5 Iconic Movie Pieces (That Were Meant To Be Cut)

Sometimes the random stuff you first crap out turns out to be gold.
5 Iconic Movie Pieces (That Were Meant To Be Cut)

Like all of us, filmmakers can be incredibly lazy. This means on occasion, instead of carefully developing their ideas, they'll go with the first version they pull out of their ass and call it a day. But, sometimes, they'll go with it because it truly is better than any refined version they try as a replacement.

These are those times ... 

We Were Supposed To Be Able To Hear Bill Murray's Whisper In Lost In Translation

At the end of Lost in Translation, when Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) see each other for the last time and finally release their simmering tension by embracing, he whispers something inaudible in her ear. 

Writer/director Sofia Coppola was initially going to figure out what was exchanged later and add the dialogue during post-production, but ... she never did. For her, the whisper was acknowledged what that week in Tokyo meant to them, and that was enough. But that decision has meant people regularly asking Coppola what he said; she likes Murray's answer: That it's between lovers.

It's tough to overstate how much people are bothered by the fact that nobody really knows what he whispered. In 2013, Vulture ran an article about whisper theories, calling the whisper "one of the biggest mysteries in recent film history." Some of the ideas mentioned ranged from "Tell him (Charlotte's husband) the truth" (based on faint traces of audible words) to the whole scene being Bob's dream to Bob Harris revealing he's actually Charlotte's husband, time-traveling from the future. ("Also, buy a lot of stock in something called 'Netflix.'")

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. The internet is awash with other articles discussing exactly what Murray whispered. In addition to Coppola, Murray also gets asked about it all the time. A clip of the audio manipulated to the whisper kinda-sorta audible has over 1.5 million views.

This has been driving fans mad for almost two decades, is what we're trying to get at here.

If Coppola had made a different choice, we wonder where all the energy poured into figuring out the whisper would have gone. Presumably, something like figuring out what the deal is with the "lip my stocking" lady.

Who's the "Mr. Kazu" guy who sent her, anyway?

Galaxy Quest's "By Grabthar's Hammer" Stuck Because Of Crew T-Shirts

If you've watched Galaxy Quest, you surely remember Alan Rickman's masterful portrayal of a deeply humiliated man in the scene where he says, "By Grabthar's Hammer, what a savings." 

The catchphrase "By Grabthar's Hammer" sounds so much like something dredged up from '80s sci-fi TV, it's hard to think of anything else in its place. But it was initially just a temp line that they used because, well, they had to put in something.

Screenwriter Robert Gordon put in the phrase as a placeholder line inspired by the hammer of Thor (mew mew). It sounded incredibly silly, and he was always going to change it, but it stuck around so long, people on the production team started making T-shirts with "By Grabthar's Hammer" on them. At that point, he just decided to keep it. Which was probably a pretty good decision -- the fact that it sounded ridiculous is why it works so well. A line that came out of a few rounds of brainstorming and testing would probably never hit as hard.

DreamWorks Pictures
As opposed to Sam Rockwell's mustache, which required two years of meticulous planning.

"By Grabthar's Hammer," turned out to be so memorable that it became for Galaxy Quest what "May the Force be with you" became for Star Wars. For example, it's now apparently standard practice for the titles of articles about Galaxy Quest to start with "By Grabthar's Hammer." Hell, SyFy even started their title of Alan Rickman's with it. Which is kind of an odd choice for an actual person's obituary, but still better than "By Snape's Sad Horniness For Harry's Mom."

The One Ring Was Based On A Co-producer's Wedding Ring

Early in the production of The Fellowship Of The Ring, the crew was filming a short test sequence and needed a prop for Sauron's ring. (It's not called Fellowship Of The Tennis Bracelet) The best thing available was co-producer Rick Porras' wedding ring, so they went with that. After filming, Porras told Peter Jackson that, even though he's clearly biased, he thought his wedding ring (which only made him invisible to hot singles in his area) really looked like the ultimate artifact of power crafted by Sauron in the fires of Mount Doom.

