In the dark times before special edition DVD’s or Blu-Rays, deleted scenes were something only whispered about among film fans. Trailers and extended TV versions were often the only places alternate footage could be found, yet certain sequences remained out of sight.
There’s a slight danger to building hype around deleted scenes, since they were often trimmed for good reason. For example, for two decades, reports circulated of an amazing fight scene that was cut from Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, which was supposedly so incredible producers decided to save it for another movie. When the scene was finally made available on DVD, it was revealed to be just another dirt cheap fight.
That hasn’t stopped fan appetite for removed footage, especially with regards to comic book movies. These movies often go through multiple edits and reshoots, resulting in juicy material being thrown away. While recent comic book films often make missing scenes available for home viewing, some studios decide to withhold certain sequences for various reasons.
It could be the director insisting they remain locked away, or maybe the studio doesn’t feel it’s worth the effort to release them. Whatever the case, here are 15 Comic Book Movie Deleted Scenes We'd Love To See - But Never Will.
15 The Joker Meets The Squad - Suicide Squad
Warner Bros were only too happy to play up stories of Jared Leto’s outlandish behavior on the set of Suicide Squad, including sending rats, bullets and other unsavory “gifts” to his cast mates. He was also plastered over the trailers, with the promos making it look like The Clown Prince Of Crime would play a major role.
This turned out not to be the case, with the Joker appearing for maybe ten minutes total. The other bizarre thing was the amount of Joker footage glimpsed in previews that was ultimately removed.
The most striking deletion was a shot of the character pulling the pin on a grenade using his teeth and waving goodbye to an unknown audience. This supposedly came from a scene where Mr. J confronts Harley and the Squad before their Enchantress showdown, where he tries to force Harley to leave with him. When she refuses, he pulls the grenade and makes his escape.
It was likely cut for pacing reasons, but Warners appear to be keeping this missing Joker footage under lock and key. A couple of missing scenes were added to the extended cut, yet the bulk of Leto's work remains unseen.
14 Quicksilver Survives - Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Joss Whedon isn’t shy when it comes to killing characters, (rightfully) believing it’s necessary in order to establish stakes. Since he couldn’t kill any big name heroes during The Avengers, he settled for poor Agent Coulson, though Marvel later undid this by resurrecting Coulson for Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Whedon envisioned Avengers: Age Of Ultron as a “war movie” and felt that at least one of the group had to go. He settled on newbie recruit Quicksilver, who dies from a hail of bullets while shielding Hawkeye and a child. His surprise death added some weight to the story, and unlike other Marvel movies, he wasn’t immediately resurrected.
Whedon did shoot an alternate version, where Quicksilver not only survives – thanks to his quick healing factor – but is seen in full costume during the end line-up. This was only shot for insurance, in case the studio wanted to keep the character alive, but in the end, they let Whedon have his way. Maybe the scene will appear in a special edition boxset someday, but there are currently no plans for one.
13 Storm's Cameo - X-Men: Origins: Wolverine
X-Men Origins: Wolverine was fraught with productions woes, with director Gavin Hood clashing with studio head Tom Rothman over the tone. It got to the point where Hood arrived on set to shoot a key sequence where Logan is given his adamantium, and found it had been painted a different color by Rothman’s order; he found the director’s choice too dark.
Origins is a hot mess as a result, with a mix of conflicting tones and a story that never gels. It’s also overloaded with pointless cameos, from a de-aged Patrick Stewart to -- infamously -- Deadpool. There was one potentially interesting appearance snipped out, where Wolverine encounters Storm as a young girl while on a mission in Africa with Team X.
A shot of Storm can be found in the trailer, but while the village scene remains in the movie, young Ororo Munroe herself doesn't appear. Her scene wasn’t found on the DVD either, and with Origins being considered the black sheep of the series. there isn’t much demand for it to resurface.
12 Batman's Trance - Batman
Christian Bale is considered by many modern Bat-fans to be the best actor to don the cape and cowl. Whoever your favorite big screen Batman may be, there’s no denying Michael Keaton’s impact on the character. He was the first to think of the idea of using a different voice to separate the Dark Knight from Bruce Wayne, and he came to define the body language of Batman while wearing the suit.
Keaton calls himself a “logic freak”, so he constantly tried to think his way through Bruce’s thought process. He even came up with what he called a bat trance – not to be confused with Adam West’s Bat Dance – where Bruce would enter a trance-like state, signaling the switch from Wayne to Batman. Keaton felt it was important to show that they were two distinct characters. This is also why Wayne is all nervous energy, and the Caped Crusader is incredibly still and precise in his movements.
While a trance scene was shot for Batman, Burton ultimately felt it wasn’t necessary, and the scene has yet to turn up on any special edition versions.
11 Peter Builds Web-Shooters - Spider-Man
One of the more controversial elements James Cameron introduced in his concept for Spider-Man is that Peter developed organic web-shooters, instead of building them himself. Sam Raimi retained this idea for his trilogy, with Tobey Maguire’s Peter receiving them following his spider bite.
