Being a filmmaker isn’t easy. One of the greatest difficulties a director faces is cutting out his own work, lying awake at night wondering if the scene he axed was actually one of the finest in the movie, or integral to the plot. It’s a fine line, for sure, and sometimes they don’t get it right.
Here are 17 brilliant deleted scenes that should have made the final cut.
1. Boromir’s story in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Always watch the extended editions. We repeat; ALWAYS watch the extended editions. Peter Jackson’s masterful Middle Earth trilogy were brilliant in their trimmed theatrical cuts, sure, but if you’re a real fan, you consume every minute of near-12 hour extended trilogy, along with every featurette, behind the scenes footage and interview de boot. Sean Bean had it tough in LOTR. He came off as a right dick before being killed at the end of The Fellowship. Then, this brilliant sequence delving into his relationship with his brother Faramir, father Denethor and Gondor was cut from The Two Towers.
2. Dudley and Harry from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
This is a rather touching scene that sees Dudley say goodbye Harry as he prepares to go off and try to save the Wizarding world. It shows that Dudley wasn’t all that bad. Well, he was, but he did appreciate Harry saving his life from the Dementors.
3. Loki becomes King in Thor
We all love Loki, even though he is evil through and through. This deleted scene shows how Thor’s brother was the legitimate heir to Odin’s throne. In your face, Chris Hemsworth! Any scene with Tom Hiddleston simply shouldn’t be deleted, simple as that.
4. Superman II
In the original theatrical cut of Richard Donner’s classic Superman sequel, the Kryptonians appear to fall to their deaths but this deleted scene shows them being arrested by the Arctic police. So, there, Superman isn’t a murderer, until, yano, he goes ahead and kills General Zod in Man of Steel.
5. Captain America meets waitress in The Avengers
Director Joss Whedon expressed regret that he couldn’t fit this scene into The Avengers after the devastating conclusion to the first Captain America. This scene would have been helpful in establishing the tonal shift from each film.
6. Yoda’s Confession in Return of the Jedi
In this scene, Yoda admits that he had forbidden Obi-Wan Kenobi from telling Luke that Darth Vader was his father. Certainly shows Yoda in another light.
7. The Lion King alternate ending
Only available in storyboard format, this original and deleted ending from the Disney classic shows that Scar is the one who throws Simba off the cliff and almost kills him. However, in his victory, Scar is consumed by flames at Pride Rock but the producers cut the idea because they feared it was too horrifying a death for a family film. So they proceeded to have him devoured by hyenas. Disney logic.
8. The alternate ending of The Thing
John Carpenter’s The Thing has one of the greatest yet ambiguous endings in cinematic history, where the audience is left wondering whether Childs or MacReady is infected. However, this alternate ending shows the camp burning and The Thing escaping into the world…
9. C-3PO tricking a Stormtrooper in The Empire Strikes Back
In this hilarious deleted scene from Empire, C-3PO rips a sign off a door, leaving the Stormtroopers to enter only to find it is filled with deadly wampas – the massive snow creature that almost made easy work of Luke at the start of the film.
10. When Ralph Fiennes was Matt Smith in In Bruges
In this modern crime classic, Brendan Gleeson’s character only mentions his history with Harry (Ralph Fiennes). This deleted scene actually shows us (in graphic detail), complete with a fantastic Fiennes impression from “Doctor Who’s” Matt Smith.
11. The Joker rides the bus in The Dark Knight
Let Christopher Nolan discuss this deleted alternate camera angle for the Joker blowing up the hospital scene in The Dark Knight. Brilliant.
12. The Wolverine gets his costume in The Wolverine
Exactly why they deleted this scene is beyond me.
13. The Mouth of Sauron in Return of the King
Easily one of our favourite deleted scenes ever. This terrifying servant of Sauron comes to discuss terms of battle with Gandalf, Aragon and a horrified Merry. Chilling stuff. Once again, a reason why you should favour the extended editions over the theatrical stuff.
14. The deleted scene that completely changes The Shining
Unfortunately, this scene is unavailable anywhere, lost in the cinematic abyss for eternity, but we do have a description that explains it. Stanley Kubrick deleted a scene from The Shining that showed Stuart Ullman visiting Danny and Wendy in the hospital, informing Wendy that the police found nothing in their search of the Overlook Hotel. He then gives Danny a yellow tennis ball, indicating that he knew about the evil in the hotel and hired Jack to carry out the murderers. Oooooh…
15. The totally WTF alternate ending to Natural Born Killers
Wow, that deranged hitchhiker takes Mickey and Mallory away to Mexico and blows them to smithereens with a shotgun. Oliver Stone explains all in the clip above.
16. Lecter escapes in Hannibal
In the original ending of Hannibal, Clarice Starling lets Lecter kiss her so she can distract him while she handcuffs his hands to hers. Lecter then sacrificed himself by cutting his hand, because he loved her and all that. However, in this alternate ending, she lets Lecter escape, implying that it is she who is doing the sacrificing, therefore completely changing the movie.
17. Prometheus alternate opening with added Engineers
We’ll have to wait until the planned Prometheus sequels to find out what was really going on with the Engineer at the start of the first film, but this alternate opening scene at least shows us that he wasn’t alone in doing the strange sacrificial ritual with the cup and the water.
18. Magneto the drag queen in X-Men: First Class
Xavier shows off his powers of mind control by making Erik appear to Angel as though he is wearing a dress is just brilliant.
19. Jared Leto’s cameo in Phone Booth
Jared Leto crops up for a cameo as one of Colin Farrell’s clients, “Bobby”, a grinning TV idiot with an inability to spell the name “Chloe”.
20. The background check in Reservoir Dogs
Anything for a bit more Tarantino!
21. Jonah Jamieson wear the Spider-suit in Spider-Man 2
So, this happened.
22. Superman returns to Krypton in Superman Returns
Over five minutes worth of footage was cut from the beginning of 2006’s Superman Returns. This beginning is dark, brooding and somewhat haunting and would have added a great deal to Bryan Singer’s divisive Superman flick.