Deleted scenes are a natural part of the editing process. All movies shoot more material than they need, and its only through shaping the story in the editing room does the final version emerge. While some deleted scenes can be great viewed on their own, they might slow down the pace or distract from the story if they’re included in the movie itself. In some cases, entire characters and even big-name stars can be completely removed.
From brief cameos to featured supporting roles, sometimes the editor’s scissors can be absolutely merciless in pursuit of perfecting the final cut.
Again, it’s not always a case of these performances being bad or the actor having a dispute with the filmmakers; sometimes their characters or storylines aren’t essential to the overall story. In most situations – like Jena Malone in Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice or Harrison Ford in E.T. – these scenes eventually find their way onto DVD or Blu-ray as bonus features, but sometimes, like the entries found here, these scenes are snipped out and never seen again.
Let’s take a look at 15 Roles That Got Completely Deleted From Major Movies, and the reasons they ended up in the editing bin.
15 Tom Hiddleston As Loki - Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Phase Two of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe was disappointingly light on everyone’s favorite villain Loki, who only showed up for a supporting role in Thor: The Dark World. While Tom Hiddleston’s performance was easily the highlight, the film itself is considered one of Marvel’s weakest efforts.
Fans were further disappointed to learn that Hiddleston shot a cameo for Avengers: Age Of Ultron, but it was cut for time. The character was due to make an appearance during a hallucination scene, where Thor gets a glimpse of Asgard’s apocalyptic future.
Hiddleston also employed his Anthony Hopkins impression during the scene, which was supposed to be a subtle clue for Thor that Loki is impersonating their father Odin. Joss Whedon also felt the scene was a little confusing, and it hasn’t been seen since.
14 Rik Mayall As Peeves - Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone
Peeves is a poltergeist at Hogwarts who loves causing mischief and chaos, but despite being a well-liked character from the books, he didn’t make an appearance in any of the movies. This wasn’t originally the case, as a scene with Peeves was shot for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with actor Rik Mayall playing the role.
Mayall is best known for British sitcoms The Young Ones and Bottom, and for playing the title role in Drop Dead Fred. Casting him as the mischievous ghost made total sense, but he found out shortly after his scene was shot that the role was being cut out.
To date, no footage from the Peeves scene have been released but Mayall didn’t mind since he got paid and later said he thought the film was “crap”.
13 Shailene Woodley As Mary Jane Watson - The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a movie that feels overloaded with character and subplots, making the story feel bloated and unfocused as a result. The heart of the movie remains the relationship between Peter and Gwen Stacy, which grounds the story in some real emotion.
The original plan was to introduce Mary Jane in the second film, where she’d appear in a few scenes before becoming Peter’s love interest in the third film. While Shailene Woodley was cast and completed filming, it was announced shortly after that Mary Jane was being completely cut from the story.
It was decided to keep the focus on Peter and Gwen, and that Mary Jane’s scenes were a distraction. Mary Jane was still pencilled to appear in The Amazing Spider-Man 3, but when Sony made a deal with Marvel it was decided to reboot Spider-Man yet again.
12 Casper Van Dien As Patrick Bateman - Rules Of Attraction
Christian Bale became a star thanks to his performance as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. Bateman is a slimy, paranoid and possibly murderous investment banker, and Bale has a lot of fun in the role.
Bateman first appeared in author Bret Easton Ellis’ book Rules Of Attraction, where his brother Sean is the main character. For the 2003 film adaptation director Roger Avary wanted Bale to make a cameo appearance as Patrick near the end of the movie, but the actor didn’t want to play the role again.
Avary then asked Easton Ellis to play the part, but the author wasn’t interested. The scenes were finally shot with actor Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers) playing Bateman, but they were removed since they didn’t gel with the rest of the movie.
11 Stan Lee As A Policeman - Blade
Blade and X-Men are credited with making comic book movies cool again in the late nineties, following years of duds like Spawn and Batman & Robin. While Blade was never one of the biggest characters in Marvel’s back catalogue, the film – and namely Wesley Snipes' performance – gave him a much bigger fanbase.
While Stan Lee is famous for his Marvel cameos now, they used to be a rare occurrence. A little-known fact is that Lee actually made a brief appearance in Blade, as an unnamed cop who arrives in the aftermath of the opening nightclub massacre.
It was decided to snip this little cameo out in the final cut, since Lee looked a little too old to be playing a cop and the movie didn’t really miss it.
10 Chris Cooper - The Ring
The Ring is one of the few horror remakes that actually works, managing to transplant the story to America while keeping it scary. In the film, Naomi Watts plays a reporter who comes across the legend of a videotape that kills those who watch it. When she finds the tape she decides to give it a look – which is a big mistake.
The film originally contained an entire subplot about a murderer trying to convince Watts of his innocence. This role was played by Chris Cooper, who was supposed to reappear at the end of the movie when Watts gives him a copy of the cursed video as punishment for his evil deeds.
The role was removed after test screenings because audiences were apparently confused about the character’s part in the story.
9 Jeremy Piven As Col. Walter Marx - Edge Of Tomorrow
Edge Of Tomorrow director Doug Liman is known for his somewhat loose style when it comes to making movies, and often discovers the story as he’s shooting it. A number of his films – like The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith – went through extensive reshoots, which included filming entire subplots and characters that were eventually dropped from the film altogether.
This also happened on Edge Of Tomorrow, when it was announced shortly after filming wrapped that Jeremy Piven was being added to the story, playing a character called Col. Walter Marx. Piven was nowhere to be seen in the final movie, though.
No details on how Piven’s character figured into the plot have been revealed, and his footage didn’t even wind up on the Blu-ray deleted scenes.
