Tony Stark’s “You complete me”, Paranormal Activity 3’s Bloody Mary game, Point Break’s “Babes, sir” and The Transporter’s glorious moment of RPG vs. tea tray... all are scenes that graced trailers but failed to show up in the completed movie. With promo clips often put together during production and before final cut, they can sometimes contain otherwise-unseen gems. In other cases, they can be deliberately misleading. Here are 25 examples representing both angles…
Kathryn Bigelow’s surfing / sky-diving / bank-robbing epic teased two scenes in the trailer that didn’t make the final cut. In one, Keanu Reeves’ undercover cop fires a handgun from the passenger seat of a pickup, while driver Patrick Swayze says solemnly, “This is gonna be a great day, Johnny”. In the other, angry captain John C. McGinley complains that Keanu is being paid to “surf and pick up girls" and is corrected on his terminology. "Babes, sir. The correct term is 'babes'."
Philip Noyce’s Val Kilmer-starring reboot of the ‘60s series about the master-of-disguise spy lost practically its entire third act in the edit. Originally, Elisabeth Shue’s Dr Russell was murdered by Valery Nikolaev's Ilya Tretiak, leading to a violent, revenge-fuelled climax. When test audiences reacted badly to Shue’s early exit, the finale was drastically rejigged, but there are traces here, as tanks and troops mass in Red Square and Kilmer dangles from a chandelier above an inferno. A still of the chandelier scene also made it into Empire’s coverage at the time.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
Much has been written and speculated about what was teased in the run-up to release but didn’t make the finished version of the first Amazing Spider-Man. A lot of it involves the secret of Spider-dad Richard Parker’s research, and hints of that thread remain here. There’s Rhys Ifans deleted challenge to Andrew Garfield to “come and get” the truth (he doesn’t, and never learns it), and a voiceover line by Irrfan Khan’s Ratha, from another lost scene, hinting that the changes in Peter Parker’s DNA were no accident.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK
Marvel finally nailed The Hulk with Mark Ruffalo’s take in Avengers Assemble, but suffered two previous misfires. There was Ang Lee’s first Hulk, of course, and later Edward Norton was famously unhappy with reboot The Incredible Hulk’s final cut. Maybe he was irked by the omission of some of the scenes included here: Bruce Banner in the Arctic; a fireside conversation with Doc Samson; and a discussion with General Ross, where Banner insists the only thing that can stop Tim Roth’s The Abomination is “in me”…
There are hints here that the timelines were more complicated in a previous unseen version of McG’s controversial fourquel, which saw Christian Bale take over as John Connor for the early years of the war between the humans and the machines. “This is not the future my mother told me about,” observes Christian Bale. “If you saved us once, in another future, then you can save us in this one,” says Bryce Dallas Howard. The future is not set, but which one’s this?
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
Logan’s first solo outing, revealing his early life and falling-out with half-brother Victor “Sabretooth” Creed, was overburdened with X-cameos. We met Deadpool, Blob, Bolt, Kestrel, Cyclops, Gambit and Emma Frost (which totally doesn’t work, time-wise, with X-Men: First Class), but there was one young mutant who didn’t leave the edit suite. Keep your eyes peeled at 01:52 for a glimpse of Storm as a child.
Cameron Crowe’s remake of Alejandro Amenabar’s Open Your Eyes saw Tom Cruise inherit the role of the confused and disfigured protagonist, trying to make sense of the off-kilter world around him. Cruise saw his share of action in the final cut, but there’s a shade more here as he hefts a gun and faces down some guards at 02:37.
Ever wondered why J.J. Abrams cast Winona Ryder as Spock’s mother, an old lady? The truth is in here, with a snippet from a deleted flashback scene on Vulcan, in which a much more youthful Amanda and Sarek cradle the newborn baby Spock. As with Guy Pearce in Prometheus, it seems we were originally supposed to see her at both ages.
We called the red-band trailer for this blood-spattered Raimi remake Not Safe For Work, and apparently the decision was made that much of this footage was not safe for cinemas either. The chainsaw (which seemed to be riffing on Bruce Campbell’s Evil Dead 2 antics) and the “We’re gonna get you” song (familiar from the original Evil Dead) are nowhere in the final version, while the “Cut it!” line got an alternate, um, cut.
QUANTUM OF SOLACE
Shots of Daniel Craig’s James Bond walking out of the desert with a machine gun feature heavily in this trailer (and many of the posters), but occur precisely nowhere in Marc Forster’s unloved Casino Royale follow-up. The sequence was shot especially for the promos.
There’s plenty of insane action in The Transporter, the first of the Luc Besson-produced / Jason Statham-starring trilogy about the driver who never changes the deal and never opens the package (except when he does). There’s plenty more in the sequels too, including bomb-removal by car-flipping and death-by-BMX. But you won’t, sadly, see The Stath stave off an RPG with a tea tray anywhere but here (at 01:06).
PLANET OF THE APES
It could have been up there with “Release the Kraken!” or “Gordon’s alive!“ in the pantheon of iconically ridiculous lines, but Tim Roth’s “Get me the spaceman!” (01:30) is tragically absent from Tim Burton’s finished Ape assault. Legend has it that it was part of an improv session that was never intended for public consumption. Presumably that same session provided the still-baffling ending to the film as well.
