Deleted scenes are often cut for a reason. Sometimes the film is already too long, sometimes a character proves to be superfluous in the grand scheme of things, and sometimes a scene, while fine on its own, just doesn’t fit into the greater whole.
Sometimes, however, a deleted scene can provide greater context for a character, their actions, and the film itself. Cut content often fixes a glaring plot hole, or otherwise makes the film that much stronger, and we are simply dumbfounded that some sequences like these were ever removed in the first place.Here’s 12 Deleted Scenes That Would’ve Improved Their Movies.
12. Yoda’s Deathbed Revelation
As Yoda lays dying in Return of the Jedi, he reveals a fact which shines a light on the complicated ethics of the Jedi Order. A few extra pieces of never-filmed dialogue from Yoda’s deathbed exposes the truth. Yoda explains the true reason why Obi-Wan Kenobi never told young Luke Skywalker the secret of his lineage.
Forget about that “certain point of view” malarkey. Obi-Wan Kenobi withheld the truth because Yoda expressly forbade it. Yoda knew that Luke and his estranged father would one day fight to the death, and that Luke might not be able to go through with straight-up patricide, so he ordered Obi-Wan to ensure the young Skywalker would never know the truth.
The prequels play with the idea that the Jedi are not the absolute paragons of good and virtue they believe themselves to be, and Yoda’s attempt to trick Luke into ignorantly murdering his own father is a very shady move, regardless of how much Darth Vader deserved it.
11. I am Legend Alternate Ending
This 2007 Will Smith blockbuster starts out with an incredible first two-thirds before essentially crashing and burning with a half-baked action-movie climax, in which Smith’s character blows himself up, suicide-bomber style, to kill a bunch of CGI monsters and allow his allies to escape danger. The true story behind I Am Legend’s disappointing ending was that it was tacked on after test-audiences reacted negatively to the film’s original conclusion.
The film originally ended with the stunning revelation that the CGI zombie monsters were laying siege to humanity’s final refuge, not out of mindless bloodlust, but to recover one of their own. Smith had captured one of the creatures in his search for a cure, and the creatures were on a rescue mission to save their friend from the strange human, one of the last of his kind, who had stolen her away from them.
In fact, the meaning of the title of the original 1954 Richard Matheson novel, I Am Legend, is the fact that, now that humanity has all but died out and been replaced with monsters, humans have become the creatures which stalk the night and and are the stuff of nightmares for the new world. Test audiences preferred more explosions. Go figure.
10. The Fate of Superman II’s Kryptonians
In both the theatrical and Richard Donner Cut versions of Superman II, the Kryptonians, led by General Zod, are defeated by having their powers drained, followed by being pushed into bottomless pits within the Fortress of Solitude. Even Lois Lane gets to punch Ursa into the void, and certain death. Superman and Lois are now both officially murderers. Is this Superman II or Natural Born Killers?
The Richard Donner Cut sidesteps the implications of the murder by having Superman turn back time to prevent Zod and his cronies from ever escaping the Phantom Zone, but the original theatrical version makes no such move. However, a deleted scene features the “arctic police” arriving to arrest the now de-powered Kryptonian rogues. It’s a weird and surreal little detour, but lots of fans appreciate the fact that it keeps Superman and Lois from being a pair of remorseless killers.
9. Cyberdyne in The Terminator
James Cameron’s 1984 masterpiece about killer robots from the future, The Terminator, features a pair of deleted scenes which the director chose to cut for time and to keep the story more mysterious. The first explains the Terminator’s origins as a product of Cyberdyne systems, and the second reveals that the site of the final battle, in which the Terminator is destroyed and abandoned, takes place at a Cyberdyne systems facility. Cyberdyne creates the Terminators based on a sample recovered from their own facility. It’s a classic stable time loop!
This development was cut so that it could be explored in a potential sequel, which it was, in the equally legendary Terminator 2: Judgement Day, but we feel that leaving the scenes intact in the original film would have been a nice foreshadowing to their eventual expansion in part two.
