6 Deleted Scenes That Totally Change Classic Movies

Most films are horrible for a very simple reason: They're made by a whole bunch of people trying to guide a complicated project through a shitload of chaotic steps. Even a great idea can wind up taking a journey every bit as transformational as the trip a salad takes through your digestive system.

Because it's such a long and winding road from script to screen, it's fascinating to go back and see what almost made it into the film. Here are some scenes that -- if they hadn't been left on the cutting room floor -- would have changed everything, for better or worse.

#6. The Bad Guys Kind of Had a Point in The Dark Knight Rises

Warner Bros. Pictures

In the third installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, Harvey Dent's death inspires the creation of the Dent Act, which crushes organized crime and allows Batman to retire. Sadly, all this hard work goes out the window when the revolutionary Bane attacks the city and incites anarchy. This leads to a harrowing sequence in which Dr. Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow, puts a bunch of Gothamites "on trial" and sentences them to death by walking across the ice of Gotham Bay. It's clearly intended to be a powerful metaphor for what happens when the scum of society rises to power.

Warner Bros. Pictures
Or it's another goddamn global warming movie.

The Missing Scenes:

A minor detail that gets omitted from the final cut is the fact that the Dent Act was effective specifically because it took away civil liberties, like the right to an appeal. Those kangaroo courts the criminals set up were in fact meant to turn the tables, as explained in this omitted exchange between Scarecrow and Commissioner Gordon:

GORDON: No lawyer, no witnesses. What sort of due process is this?
CRANE: More than you gave Harvey's prisoners, Commissioner.

Warner Bros. Pictures
"I know your deepest fears: Fifth Amendment constitutional violations!"

Oh! So the film was deliberately drawing a parallel between Bane's court and the unethical Dent Act.

That's pretty significant, because up to this point in the series, it seemed like the Dark Knight saga was a spirited defense of authoritarian, anti-civil liberties policies. But this last installment was actually all about turning the previous films' themes on their heads. Bruce Wayne learned to embrace his fears, Alfred declared that the truth should make itself known, and although the previous movie taught us that we can ignore individual rights on the way to sentencing baddies, this deleted line proved that "Eh, maybe not."

Warner Bros. Pictures
Police without rules are evil. And police obsessed with rules are evil. Basically, fuck the police.

It has such a huge impact on the theme that you'd think they could have squeezed those two sentences in somewhere. Then again, why did they eliminate the five-word sentence that completely explained why everyone in Gotham will not die in the fallout of the nuclear explosion in the movie finale?

Yeah, the script handles that, too, with Miranda Tate describing the nuclear plot device as:

MIRANDA: No radiation, no fossil fuels ...

Warner Bros. Pictures
Yup. Another global warming movie.

No massive plot holes, no endless discussions on countless message boards. What a beautiful world we could've had with just five simple words.

#5. The Script of Prometheus Closes Key Plot Holes

20th Century Fox

Prometheus is full of beautifully shot effects and contains some amazing, almost classic horror sequences, all of which are tainted by the minor fact that the story didn't make any fucking sense whatsoever. Due to what appears to be a very confused production process, the film winds up being a series of weird/scary events that happen for no reason at all. For example, the entire "crew gets infected by monsters" plot that drives the film is triggered by David the android, and the film makes it look like he did it for the pure hell of it.

20th Century Fox
"Robots don't follow set programming like you humans do. We're wild cards!"

In the movie, David accompanies the human mission to an alien moon. Initially acting as the voyage's monitor, David even saves the lives of two crew members. However, as soon as they discover a strange black liquid, he immediately attempts to poison one of the scientists with it and spends the rest of the movie generally messing with them. It appears to be purely due to the fourth law of robotics: Any robot appearing in a sci-fi horror film will always move the story forward, even at the cost of human life or plot coherency.

The Missing Scenes:

In the original script, David spontaneously flipped his evil switch because that's what he was programmed to do by his creator and expedition sponsor Peter Weyland:

DAVID: I was given two operating protocols for this mission. I was to render you every assistance -- until you discovered what Vickers would call a "game-changing technology." (...) Under protocol two I was to make sure that you and Holloway never spoke to anyone about this place.

20th Century Fox
"This was followed by protocol three, in which I was to devote all circuits to exposition."

And there you go. One of the most criticized parts of the movie actually had a perfectly rational explanation all along: David suddenly turned on his crewmates because they discovered "game-changing technology," like the ... uhm, alien fountain pen ink? Wait, how did he even know what that thing was supposed to be?

Actually, the black liquid was a big part of the original story as well:

DAVID: For eons, Earth's climate swung from hothouse to ice age. Explosions of life, then mass extinctions. But twelve thousand years ago the swings stopped. The Holocene Epoch began -- a period of anomalous tranquility. The rise of civilization began only then.

WATTS: And that change coincides with a visit by the Engineers. They didn't just change us. They changed our world.

20th Century Fox
This one's not a global warming movie. It's a climate change movie.

As it turns out, Peter Weyland only funded the expedition because he initially wanted terraforming technology (the black liquid, and those giant pyramids) after first trying and failing to terraform Mars, which is also covered in the script. He also needed a quick cure for the whole "dying of old age" problem. So when you get down to it, the original movie was less a philosophical tale about the origin and meaning of life and more one deranged billionaire's quest to live long enough to boink on Mars.

#4. Terminator 2 Originally Had a Massive Future Battle Scene

TriStar Pictures

Terminator 2 set the bar for future action blockbusters. The massively budgeted film broke ground in CGI effects (you can decide for yourself whether to thank them for that) and boasted several massive action and stunt set pieces that became instant classics. That's the thing about James Cameron -- he'll spend the equivalent of a small country's GDP getting the movie made, but that dude doesn't leave anything on the table.

But actually ... that's not true. Cameron's original ambitions were even bigger than what you saw on screen. Specifically, the few glimpses we get of the futuristic cyborg war were supposed to be part of a huge, epic sequence that apparently not even this production had the budget for.

TriStar Pictures
"First of all, we're going to need to nuke a large city to make it authentic."

The Missing Scenes:

Terminator 2 was supposed to open with a sequence depicting the human army destroying Skynet once and for all:

Aerial HKs tilt slowly, out of control, and crash to the ground. All the terminators stand frozen, unmoving, like a bunch of toy soldiers. (...) We hear a voice speaking over a radio headset. It is filled with awed emotion.

HEADSET VOICE (O.S.): ... The Colorado Division confirms that Skynet has been destroyed ... The war is over ... I repeat, Skynet has been destroyed.

This series of events is referred to only briefly in the first film, when the humans are on the verge of winning the war against Skynet and find the time machine. According to early versions of the script, the war finally ends in a worldwide human victory on August 11, 2029, thanks to the destruction of Skynet in the Colorado Rockies.

And the coolest thing about this lost sequence? We actually have detailed concept art of how it would have played out:

Maurice Huijs/TriStar Pictures

Maurice Huijs/TriStar Pictures
"Priority One: Back up the porn!"

The destruction of Skynet and the subsequent freezing of all Terminator models (stupid Windows 29) would also allow John Connor to reprogram one and send it back to protect his teenage self, and also to tell one of his soldiers to go back in time and fuck his mom.

Maurice Huijs/TriStar Pictures
The scene also reveals that Reese's call sign is "Raw Dog."

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