10 Characters Dropped from the Final Cut
If there is one thing an actor should fear more than bad craft services, it’s the illusive editorial period, where movies really begin to take shape. You may have called CUT on your scenes, but that does not guarantee you’ll make it into the theatrical release of the film. Directors, producers and even studio executives order edits for various reasons, whether it be to adjust the pace of the film, keep it within it’s needed rating, or even to rectify huge mistakes. Today’s list looks at 10 films that you may have not known had an additional characters, that ended up getting the CHOP! Here are 10 Characters Dropped from the Final Cut.
Lost Boys (1987) – Maria
Joel Schumacher’s comedy horror The Lost Boys, is a much loved 80’s vampire film, filled with rock n roll tunes, buckets of gore and more one-liners than you can throw a bottle of holy water at. However, one character found they had bitten off more than they could chew, when they found themselves on the cutting room floor of the 1987 thriller. Despite originally having a much larger role to play in the film, actress Kelly Jo Minter found her performance dropped from the movie, as her part was cut down to nothing more than a background character in a single scene, appearing over Lucy’s (Dianne Wiest) shoulder in the video store. Evidence of Minter’s larger role is plain to see in the film’s opening credits, as she is billed alongside Jamison Newlander, who played Alan Frog.
Max’s video store assistant Maria had several scenes with Lucy, which established Max’s background more, and filled in the blanks to just how Lucy learnt the ropes at the store. As well as establishing certain quirks that would further incriminate Max as a potential vampire. When Lucy talks about having a date with Max, Maria can be seen giving an approving look towards her new friend.
Maria was even included in an end sequence that was never filmed. Maria and other teens (included surf Nazis) would have crawled into the caves where David and the other Lost Boys slept, and the camera would have fixed on an old mural on the wall, as they crawled past it. Depicting a typical day on the boardwalk in the year 1900, the camera would have slowly panned into the painting to reveal a grinning Man, wearing a straw hat, talking to a group of young men. It’s Max, and he hadn’t aged a day!
Faculty (1998) – Venus
The invasion of the body snatchers got a teen re-vamp in 1998 when Frodo Baggins himself, Elijah Wood, took on an alien invasion. The film had a cast of up and coming young actors along with a bunch of film veterans. But for one unlucky actress, her break-out role was savaged by the film’s editors.
Before the movie was trimmed down, there was another prominent character called venus, played by Kidada Jones, who had at least 5 scenes with the rest of the cast. Whilst Venus can still be seen as background character in a handful of shots, her speaking part was completely cut, making her a rather expensive extra. Jones did get to do some promotional work for the film, such as a Tommy Hilfinger advert, where she grabs a few scenes alongside the rest of the cast, but her acting debut was sadly left on the cutting room floor.
Tank Girl (1995) – Ann Cusack
No matter which way you look at it, MGM’s adaption of Tank Girl was a huge mess. From script issues, too chemical leaks on set, things were messy and chaotic. Director Rachel Talalay forget to shoot around 10 major scenes for the film, but with no budget left to shoot them, Tank Girl Co-creator Jamie Hewlett was hurriedly brought in to animate the missing sequences.
The studio was not happy with the resulting patch-worked film and made huge cuts in the edit. Many scenes that fleshed out characters and plot points were dropped, with one of the films biggest change happening to one of the films characters. Ann Cusack’s Sub Girl became victim of the chop, when her much larger part was trimmed down, resulting in her role becoming nothing more than a brief and confusing cameo. A fact plain to see in the films original ending.
The Devil’s Rejects (2005) – Dr. Satan
Rob Zombie’s outstanding return to the Firefly family saw almost the entire cast return to reprise their roles as the murderous gang, in The Devil’s Rejects. However, one major character was seemingly missing when the film hit cinemas back in 2005.
The film starts with police raiding the Firefly ranch, only to discover the true horrors of their crimes. The infamous Dr. Satan, established as a character living in hidden catacombs under the house, failed to show up when the police ransacked the estate. This is because he was unceremoniously cut from the final film. Despite having filmed an entire sequence with the demented surgeon, Rob Zombie said he felt uncomfortable having him in the film. With the sequels drastically different tone and pace, Zombie felt that Dr. Satan no longer fit into his vision and felt too far out of place. This decision left a graphic scene, where the incarcerated Dr. Satan rips out a nurse’s throat, on the cutting room floor.
Child’s Play (1988) – Mona
In the 1998 supernatural slasher flick Child’s Play, young Andy Barclay made a best friend in Chucky, his innocent looking Good Guy doll. Whilst Chucky turned out to be a crazed serial killer, Andy made one other friend that was removed from the final film.
in a minor subplot, Andy becomes friends with a young girl named Mona, whilst he is under observation at a psychiatric hospital. It is Mona who lets Chucky into Andy’s room, when he tricks her into believing the two are “best friends”. Whilst it’s believed that this scene was destroyed along with other cut footage, hence why it has never surfaced on any DVD or Blu-Ray, there are posed set photos that show Mona holding chucky. Mona did get one brief scene later in the third half of the film , when she tells Andy’s Mum, Karen, that she talked to Chucky.
