“When the third film came on, I couldn’t believe what I saw because I wasn’t in it!”
Much of the work that goes into creating a movie happens while on set but a surprising amount can be changed after filming wraps. In the editing room, music is added, lighting is fixed and the storyline is compiled. As it’s all pieced together, that can lead to some major modifications — like entire scenes being cut! And the actors featured in those scenes can get left on the cutting room floor. Even some of Hollywood’s biggest stars have been cut in post-production and despite it being an unfortunate situation, it ultimately appears to turn out to be the best decision for the movie.
Find out why these stars didn’t make it to the big screen…
Jamie Dornan was cast in the 2015 movie, “Burnt,” starring Bradley Cooper, but things didn’t exactly work out. While he was expected to play a rival to Bradley’s character, chef Adam, he was never seen on the big screen. A spokesperson later clarified what happened to Jamie’s role.
“Jamie’s role was a small cameo that was part of a back story and following the editing process is no longer part of the film,” they said.
Katherine Langford was set to make her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame” as a future version of Tony Stark’s daughter but her scene was cut from the film. Looking back, Katherine says she’s grateful for the opportunity and understands why it didn’t make it to the movie.
“People are like, ‘Oh, are you upset? Are you anything?’ And I went, ‘Whatever’s the best thing for the film.’ Because at the end of the day, I’d rather have had the experience of being in a really good film than be in a film for the sake of being in it if it doesn’t work. You don’t want to be in something and then be the sore thumb that sticks out. And I didn’t feel that way at all and the Russo brothers didn’t feel that way at all. But, you know, we did this very sentimental scene and something that was really beautiful and a gift to the fans I think, which is why they had it included,” Katherine told Collider.
Back in 2012, Tobey Maguire was cast in a small role in “Life of Pi” but he didn’t end up making it to the big screen. Director Ang Lee later explained that Tobey was too famous for the part and it took away from the role.
“I misjudged the situation. I underestimated the power of stars. I love Tobey. But it’s a small part, so when it’s a movie star sitting there, it captures attention. It didn’t really work out,” he told USA Today.
Jessica Chastain originally had a role in 2012’s “To the Wonder” but she was cut before the film hit theaters. The actress says she wasn’t too surprised by the move, considering director Terrence Malick is notorious for cutting stars out of his films.
“Just as I suspected, my small role has not made it into the final version. But I really didn’t imagine it would. The three days I shot were with Ben Affleck and he was doing really great stuff. I’m looking forward to see how it all brilliantly comes together,” Jessica reportedly wrote on her Facebook.
When Viggo Mortensen was cast in Woody Allen’s 1985 film, “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” he had no idea what the film was about. He showed up to set without a script and was told to improvise his scene just before cameras started rolling. Unfortunately, that scene ended up getting cut from the film and Viggo didn’t even know until he watched.
“Of course the movie comes out the next fall or whatever, and I told my family, ‘Friday.’ And I’m not in it. I’m not in the credit, nothing,” he told ABC News.
Christopher Lee may have been in the first two “Lord of the Rings” movies but when it came time for the third, he was mysteriously cut from the flick. Despite having filmed a major scene for “Return Of The King,” it didn’t make it to theaters.
“When the third film came on, I couldn’t believe what I saw because I wasn’t in it!” he said during an appearance years later. “The scene is one of the most important scenes in the whole trilogy because it’s Saruman, the great mortal enemy. The most evil of them all against the Fellowship. I’m on top of the tower of Orthanc at Isengard, looking down at the Fellowship and saying very nasty things to them…It’s a long sequence. The final confrontation between the Fellowship and their greatest enemy. It wasn’t in the film.”
In 2015, Sienna Miller was cast in “Black Mass” as the girlfriend of notorious gangster Whitey Bulger. Despite the fact that her role — which was opposite Johnny Depp — wasn’t a small part, it actually ended up being cut from the film. Director Scott Cooper later said that Sienna had been “fantastic” in the role and her removal from the movie “came down to narrative choices.”
Paul Rudd was supposed to appear in the 2011 comedy, “Bridesmaids” but he didn’t make the final cut. In the scene, Paul’s character is said to have taken Kristen Wiig’s character on an ice skating date during which his finger gets sliced off. While director Paul Feig says it was hilarious, it ultimately didn’t make sense with the rest of the film.
“There is always that terrible moment when you have to kill your babies…It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever been a witness to [but] It just didn’t ring true that in addition to Jon [Hamm] and Chris [O’Dowd], she’d be also going out on other dates to try and find more love,” Paul told Entertainment Weekly.
Rik Mayall was originally cast to play Peeves the poltergeist in 2001’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” but was ultimately cut from the film. He later explained that his costume continually made the young cast laugh and made filming difficult. Despite not enjoying the experience or how the film turned out, he says it was the best film he’d ever worked on since he got paid but didn’t have to be in it.
“The best f—ing film I’ve ever been in, not for the film, because the film, with respect…No with no respect at all…the film was s—…I did a little bit of filming, then I went home and I got the money. That’s significant. Then a month later, they said: ‘Er, Rik, we’re sorry about this, but you’re not in the film. We’ve cut you out of the film. But I still got the money. So that is the most exciting film I’ve ever been in, because I got the oodle and I wasn’t in it. Fantastic,'” Rik later said in an interview.
Uma Thurman was set to play Blake Lively’s mother in 2012’s “Savages” but she unfortunately got cut from the film. Director Oliver Stone later explained that the change was made due to the lengthy run time of the movie.
“She was a good character — Uma Thurman played her beautifully — and the scenes were good, but you don’t have time, you know? We have one goal in the movie, and you go out that gate and it’s like a horse race,” he told HuffPost Entertainment.
Ellen Pompeo originally had a role as one of Jim Carrey’s love interests in the 2014 film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” but in the end, her scene was cut. Jim admits he didn’t actually even want Ellen in the movie because she reminded him of his ex-girlfriend Renée Zellweger, whom he had broken up with before filming. Ultimately, her role was cut in the edit because director Michel Gondry believed it took away from the other romance in the film.
“It was almost too much. If it had been in the movie, it’s competing [with Clementine],” Jim shared with Vanity Fair.
Tim Roth had a small role as a butler in his friend Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 flick “Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood” but he ended up getting cut from the film due to time constraints.
“He’s part of the gang and I appreciate him showing up and giving his due diligent service…It was a funny little sequence, but it got dropped,” Quentin said on “The Empire Film Podcast.”