8. Sauron vs Aragorn
The final epic battle in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy features Aragorn and the free men and women of Middle Earth engaging the forces of darkness in an effort to buy time and distract Sauron so that Frodo and Sam can complete their quest.
Originally, during The Battle of the Black Gate, Sauron was to take human form and engage Aragorn in one-on-one combat(!). Sauron would gain the upper hand and be about to deliver the finishing blow when Frodo finally casts the ring into the fiery lava of Mount Doom. The sequence was even shot and completed, but Peter Jackson and company ultimately felt like such an epic battle would distract viewers from Frodo’s quest. The footage still found its way into the final film, however, but Sauron’s physical form was replaced with a troll who gives Aragorn a real thrashing, and Sauron remains a fully-ambiguous glowing eye. Whether this decision was for better or worse is a topic of debate among Ringers to this day.
7. King Kong Spider Pit
1933’s King Kong is one of the most legendary adventure stories of all time, with giant monsters, valiant leads, and a timeless message about beasts and beauties. It has been remade multiple times, most notably by Peter Jackson in 2005.
At one point in the original film, the titular giant ape knocks several sailors into a deep crevasse. They are presumed to be killed by the fall, but a deleted scene (supposedly only shown at a single preview screening) shows the unlucky men being attacked by giant insects and other creepy crawlies. The scene was allegedly terrifying, but director Merian C. Cooper also felt that it killed the pacing of the film, so the scene was removed. Unfortunately, in 1933, not much care or effort was put into film preservation, and the scene was lost, possibly forever.
Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake includes an homage to that legendary lost scene, with characters falling into a pit and then fighting against giant spiders and other terrifying creatures. Indeed, it’s probably the scariest sequence in the film — watching Andy Serkis’ character being eaten alive by slug monsters is pretty off-putting. Additionally, Peter Jackson created a short film for the DVD re-release of the 1933 classic, imagining what the original scene might have been like, shooting his own spider pit sequence in the style of the original.
6. The Avengers Restaurant Scene
Joss Whedon’s The Avengers was the triumphant result of five films worth of build-up, and if you haven’t seen it by now, then what are even doing here, really?
There are a handful of act one scenes featuring Captain America acclimating to the 21st century which were cut in order to more quickly get to the central conflict. Probably the right choice for the movie, and excusable in this case, since Captain America: The Winter Soldier picks up the slack and runs with it, with regards to Cap being a fish out of temporal water. We’ll be the first to admit we got misty-eyed at Peggy Carter’s all-too-brief appearance.
During the Battle of New York in The Avengers, a young waitress, played by Ashley Johnson, is the most noteworthy bystander during the massive sequence, and she features strongly during Cap’s segments in the fight. Her unexplained prominence is given greater context by a deleted scene from the first act of the film, in which she actually serves as his waitress when he dines at her workplace. They have an immediate and palpable romantic tension, which is noticed by a little old man (played by Stan Lee, of course!) who tells Cap to “ask for her number, ya moron!” It’s a cute little scene, and would have gave Johnson’s presence during the battle a bit more weight.
5. Sergeant Candy in Terminator 3
Terminator 3 is nobody’s favorite Terminator film, but it’s also nobody’s least favorite entry in the increasingly desperate science fiction series, so that’s something. It’s basically a remake of Terminator 2 with more jokes and an excellent twist ending.
Speaking of jokes, the best one in the film was left on the cutting room floor. It features Sergeant Candy, dubbed with an over-the-top southern accent, serving as the model for the robotic soldiers of tomorrow. After General Brewster complains about the accent, a square-jawed suit says, “We can fix it,” in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice. It’s may just be a silly throwaway gag, and it probably presents some kind of continuity problems for hardened Terminator scholars, but we think it’s a fun scene which plays with the idea of fans’ expectations for the universe-building movies, which are all the rage these days.