This is divisive among certain sections of the fanbase, which is why The Amazing Spider-Man dropped this concept. It appears a version where Peter builds his own shooters actually was shot, however. In an early sizzle reel trailer, Peter is clearly shown wearing a self-built contraption, which might have been filmed in case there was a strong backlash against the organic approach.
In the end, the studio pressed ahead with Peter developing web-shooters thanks to his bite, and to date, no footage of this alternate version has been shown. While Raimi definitely made the right choice, it would be an interesting curio for Spidey fans if this alt version was made available.
10 Attack Of The Clones - Judge Dredd
It’s fair to say the 1995 film version of Judge Dredd didn’t quite understand its source material. The 2000 AD comics are a great mix of sci-fi and satire, with Dredd being a fascist cop policing a dangerously overcrowded futuristic city. He's anything but a straight-ahead action hero, which is what the movie tried to make him.
It quickly broke the cardinal rule of Dredd never revealing his face, he cracks a few glib jokes and even has a romantic subplot. While the film missed the point about the character entirely, it had some great production design and action sequences. Judge Dredd was intended to be a PG-13 actioner, but the violence was too much for the MPAA, who kept slapping it with an R each time.
A big casualty in the studio's failed attempt to make it PG-13 was a clone attack scene during the finale, where the unfinished clones of Dredd’s evil brother (long story) hatch. A sequence was shot where he blasts them into goo, but while the film keeps a shot of them waking up, it awkwardly cuts around what happens next.
The comic adaptation kept the scene intact, but with the film’s failure and weak reputation, the scene is unlikely to be restored.
9 Batman And Robin On Gargoyle - Batman Forever
Joel Schumacher was brought on to Batman Forever to lighten the tone of the series, especially after the response to Batman Returns. Burton’s sequel proved much too dark, sexual, and disturbing for parents, so the director was swiftly replaced for the third adventure in the series.
The original cut of Forever was somewhat darker than the final edit, with Bruce still suffering guilt over the murder of his parents, but finally finding some resolution when he realizes it wasn’t his fault. A good chunk of this subplot was removed to make it less broody, though the footage later surfaced on DVD. What hasn’t been released is the original ending, where Batman and his new partner Robin are perched on a gargoyle.
They overlook Gotham, and the bat signal shines in the sky. The shot was a callback to the ending of the 1989 movie, but it was ultimately replaced with the two characters running towards camera. It’s possible the effects work on this shot wasn't ever completed, but it’s definitely something fans would be curious to see.
8 The Original Ending - The Crow: City Of Angels
Fans of The Crow were dubious when a sequel was announced, especially since star Brandon Lee tragically died in an onset accident during production. Since it was a moderate hit, Dimension pressed ahead, but instead of recasting Eric Draven, they decided to make the sequel as different as possible.
Director Tim Pope intended City Of Angels to be a dark love story, where resurrected hero Ashe Corven seeks revenge on those who murdered him and his son, while also falling for returning character Sarah. The current version ends with Sarah dying, but the hero is reunited with his son and (presumably) will meet Sarah in the afterlife.
Which isn’t what Pope intended. Dimension got cold feet with his bleak cut and demanded sweeping re-edits to make it more like the original. The director's ending -- where Ashe is cursed to walk the Earth forever because he chose to rescue Sarah from the villains -- was cut. The final scene found him bringing her body to a church, with a priest asking a heartbroken Ashe where he’ll go. He then rides off into the night.
Pope has since disowned the film, and since it was a box office disappointment, Dimension is unlikely to release his original vision.
7 Shailene Woodley's Mary Jane - The Amazing Spider-Man 2
One of the major problems with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 is that the studio tried to shove too much into it. The movie had too many characters, subplots, and set pieces, which is why it felt so bloated. Sadly history repeated itself with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which once again crammed about three movies worth of material into one overfed narrative.
Some major scenes had to go, like Peter's emotional reunion with his father Richard during the final act. The majority of the deleted footage found it’s onto the Blu-ray release, with the exception of one major character that was removed from the film entirely.
The film was supposed to introduce Mary Jane Watson, played by Shailene Woodley. She would have had a few scenes with Peter, establishing an attraction that would have been explored in later movies. Director Marc Webb decided this side story was a distraction, one that would take away from the devastation of Gwen Stacy's death, so Woodley’s scenes were removed.
Since Sony is totally focused on rebooting Spider-Man once again -- though this time they're working with Marvel, at least -- it’s doubtful they’ll release this footage in the immediate future.
6 Michael Caine Flashback - Kingsman: The Secret Service
Kingsman: The Secret Service was a wonderfully over-the-top homage to the spy movies of yesteryear, particularly the Roger Moore Bond movies. Michael Caine co-stars in the movie as Arthur, the head of the service who turns out to be in league with Sam Jackson’s twisted villain.
Arthur was also the focus of a deleted scene set in 1975, where the actor was digitally de-aged to play a younger version of his character. While no footage has been released, the still images certainly look impressive, with Caine looking like he just stepped off the set of a Harry Palmer movie.