The Predator (2018) – Steven Wilder Striegel
It’s not always editorial and pacing that causes a character to get the chop. Sometimes, actors past actions can come back to haunt them, such as one small role that disappeared from the final cut of Shane Black’s sci-fi thriller The Predator.
Steven Wilder Striegel was cast as a persistent jogger that repeatedly hit on the films lead star, played by Olivia Munn. But behind the scenes, Munn had learned that her co-star had had some pretty terrible crimes under his belt. Striegel had served six months in prison for the attempted grooming of a 14 year old girl. As soon as Twentieth Century Fox learned that one of their actors was a registered sex offender, Striegels scenes were swiftly cut from the film.
Natural Born Killers (1994) – Ashley Judd
Oliver Stone’s controversial 1994 film, Natural Born Killers, was original nine minutes longer, feature a character played by Ashley Judd.
The actress was relatively unknown at the time, and played a young girl, Grace Mulberry, acting as a witness in Killer Mickey’s (Woody Harrelson) trial. Acting as his own counsel, Mickey has free reign in the dock and casually wanders over to Grace and stabs her repeatedly with a pencil. Stone ultimately cut the scene to get the films run-time down, but his decision removed an entire role for a young up and coming star.
The Ring (2002) – Chris Cooper
Chris Cooper’s role in the 2002 remake of The Ring, was completely cut after test audience reacted to his bookend appearances. Director Gore Verbinski decided to remove Coopers scenes when audiences loved his scenes so much, they wanted to see more.
Cooper was cast as a serial killer that was introduced at the start of the film. Naomi Watts’ Seattle journalist, interviews the killer, who tries to convince her that he is a reformed man. The young journalist doesn’t believe him, and at the end of the film, she passes the tape on to him, knowing that he will get what he deserves. The test audiences were so blown away by Coopers charismatic cameo, that they questioned why he did not have a bigger role. This caused a huge distraction from the films main plot, so Cooper was removed from the theatrical release.
World War Z (2013) – Matthew Fox
For a lot of horror fans, the Brad Pitt helmed zombie thriller World War Z, was a huge let down. It was nothing more than a generic zombie flick, that just so happened to have taken its name from Max Brooks epic novel. However, the final film was not the original scripted version.
After shooting a six-week battle sequence in Budapest, Paramount, Plan B and Brad Pitt all decided that things were not working out. The decision to re-write the ending of the film saw a huge amount of already shot footage scrapped, as the film skipped the large-scale zombie battle, in favour of an ending which saw a vaccine for the plague being discovered.
Matthew Fox, who was already a huge star thanks to TV show Lost, had a much larger role in the original script. Playing a U.S. Air Force Pararescueman, his character did more than just rescue Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his family from atop a zombie ravaged building. The binned script saw Fox’s soldier as a repulsive character that pops up again, later in the film.
It transpires that after weeks of being stuck in a dangerous refugee camp with no contact with her husbands, Gerry’s wife Karin has resorted to selling her body to the Pararescueman, in exchange for supplies. Fox’s parajumper character calls Gerry and basically tells him to move on with his life. The film would have ended with Gerry setting out to find his family. The changes to the script saw a much more upbeat ending, and the Pararescueman character was cut down to a single scene.
Cursed (2005) – Nearly the Entire Cast
We have spoken about Cursed before, talking in detail about how production and script issues resulted in the film being postponed for over a year. Due to conflicts with other projects, most of the cast had to be replaced, and this was before filming even begun. However, this was not the only time recasting had to take place, as more issues resulting in almost the entire shot film being canned.
Wes Craven’s werewolf thriller ran into trouble when test screenings came back with negative feedback. Dimension Films wanted re-shoots, but much of the cast were not available, so they were simply cut from the film. Skeet Ulrich, Mandy Moore, Omar Epps, Illeana Douglas, Heather Langenkamp, Scott Foley, Robert Forster, and Corey Feldman all lost their roles, and with a film filled with more holes than a chunk of swiss, the studio had no choice but to rewrite the entire film again, salvaging what they could. With even more re-shoots taking place, the film finally released, as a terribly plain werewolf film, minus three-quarters of its original cast.
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Smart Thinking Batman….
“Hello Horror Fans – I sure hope i don’t get the CUT. But if someones going to CHOP my part, than at least I’ll get FLOORED before i know it! Know of any other characters that got SORE when the directors got CUTTING? Let us know in the comments below!