50 cuts and revisions that changed your favourite films

Dodgeball (2004)

What Was Cut: The original ending, which sees the Average Joes losing to GloboGym. When test audiences cried foul, director Rawson Marshall Thurber was forced to reshoot a happy ending in which the good guys win. Needless to say, Thurber wasn't happy about it.

If It Had Stayed In: We'd have missed out on the sight of Ben Stiller in a greasy fat suit chowing down on hamburgers. And to be fair, it's important that we have that. 

Green Lantern (2011)

What Was Cut: Some pretty spectacular Parallax designs from artist Jerad S. Marantz, which are really spooky/creepy/unsettling/all of the above. Marantz also designed a four-armed alien girl who ended up not being used in the movie.

If It Had Stayed In: We'd at least have had a great-looking alien villain in the otherwise rather duff movie.

Life Of Pi (2012)

What Was Cut: Tobey Maguire was originally set to play The Writer in Ang Lee's sumptuous book adaptation. However, he was replaced with Rafe Spall when Lee decided to go for a more international cast.

"I very much admire Tobey and look forward to working with him again in the future," Lee said.

If It Had Stayed In: It wouldn't have had much of an effect on the film - this isn't The Writer's story after all. Not really.

Drive (2011)

What Was Cut: Hugh Jackman was originally meant to play the stoic, tight-lipped Driver, a role that eventually went to Ryan Gosling. Hard to remember a time when losing a role to Gosling wasn't the norm…

If It Had Stayed In: The Driver would arguably have been a far less interesting character - Jackman looks like an action hero, whereas Gosling brought a lithe, insidious menace to his version of Driver.

Iron Man 3 (2013)

What Was Cut: A series of armour suits designed by Josh Nizzi that didn't make it from page to screen, including a particularly fetching metallic grey one. 

If It Had Stayed In : The movie's pretty well crammed full of robo-suits as it is, so it's probably a good thing these didn't make the cut - even though they are awesome.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

What Was Cut: Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) is absent from the theatrical cut of Terminator 2 , but he appeared in a beautiful dream sequence that’s still available with the special edition.

In an affecting reprise from the first film, he tells Sarah Connor "On your feet, soldier", and also delivering the "No fate" message, just when she needs it the most.

If It Had Stayed In: It would have been a nice bit of emotional punctuation, and also explain why Sarah decides that now is the time to break out out of the mental hospital. 

Anchorman (2004)

What Was Cut: Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph were both excised from the first Anchorman film. Poehler played a bank clerk, while Rudolph was the member of a gang who robs the bank.

"Even back then, I was like, 'This movie is so long, I'm never going to make it in this,'" Poehler jests.

If It Had Stayed In: It would have undoubtedly been a great scene, but Poehler's probably right. Anchorman is not a film in need of any more diversions. 

The Avengers (2012)

What Was Cut: Stan Lee's extended cameo, which totalled three minutes but was reduced to little more than a vox pop in the finished film.

Includes the immortal line "Ask for her number, moron!"

If It Had Stayed In: It would have been great, but perhaps extending one of Stan's cameos to the status of bit-part might have been a distracting case of too-much-of-a-good-thing. 

Batman Begins (2005)

What Was Cut: A trick wall behind the waterfall that gives access to the Bat cave. The wall supposedly smashed enemies to pieces if they tried to gain access to the cave, but the sequence was cut from the film.

If It Had Stayed In: It would have added another bit of inventive gadgetry to proceedings, but perhaps been a bit too cartoonish for Nolan's distinctly real-world take on Batman. 

The Abyss (1989)

What Was Cut: Edited back into the director's cut, this brilliantly bizarre sequence was originally a lost stand-out of James Cameron's aquatic sci-fi. In the scene, Bud (Ed Harris) watches as a massive tidal wave threatens to spill over numerous US cities, as alien judgement for Mankind's warring ways. 

If It Had Stayed In: It would have been a deliciously dark twist to what was essentially an '80s summer blockbuster.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.