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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.

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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.

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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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3
John Hammond's Character in Jurassic Park Was Supposed to Be Evil

Universal Pictures

Early on in Jurassic Park, the beta test of DinoLand goes wrong right off the bat when the group encounters a sick triceratops lying on its side in pain. They also discover a mountain of triceratops poop, which one of the scientists starts rummaging through, immediately creating three brand new fetishes.

Universal Pictures
Pictured: an early script reading of The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

Obviously this scene was meant to cleverly foreshadow that things are about to go to shit for the tour, which they quickly do with the storm and the escaped tyrannosaurus ... because if not, then what the hell was the point of showing us prehistoric scat play?

The Missing Scenes:

The sick triceratops was actually meant to kick off a nerdy mystery subplot about what was really causing the tri-horn's sickness, ultimately ending with Dr. Grant confronting John Hammond about it:

GRANT: You created mutant forms that you further mutated to create amusement attractions. You made biological puppets with heartbeats and an early death sentence.

HAMMOND: I created genetic miracles!

Universal Pictures
Your parents had this same conversation, verbatim, about you.

In other words, it was the doctor's way of saying that the kindly, naive creator of the park was a mad scientist. According to Michael Crichton's script, Grant was meant to figure out that the park's scientists were never able to fully separate the dinosaurs' genes from the mosquitoes they found them in, forcing them to create bizarre mosquito-dinosaur mutants that they later supplemented with frog DNA. This gave them some ... things that definitely looked like dinosaurs but had an extremely short life expectancy due to the sausage-esque approach to their genetic makeup.

In short, every dinosaur on Isla Nublar was cursed with a fatal case of mayfly syndrome by Hammond, all for the entertainment of humans and triceratops-poop-high stacks of cash, which would have turned the movie into a reptile version of Blade Runner with the T. rex playing the role of Roy Batty.

Universal Pictures
"All those moments will be lost in time ... like jeeps ... in rain ..."

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2
There Were Aliens in Dr. Strangelove

Columbia Pictures

Dr. Strangelove is so many things: a black comedy, a political satire, a comment on nuclear proliferation, and one of the earliest instances of Kubrick's bathroom fetish. But do you see the word "aliens" anywhere in there? No? That's because you aren't looking at the early drafts of the script.

Columbia Pictures
You also don't see a random pie fight, but you could have.

The Missing Scenes:

Submitted for your consideration, the original opening of Dr. Strangelove:

MAIN TITLE CARD - A WEIRD, HYDRA-HEADED, FURRY CREATURE SNARLS AT CAMERA

ROLL-UP TITLE

"NARDAC BLEFESCU PRESENTS"

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

MACRO - GALAXY - METEOR PICTURE

OOOK ... Who the hell is Nardac Blefescu? And what's this "weird, hydra-headed, furry creature" we meet?

Columbia Pictures
According to notes, Kubrick's plan was to force-feed Peter Sellers enough random drugs to make him grow another head.

And the last time we checked, "MGM" didn't stand for "Macro-Galaxy-Meteor." Did Dr. Strangelove's marketing campaign plan to create buzz around the movie by having The Twilight Zone sue them or something? Seriously, keep reading the script and tell us you can't hear Rod Serling reciting it:

MUSIC - WEIRD, EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, ELECTRONIC SOUNDS

NARRATOR: The bizarre and often amusing pages which make up this odd story were discovered at the bottom of a deep crevice in the Great Northern Desert by members of our Earth Probe, Nimbus-II.

Our story begins sometime during the latter half of Earth's so-called Twentieth Century. Simple nuclear weapons had been invented, but used only twice to finish the so-called Second World War ...

Columbia Pictures
Ah, so everyone in the mines at the end of the movie died. Typical Hollywood ending.

So, yeah, Dr. Strangelove was pretty much supposed to be a found-footage movie broadcast by alien visitors. We wish they'd kept it in, just to see how many people would have walked out of the theater the moment the furry aliens showed up, thinking they'd accidentally bought a ticket to the wrong movie.

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1
The Wizard of Oz Was Almost Completely Different

MGM

The Wizard of Oz is so old and iconic, it's impossible to imagine that it could have been any different. Also, the whole thing is so bizarre and surreal that you just assume that the madman who came up with the story was dictating exactly what the voices in his head told him. But the reality is that it was like any other big-budget Hollywood blockbuster: It went through lots of notes, rewrites, and last-minute changes before the cameras rolled, some of which would have resulted in a film that bears no resemblance to the classic you know and love.

MGM
Changes proved necessary following legal action from the real-life Lollipop Guild.

The Missing Scenes:

The first full treatment of the movie came from screenwriter Noel Langley and contained lots of little bits that never made it into the finished film. For example, Langley wanted the Wizard to be revealed as a fraud early on in the story and travel with Dorothy for a bit. He also threw in a scene where Auntie Em wanted to get rid of Toto, which raised serious questions about Dorothy wanting to return to her Kansas home.

MGM
"We're not in Kansas anymore" = "Shit, guess I'm stuck with you for now."

But maybe the weirdest sequence penned by Langley concerned the Cowardly Lion. The way Langley originally wrote the character, the Lion was a cursed prince named Florizel who had been magically turned into a lion and only joined Dorothy's party to free his lost love, Sylvia, from the Wicked Witch.

So in Langley's script, Florizel and Sylvia get together and his curse is broken thanks to the power of love, right? Not exactly. Florizel had to fight and defeat an actual, live lion to free himself from the curse, which would have been a great addition for everyone who thought the film had too much family fun and not enough boss battles. There was also that one bit where Florizel kills the Wicked Witch (or, in later rewrites, a dragon) in a midair duel.

MGM
They couldn't even wait to finish filming before scripting the gritty reboot.

As you've probably guessed, all of that was eventually thrown out in favor of a plot that was closer to the books and that Langley considered "so cutesy and oozy that I could have vomited." In fact, after finally seeing the movie and realizing what the studio had done to his script, Langley admitted to breaking down and crying like a baby.

MGM
"Nobody's going to pay to see this turd!"


Ryan Menezes is a writer and layout editor here at Cracked. He broke down and made a Twitter page just for his Cracked fans. Please follow Jacopo on Twitter and check out this slick website for his upcoming novel, THE GREAT ABRAHAM LINCOLN POCKET WATCH CONSPIRACY.

Want to know more interesting tidbits about famous movies? Check out 30 Mind-Blowing (True) Facts about Famous Movie Scenes and 36 Plot Holes You Never Noticed in Famous Movie Scenes.

Related Reading: Some deleted scenes would've utterly ruined the movie; like Schwarzenegger as a kooky Southern Sergeant. A few deleted scenes are just absurd, like that giant octopus attack in The Goonies. Oh, and the biggest plot hole in Independence Day was also explained in a deleted scene.

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