In this age of ever-present Internet, it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t all that long ago when we didn’t have easy access to deleted scenes, alternate footage, and all the other goodies they love pack onto the Blu-ray special editions. It’s easier than ever to dive headfirst into the making of damn near any of your favorite films, and the sheer amount of content you can pore over online for even more obscure projects would likely leave eight-year-old me gobsmacked. But back before all that, one place you would occasionally see relics of paths not taken on the big screen were in trailers, which every so often included scenes or moments that didn’t make the final cut. Diving down that particular rabbit hole is easy thanks to YouTube, and it’s surprising what you can find our there, from Godzilla interrupting a field trip, to Klingon jailbreaks, to the tactical cunning of one C-3PO.
The folks at Empire Online recently put together a massive two-part list of trailers that contain alternate or unused footage that is nowhere to be found in the finished films, and they included some very cool examples from assorted science fiction flicks over the years. Check out some of the things that cut left on the cutting-room floor.
This isn’t actually a case of deleted footage, but rather a sequence that was created solely to tease Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin’s reviled Godzilla remake. It’s a tongue-in-cheek little bit where Godzilla literally crashes a school field trip to the history museum, hammering home the much-mocked tagline that “Size Matters.” If only a better script had mattered to them more. Unfortunately, this teaser is more entertaining than Emmerich’s actual Godzilla movie. Thankfully that doesn’t look to be a problem with the new version.
I distinctly remember this one. I actually liked Nimr&oactute;d Antal’s Predator sequel, but the trailer wrote one check the finished film never cashed. Namely, that shot at 01:25 mark where Adrian Brody’s Royce is marked by the Predator’s iconic three-dotted laser site…and then by about a dozen more. If you’ll recall, there aren’t anywhere near that many Predators in the actual movie, so this was clearly a case of artificially inflated expectations. Then again, maybe the Predators were just feeling cheeky and had a surplus of laser pointers.
Honestly, we’d prefer to forget that this unfortunate Kurt Russell outing exists at all, but it’s worth noting that that groovy space battle teased around the 30-second mark? Yeah, that’s nowhere in the damn movie at all. Would it have been a better movie if it was? Probably not. Fun fact though: Soldier contains a ton of references to Blade Runner, and screenwriter David Webb Peoples — who co-wrote Blade Runner — has described Soldier as a “sidequel” to Ridley Scott’s classic film.
Star Trek (2009)
This trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot has two quick glimpses of footage that didn’t make the cut. The most interesting is at the 1:36 mark, where you can see a very brief shot of Nero (Eric Bana) tussling with a pair of Klingons. If you’ve paid attention to the lore surrounding Abrams’ controversial Trek relaunch, you’ll likely already know that the movie was originally going to include a sequence where it was revealed that Nero and his crew had been held prisoner by the Klingons for all those long years between their arrival (which resulted in the death of Kirk’s father) and their eventual reappearance. None of that remains in the final cut, and the redesigned Klingons had to save their big debut for Star Trek Into Darkness. There’s also one other small moment: at 01:06 we see Winona Ryder cradling a young baby Spock and sans old-age makeup. In the finished film we only see her more elderly version, and I remember at the time thinking it seemed kind of odd that Abrams had cast Ryder as Spock’s mother Amanda, rather than an actor, well, age appropriate.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1981)
This is a serious blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, but it’s actually one of the cooler relics of all. Right around 01:28 we get a shot of C-3PO ripping a warning label of some sort off the wall of the Alliance’s Echo Base. This was actually meant to set up one of Empire Strikes Back’s more notorious deleted scenes, when the invading Imperial troops find themselves facing off against a room full of pissed-off wampas. The room in question had been clearly marked with a warning sign so no one would stumble in…until 3PO pulled it down. Nice work, professor.
You can see the wampa footage below, and check out tons more trailer Easter eggs over at Empire.