The context of the scene hasn’t been released, but writer Mark Millar reveals it was taken out because it messed up the movie’s pacing. On reflection, it’s hard to know where such a scene would have fit into the story, but it would be fascinating to watch for the de-aging effect alone.
5 Batman Toy Store - Batman Returns
The summer of 1989 was dominated by Tim Burton’s Batman, with the movie being a massive hit and the merchandise from it selling like hotcakes. Hell, they probably would have sold official Batman movie hotcakes if they'd thought of it.
This onslaught of merch became a big deal to studios, since it opened up a nice additional revenue stream. This wasn’t lost on Tim Burton, who wanted to add some sly commentary on this phenomenon in the sequel. With Batman Returns being set during Christmas, the opening sequence was supposed to feature a very meta toy store in Gotham.
Thanks to fansite 1989 Batman, pictures of this set reveal it carried real Batman merchandise, from action figures to arcade games. The machine is particularly worrying, considering it has a clear picture of Bruce Wayne on it. Since the movie had a number of product endorsements from different companies, it’s possible Warners were concerned about biting the hand that feeds, so the scene didn’t make the final cut.
4 The Thing Raids A Terrorist Camp - Fantastic Four (2015)
Someday the full, unvarnished truth of what happened on the 2015 version of Fantastic Four will come to light, and it will make a terrific documentary. The movie was rushed into production by Fox so that they could keep the movie rights to Marvel's First Family, and everything appeared to go wrong from there. Director Josh Trank clashed with the studio, his actors, his producer, and apparently even his landlord.
He infamously tweeted before the film’s release that he had a superior cut that would never be seen, which apparently caused the film to lose around ten million on its opening weekend. The trailers reveal a wealth of material that didn’t make the cut, including a major set piece involving The Thing that appeared in nearly every preview.
The scene showed him being dropped from a plane into a terrorist camp, where he proves unstoppable even in the face of heavy gunfire. This scene would have provided the action-starved blockbuster with a cool midpoint sequence, but for some reason, the studio decided not to use it.
Given the film’s underperformance and critical drubbing, Trank’s prediction that his superior cut will never be seen feels accurate.
3 Lau Burning - The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan showed audiences just how intense a PG-13 rating could be with The Dark Knight, since it contained impactful violence without spilling a drop of blood. He used implication and performance instead of gore, with the Joker’s pencil trick being the best example.
Nolan did pull a couple of harsher moments, however, particularly in the scene where the Joker burns the mob’s money. He places mob accountant Lau on top of the mountain of cash and sets it ablaze, and while viewers don’t explicitly see Lau die, his fate is certain. It turns out that the director actually shot footage of Lau burning, and the script reveals the Joker turns to look at him before making his phone call into the television studio.
The scene is intense enough without needing to see a man burn to death, and it’s unlikely the film could have kept its rating with such a scene. The director also has a well-known allergy to releasing deleted footage, so this one will probably remain in Warner Bros vault for the foreseeable future.
2 Loki's Cameo - Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Marvel has a well-known issue with crafting memorable villains, and it’s doubtful any fans are clamoring for the return of Ronan The Accuser or Malekith, the Dark Elf. Loki is the rare exception, thanks to Tom Hiddleston’s performance. He’s somehow able to make the character intensely likeable, even after his various evil deeds.
Phase Two sadly didn’t have much for Loki to do, since his only appearance came in the underwhelming sequel Thor: The Dark World. Joss Whedon tried to squeeze him into Thor’s hallucination during Age Of Ultron, where Thor has an apocalyptic look at the future of Asgard. He runs into Loki briefly, wondering what their father Odin would think of the mess, prompting Loki to do his Anthony Hopkins impression.
This little moment would have been a tip-off to Thor that Loki is imitating their father, but he’s a little too dense to make the connection fully. Whedon felt the appearance was needlessly confusing and out of place, so this fun inside joke was cut.
1 Bane's Origin Story - The Dark Knight Rises
While his vocal performance inspired a million terrible impressions, there’s no denying that Tom Hardy’s Bane made for a great villain. Bane's imposing strength combined with his intelligence made him the perfect physical and mental adversary for the Dark Knight, and like the Joker, we learn little of his background.
His origin wasn't always a big mystery, as Christopher Nolan actually filmed a flashback sequence for The Dark Knight Rises that would have shed light on the character’s earlier years. Costume designer Lindy Hemming detailed a sequence explaining how Bane got his scar, his abuse at the hands of the prisoners in the pit, and his League Of Shadows training. He also would have been sporting a primitive version of his mask during this scene.
This flashback is nowhere to be found in the final cut, and footage from it has yet to emerge. As we mentioned earlier, Nolan keeps a tight leash on deleted scenes, feeling that if it didn’t make the cut, then it shouldn’t be seen. Unless he changes that stance, Bane Begins is likely to remain unseen.
What other comic book movie scenes ended up on the cutting room floor and stayed there? Which of these sequences would you want to see the most? Let us know in the comments.
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