8 Sienna Miller As Catherine Greig - Black Mass
After years of giving performances defined by silly accents and excessive amounts of make-up (The Lone Ranger, Tusk), Johnny Depp decided to tone things down to play real-life gangster James “Whitey” Bulger in 2015’s Black Mass. The results earned him good reviews, though he was still wearing a little too much make-up.
The movie covered the events leading up to Bulger’s downfall but chose to skip the years he was on the run. It turns out a number of scenes were actually shot covering this period of his life, with Sienna Miller cast as Bulger’s girlfriend Catherine Greig. She even worked with a dialect coach prior to filming to perfect her Boston accent.
Director Scott Cooper wound up cutting this section out, feeling Bulger’s fugitive period was “less dramatic” and the story flowed better without them.
7 Scott Eastwood As Danny Coughlin - Live By Night
Scott Eastwood has slowly been making a name for himself over the last few years, appearing in supporting roles in movies like Suicide Squad, The Fate of the Furious, and the forthcoming Pacific Rim: Uprising.
He also shot a scene for Ben Affleck’s gangster movie Live by Night. Eastwood appeared as Danny, the brother of Affleck’s character Joe Coughlin, during one scene where they have an awkward reunion after being apart for years. After failing to convince his convict brother to come to L.A. with him and start a new life, Danny leaves; Joe’s narration reveals they never saw each other again.
It’s a decent scene on its own terms and a nice showcase for Eastwood as an actor - but the story just didn't need it. Eastwood’s lucky in one respect; his scene is the only entry on this list that can be found online.
6 Kevin Costner As Alex Marshall - The Big Chill
The Big Chill is a drama about a group of once close friends reuniting after the death of their friend Alex. The film featured a hell of a cast of up-and-coming actors, including Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, and Kevin Kline.
Kevin Costner was also cast as Alex, who was supposed to appear in a big flashback scene near the end so the audience could see the characters in happier times. When preview audiences found the scene confusing, it was removed by the director.
Now Costner’s only physical appearance is as a corpse in a coffin, where his face can’t even be seen. Director Lawrence Kasdan cast the actor in a lead role in his next film Silverado, and they also collaborated on The Bodyguard and Wyatt Earp.
5 Eugene Levy As Sherman Tully - Ghostbusters II
While Ghostbusters II isn’t quite as beloved as the original, it still holds a place in the hearts of fans. The cast still have great chemistry, it's genuinely creepy in places, and Vigo makes for a great villain.
The film made a few big trims prior to release, cutting out scenes like a possessed Ray driving Ecto-1 through New York and more ghosts attacking during the finale. Louis Tully’s (Rick Moranis) cousin Sherman also appeared in a couple of scenes, where he was played by American Pie’s Eugene Levy.
Sherman helps get the Ghostbusters out of the psychic hospital in the third act, but when he tries to talk about a dream he had about his late grandfather, they quickly drive off. Sherman is confused since he thought Louis was also a Ghostbuster, but his dorky cousin insists he only helps with the “big stuff.”
4 Skeet Ulrich As Vince Winston - Cursed
Production proved to be a real nightmare for director Wes Craven, however, with producers shutting the movie down before filming was complete, and demanding sweeping reshoots that made it barely resemble the original script.
A huge number of cast members were dropped from the final edit as a result, including Mandy Moore, Omar Epps, and Skeet Ulrich. This is all the more shocking in the latter’s case, considering he originally played one of the lead roles.
The original script featured three strangers being reunited after a werewolf attack, but reshoots changed two of the characters to siblings, and Ulrich’s Vince Winston was dropped entirely.
3 Andy Garcia - Dangerous Minds
This one is a case where the actor himself told the studio his character wasn’t needed, but they insisted on filming his scenes anyway. Dangerous Minds tells the real-life story of a teacher (played by Michele Pfeiffer) who comes to a tough school and slowly gains the respect of her class.
Garcia was cast as Pfeiffer’s hunky love interest because the studio felt the movie needed a romantic subplot. Garcia shot all of his scenes despite reading the script and feeling the main story was dramatic enough and, needless to say, his character was cut out when it was decided the love story was pointless.
The actor bears the movie no ill will, though, and claims to have proudly cashed his cheque regardless of his role being snipped.
2 Maggie Cheung As Madame Mimieux - Inglourious Basterds
Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung is probably best known for films like In The Mood For Love and Hero. She’s essentially been retired from filmmaking since 2004, but Quentin Tarantino managed to lure her out of retirement for a cameo appearance in Inglourious Basterds.
Cheung played Madame Mimieux, the former owner of the cinema Shosanna runs in the final version. A flashback would have established Mimieux took Shosanna in following the massacre of her family and hid her from the Nazis by pretending she was her niece. When she passes away, Shosanna inherits the cinema.
Tarantino was full of praise for Cheung’s performance but felt her scenes added little to the story and spoon-fed audiences exposition about Shosanna’s past they didn’t need. While he talked of adding the scenes on DVD, they’ve never reemerged.
1 Steve McQueen As Sam Spade - The Long Goodbye
The Long Goodbye is a 1973 thriller based on the classic book by Raymond Chandler that finds his famous detective Philip Marlowe investigating a murder. The film is considered one of Robert Altman’s best and is anchored by Elliot Gould’s lead turn as Marlowe.
It was revealed years later in a DVD Making Of that another famous noir detective – Sam Spade – was supposed to make a cameo. Spade would have been played by Gould’s friend Steve McQueen, with Marlowe and Spade sharing an elevator today in a deleted opening scene.
Sadly there aren’t many details on this scene, or why it was removed from the film. Maybe Altman felt having such a huge star appear for a brief cameo was too distracting, and sadly no footage of it has been seen since.
Would these cut roles have made their movies better or worse? Which one do you want to see most? Let us know in the comments!