been even over-longerer. Though it's a great, funny scene, the film still works perfectly well without it.

Superman Returns (2006)

What Was Cut: A six-minute, dialogue-free sequence in which Kal-El returns to Krypton. The use of light and shadow is stunning.

If It Had Stayed In: Mainstream audiences might have balked at the wordless sight of a crystal spaceship floating through the cosmos and then slowly exploring a dead planet, and the scene definitely would have slowed down the film's pace. Still, it's a beautiful sequence that permeates a stunning sense of wonder. The film would have been richer for it. 

The Wolverine (2013)

What Was Cut: Darren Aronofsky was originally set to direct Hugh Jackman in this standalone Wolvie adventure, but after six months of pre-production, the director departed.

“It became clear that the production of The Wolverine would keep me out of the country for almost a year," he said in a statement. "I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time.”

If It Had Stayed In: We would, arguably, have gotten a far better movie than the one we ended up with. We can't help wondering what a Wolverine from film the unswervingly artistically-minded Aranofsky would have looked like, though to be fair, with the film's director James Mangold redeeming himself ten times over with this year's Logan - a film with more than a shade of Aranofsky's The Wrestler about it - it's much less of a pressing issue. 

Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)

What Was Cut: The original, quieter, darker, and entirely better ending. Picking up some time after the (successful) robbery, John McClane - now disgraced and kicked off the force, having been scapegoated for the previous events of the film - tracks down Simon in Hungary and forces him to play a game of Russian Roulette with a rocket launcher. Simon loses, but it turns out that John had stacked the odds anyway, because of course he had. 

The ending was scrapped because the studio thought it lacked a proper (ie. explosive) climax, and that it made John look too cruel. Rich, given what a humorlessness jerk the later sequels turned him into anyway. And besides, the rocket launcher ending included a wonderful allusion to The Lavender Hill Mob, with Simon smuggling the gold in the form of moulded souvenir statues of the Empire State Building. 

Sometimes studios are monsters. 

If It Had Stayed In: The film would have got a much better, more distinct, and more iconic ending, and with McClane's life apparently it tatters, we might have been spared the next two films. 


We take a look back on how things could have been!