“I don’t know which eyes to shoot you between,” ponders Jeff Bridges in this promo for last year’s monster-filled supernatural sci-fi comedy. Not the funniest of lines, but no worse that many of the ones that survived into theatres.
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
This vintage trailer from 1979 – a full year before the Empire Strikes Back was finally released – has a quick shot of C-3P0 removing some sort of warning sticker from a bulkhead (01:28); and one of Luke and Leia on their way in to kiss (00:54). Ick! Note also the voiceover by none other than Harrison Ford himself, taking the piss only slightly more than he did on Blade Runner’s narration.
The beginning of this clip for Paul W.S. Anderson’s Kurt Russell action sci-fi teases a space battle that never happens in the film. The film was pared to the bone in the edit, but it’s still hard to see where this would have fitted, since the movie we have is almost entirely Russell alone among a rag-tag band of survivors on a rubbish-dump planet. Incidentally, the music here is 'More Human Than Human' by White Zombie: a song about Blade Runner, to which Soldier is an unofficial sequel. So maybe those are attack ships off the shoulder of Orion. Or maybe not.
Eva Marie Saint, as Clark’s Earth mother Martha Kent, gets two lines in voiceover here that we don’t hear in the finished Superman Returns. “Your father always used to say that you were put here for a reason,” is one. It’s true: he said it in the original Superman in 1978. “The world can always use more good reporters,” is the other. They’re both from a deleted early scene at the Kent ranch, before Clark heads back to the Daily Planet after his long absence.
Jeremiah Chechik’s 1998 film update of the ‘60s series was eviscerated in post-production by its (rightly) far-from-confident studio, losing about half an hour. One of the lost scenes makes up a good chunk of the start of this promo clip, with Uma Thurman’s super-slinky-spy Emma Peel infiltrating a secret base through an ingress disguised as a ye olde red telephone box. “How now brown cow” is apparently the password, limiting access to those with cut-glass accents only.
IRON MAN 2
The Marvel sequel begins with Tony Stark flying into the Stark Expo, but originally, and in this trailer, there was more. Aboard a plane in the skies above the Expo, Pepper Potts gives Tony’s helmet (fnar) a “smooch” for luck, before he dives out of the cargo bay with a cheeky “You complete me!”
WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT
Cut From Robert Zemeckis’ animation-meets-live-action classic for pacing reasons was a scene in which the Toon Town weasels stuck a cartoon pig’s head onto Bob Hoskins’ Eddie Valiant. The remnants ended up in the DVD extras, but there’s also a sliver here at 02:24, where Valiant gets back to his office and realises “I’m a pig!”. In the extended scene, he washes the head off in the shower, which is why he’s emerging from the bathroom topless when he meets Jessica in the final cut.
The marketing machine for Nimrod Antal and Robert Rodriguez’ Predators very much wanted to play up an exponential increase to the threat, just like the upscaling from Alien to Aliens. At 01:25 in this promo, Adrien Brody is quite clearly targeted by 14 separate weapons. But how many Predators appear in the film? There are three. They didn't really think this through, apparently.
This clip for Glen Morgan’s slasher remake is particularly disingenuous. Scenes that end up getting deleted in the final cut are one thing, but most of the quick-cut onslaught at the climax of this trailer consists of glimpses of 3-second shots produced only for the trailer in a reshoot session. The girl under the ice, the actress getting pulled backwards by Christmas lights, and the hatchet man on the ceiling at the very end are nowhere to be seen in the actual movie.
THE GOLDEN COMPASS
The start of this promo features snippets from a much-extended scene in the Magesterium between Derek Jacobi and Simon McBurney. As well as the dialogue, you can also see some text on the Magesterium’s logo as McBurney walks over it. It reads “vinica ecclesia super omnia”: “one church over all”. That text was scrubbed from the final cut, indicating a studio not at all comfortable with even the meagre religious aspects that survived into the film from Philip Pullman’s controversial novels.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3
The motherload of not-in-the-film trailer scenes, Paranormal Activity 3’s campaign seemed to advertising a completely different movie to the one that was released. Most seen was the first promo, in which the girls play the Bloody Mary game and apparently summon up a female entity. A different version of that kind of survives in the film, with switched-out characters and no ghost. The second trailer, meanwhile, includes scenes of a supernaturally enhanced knocking game, a flying glass of water, and a bespectacled, beleaguered investigator whose whole role seems to have been cut.
THE BOURNE LEGACY
This trailer cheekily crashes some separate scenes together to tease different inferences and implications than are actually in the film. But there’s also a new line that we don’t hear elsewhere, as Aaron Cross, inheritor of the next phase in the programme that produced Jason Bourne’s enhancements, promises, “I’m not just a science project, Doc.”
Post-production editing room decisions for John Singleton’s update of the classic blaxploitation series saw Jeffrey Wright emerge as more of an antagonist than nominal villain Christian Bale. Hence, the film lost a Jackson/Bale fist-fight (not the punch that lands Shaft in trouble at the start, another one) but you can still catch a glimpse here at 01:57.