4. Kylo Ren searching the Millennium Falcon
After crash-landing the Millennium Falcon on Starkiller Base, Han, Chewie, and Finn go to rescue Rey and turn off the shields. Following this, an unfortunately deleted scene has Kylo Ren and a search party arrive to investigate the now-abandoned crash site. Even through his mask, you can feel the nostalgia on Kylo Ren as he explores the legendary ship, as well as the bitter resentment over what he perceives to be his weakness. When he finally makes his way to the cockpit, Kylo can only mutter two words: “Han Solo.”
Fortunately, the Rebel fighters begin their attack on the base. The scene was probably cut because Kylo Ren, even with emotion presumably clouding his judgement, should be smart enough to destroy the Falcon to prevent his Rebel father’s escape. Even so, we think it’s a great emotional beat for the character, and we feel the movie would benefit from its inclusion, as it also offers some extra geography, giving us Ren’s location during the part of the film in which he is noticeably absent.
3. Michael Jai White in Kill Bill
There are a handful of excellent deleted scenes in Quentin Tarantino’s two-part epic, Kill Bill, fueling fan demand for a grand Director’s Cut, combining both parts with additional material. But our favorite piece of cut content involves our favorite hunk of Black Dynamite, Michael Jai White. His epic fight scene was shot and completed, but it, and the arc leading up to it, were cut from Volume 2 for pacing and tonal reasons.
It plays like a 1970s kung fu movie…but with way more of the old-timey aesthetic than the rest of the film, complete with corny music and intentionally bad voice-dubbing. Within Vol. 2, it’s perhaps too cheesy and non sequitur to improve the film, but, should Tarantino ever get around to making a Mega Director’s Cut of Kill Bill, we’d absolutely love to see this scene reinserted. It’s a great little scene on its own merits, and it has David Carradine, as Bill, kicking butt like a true master, Kung Fu-style.
2. Biggs Darklighter on Tatooine
In the original version of Star Wars: A New Hope, Biggs Darklighter is just another Rebel pilot. When he is killed in battle over the Death Star, he gets a sad cue in the score, as if we’re supposed to care for this poor mustached schmuck. While Luke mentions having a friend named Biggs, there’s nothing in the film suggesting they are the same person. However, in the 1997 Special Edition, a scene was added in the lead-up to the Battle of Yavin in which Luke has a joyous reunion with Biggs, who is revealed to be Luke’s longtime friend, thus justifying Luke’s sadness over his comrade’s death.
Many fans aren’t aware of additional scenes from the first act of Star Wars, in which Biggs is seen at Tosche Station and tells Luke that he is leaving to join the rebellion. The scenes were cut because director George Lucas felt the story to be too slow in the early parts of the film, and Biggs’s scenes, among others, were removed in an effort to send Luke out to space more quickly.
1. Batman v Superman
While general audiences seem to have reacted more-or-less favorably, many critics gave Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a sound thrashing. The film currently rests at a mere 29% on the Tomatometer, with many complaining that the film introduces endless plot threads and character introductions with no context or follow-up within the movie itself. Batman’s infamous Knightmare sequence is a complete head scratcher for anyone without an encyclopedic knowledge of DC’s canon, and even then, it’s hard to deny that the scene drags the film to a screeching halt.
To some, the film’s saving grace may be in its extended R-rated edition, due to be released on home video in several months. This is the way the film will be seen for years to come, and many fans are hoping that BvS will benefit from this version’s three hour running time, a full half-hour longer than the theatrical cut.
Some extended sequences we’re aware of include a foreshadowing of Darkseid which somewhat fleshes out Lex Luthor’s motivation, and a role for Jena Malone, possibly as Barbara Gordon. More importantly, we have been promised an expansion to the first act in North Africa. Much of the mystery in the film hinges upon those early minutes, so here’s hoping a reworked version of that chapter of BvS might help the entire film hold together more succinctly. It probably won’t be enough to fix Marthagate, but we’re only as optimistic as can be reasonably expected.
What do you think? What are some of your favorite deleted scenes? Sound off in the comments below!
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