Jackson thought there was something to that -- the ring had a shape that made it kind of stand out from others -- so they talked to the goldsmith they were working with, and Porras' wedding band ended up becoming the basis for the One Ring. The goldsmith just rounded it and made a few other adjustments.

New Line Cinema
He kept the inscription.

But also, by doing that, they threw a lot of money and effort into the garbage. You see, the props department knew they'd need a ton of copies of the One Ring, so they had asked the goldsmith to make fifteen. These fifteen all adhered to Peter Jackson's and Tolkien's descriptions, which was a pretty reasonable assumption -- but after they settled on Porras' wedding ring, all those copies were coincidentally as useless a wedding ring after a divorce.

The One Ring became one of the most iconic props in film history, and it's all from one dude's wedding bling. Imagine if the Death Star turned out to be based on George Lucas' key fob, or if someone on the Alien set had a novelty dildo that inspired the xenomorph's head. Although, with H.R. Giger that might actually be true.

Eve's Voice In WALL-E Was Just A Temp Track

When Pixar was making WALL-E, they asked a producer's assistant named Elissa Knight to step in and do a scratch track for EVE. A scratch track is essentially a temp track that filmmakers use as a rough reference. It comes in handy for knowing at which point a specific word pops up, or how long it takes to say a line of dialogue, and, as you can probably imagine, is absolutely crucial for the animators to have while doing their jobs. It was apparently standard Pixar practice for Knight to do scratch tracks on movies, so it was pretty much just another day at work for her.

However, when they ran Knight's voice through the audio robotifier process -- breaking it down and putting it back together but more robot-like -- they realized that maybe it should be more than just a scratch track. It turned out that it wouldn't be necessary to hire a fancy voice actor or a big star; they could just stick the first draft of the EVE's voice.  

Walt Disney Studios
Luckily, they did not approach animation the same way.

It totally surprised Knight since she thought she was just recording her n-th scratch track and assumed nothing of it. She hadn't even seen the whole script -- they'd just given her EVE's lines. She was so floored that she gushed about how "all this" was "so foreign" during a red carpet interview. 

As it happens, though, Knight originally wanted to be an actor, but that just didn't pan out. She got fired from the first professional acting job she had and then decided to call the whole thing quits. Usually, that'd be the end of a dream, but we guess the lesson is: Give up on your dreams and become a robot instead.

Deadpool's Credits Sequence Was Supposed To Have People's Real Names

When Deadpool's VFX team started to work on the credits sequence, they had no idea what the names of the people credited would be. They did have a clear idea what the sequence would look like from the start: a bunch of freeze-frame close-ups on the details of a car accident, with text hovering around stuff in the close-ups. So, since they needed to type in something just to have some sort of text on the screen, they put in short descriptions of the characters. 

The team began initial visualizations pretty early since the way the car crash looked would determine a lot about the car chase that led to it. The only person whose involvement was 100% confirmed at the start was cellphone and gin magnate, Ryan Reynolds. Much later on in development, when the principal actors were already onboard, the VFX team was ready to insert real names. At least that was the plan. Before that could happen, director Tim Miller asked to see the sequence. Layout supervisor Franck Balson clarified that it wasn't finished, but showed off what they had. 

Miller loved the placeholder text so much that he sent it to Ryan Reynolds and the writers. A credits sequence that's a meta crack at the people who made the movie was pretty much the perfect idea for Deadpool, so they all agreed they'd keep it. The writers just took the placeholder text and polished it up a bit.

We're lucky the VFX artists never thought of a Lorem Ipsum generator.

It turned out doing the credits that way made production simpler, too. Real credits sequences that contain the names of people who actually worked on the movie have to follow a bunch of rules -- for example, one actor's name can only be so much bigger than the others' names depending on things like screen time, etc. But doing a spoof credits sequence ensured the team didn't have to worry about any of that, saving them time and money. Which is really improtant when needing to budget for those sweet WHAM! song rights.

Top image: Walt Disney Pictures, 20th Century Fox

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