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Deleted Role

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It can be nearly impossible to tell exactly what will happen between script and screen. Between casting, rewrites, various production quibbles and the like, the final product could easily be completely different than what the people involved thought they were working on. Editing can have a particularly dramatic impact, with the director and editor being able to shape the footage at their own whim. Occasionally, whole characters fall victim to cutting. This trope is what happens when a Deleted Scene also removes an entire actor from the product.


For actors this can be extremely disheartening - while they will generally still get paid, no one likes to see their hard work considered redundant to the finished product and cut out, and it can have negative effects on their career due to their industry visibility being reduced. Occasionally the consequences can be tragic.

See also Demoted to Extra, when a character's screentime is simply cut to the point of insignificance. If the role was replaced with someone else it's The Other Marty.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • An in-universe example in Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. Panty spends one episode preparing to debut as a movie star and tracks down all copies of an illicit porn tape on hers that was shown by accident during the premiere. When they try premiering it again, Panty reveals she had all of Stocking's scenes cut from the film, so the audience could see her more. In revenge, Stocking has the last remaining copy of the porn tape place on the Net to ruin Panty's reputation.

    Films — Animated 
  • In his only work for Disney (if you don't count Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Mel Blanc originally recorded dialogue for Gideon the cat in Pinocchio. He was cut out not because the character was taken out but because they decided to keep him silent to capitalize on the popularity of the similarly-silent Dopey in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A single hiccup is all that remains of Blanc's performance in the film.
  • The perceived laziness in the plot of Thomas and the Magic Railroad stems from the fact that a major character was removed from the film thanks to Executive Meddling. The main villain of the movie was a human character named P.T. Boomer (played by Canadian actor Doug Lennox), who was the main driving factor to the concern felt by Burnett Stone in the movie. Thanks to the removal of Boomer, plots driven by him went unexplained. The reason for his removal was allegedly due to him being too 'scary for children' during the US test audience screenings, which is odd given that the secondary antagonist was an evil diesel with a claw! This cut was so close to the release of the movie that trailers and promotional material still alluded to him. Efforts to have his scenes restored are currently underway through fan communities.
  • Ice Age originally had a character named Sylvia, voiced by Kristen Johnston (Sally on 3rd Rock from the Sun), a Clingy Jealous Girl sloth whom Sid was trying to get rid of. She was cut for various reasons, mainly because she made Sid come off as a Jerkass.
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius originally had a minor villain named Captain Spoor voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. One of his scenes can be seen in the theatrical trailer.
  • Isla Fisher, Minnie Driver, Erin Brockovich, and Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob recorded dialogue for The Simpsons Movie. Their scenes were cut and have yet to be released to the public, although the filmmakers state that they may include them in a special edition DVD.
  • The Disney movie Tangled originally had main character Rapunzel's father the King have a voiced role, played by John Goodman no less! His dialogue was cut from the final movie so although the king appears he doesn't speak.
  • Kelsey Grammer had all his dialogue recorded as Henry Waternoosenote  for the prequel to Monsters, Inc., Monsters University, but the character was removed post-production.
  • In Disney's animated version of Alice in Wonderland, the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon wound up having no further presence than storyboards, a Cut Song, and a Jello commercial featuring characters from that film. The Jabberwock's appearance was cut from the final movie for being too creepy and surreal even by the film's standards, although it did show up in a children's book adaptation.
  • Surf's Up originally had an interview scene with Big Z's former girlfriends, voiced by Jane Krakowski and Mindy Sterling. The girlfriends still appear in the background, but nearly all of their dialogue scenes were cut. The scenes did later appear in a "documentary" in the DVD's special features.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • William Hartnell had all of his scenes cut from The Abominable Dr. Phibes, which would have been his final movie role prior to his death.
    • A young Joanna Lumley appeared as a laboratory assistant, but her scenes were also cut.
  • The Adjustment Bureau: Shohreh Aghdashloo portrayed The Chairman in a scene that was deleted from the final film to make the Chairman's true nature more ambiguous.
  • Christopher Lambert filmed scenes in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen that were cut from the final print.
  • Eddie Fisher's role in All About Eve as the stage manager was cut, though he's still credited.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man:
    • The first movie cast Annie Parisse and Miles Elliot as Curt Connors' wife and son, respectively. Both actors had all of their scenes deleted.
    • Chris Zylka was supposed to reprise his role as Flash Thompson for the sequel, but all his scenes were cut.
    • Shailene Woodley's role as Mary Jane Watson was also cut from the sequel, with plans for her to instead debut in a third installment that ended up not happening.
  • Taylor Schilling's role as Tony Mendez's wife was cut almost completely out of Argo, leaving her instead with a brief appearance near the end.
  • Austin Powers had a Running Gag cut from the first film,note  which had several scenes showing the family and friends of Faceless Mooks upon learning of their deaths: including Rob Lowe in this cameo. Rob was given an on-screen role in the sequel.
  • The boy band *NSYNC had cameos as Jedi during the arena fight in Attack of the Clones, but all of their scenes were cut during editing.
  • Jane Lynch's role as Amelia Earhart was cut from The Aviator.
  • BRIAN BLESSED was cut out of Barry Lyndon.
  • Be Cool had a scene where Linda was interviewed by Patti LaBelle for her radio show. However, the music legend's scene had to be cut for time.
  • In The Big Chill, the friend who committed suicide, putting the entire plot in motion, was originally meant to be played in flashback by Kevin Costner. Lawrence Kasdan eventually decided his character didn't need to be seen, and all of Costner's scenes were edited out. The role isn't 100% deleted, though. The body being dressed at the beginning of the film? We never see the face, but it is Kevin Costner, all right.
  • An early script of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure had a random medieval guy tag along with all the historical characters. The end credits still mention James Bowbitch as "John The Serf".
  • Sienna Miller's role as notorious gangster Whitey Bulger's girlfriend Catherine Greig in the movie Black Mass was cut because director Scott Cooper thought her scenes (which focused on the period when Bulger was a fugitive) weren't dramatic enough.
  • Stan Lee originally had a cameo in Blade that was ultimately cut from the film. He played one of the cops that comes in to the blood club during the aftermath and discovers Quinn's body on fire.
  • Macaulay Culkin had a small role in Born on the Fourth of July that was cut.
  • Summer Glau revealed that she had been cast in a supporting role for Black Swan. However, before shooting began, the character was cut from the story while the screenwriters were still working on final drafts.
  • Several staff members were cut out of The Breakfast Club before filming. Dr. Lange, a social studies teacher who dresses oddly, and Robin, a gym teacher. Robin helps Vernon on a few workout machines until Vernon injures his back, and she eventually visits the students while they are in their circle in the library. Carl was originally set to be a minor character with only two scenes, before some of Robin's scenes were given to him to make up for the cut.
  • Crispin Bonham Carter, who had played Mr Bingley in Pride and Prejudice (1995) filmed a couple of scenes for Bridget Jones' Diary as a character called Greg - but they were cut from the film. He can be glimpsed when Bridget quits her job and at the launch party.
  • The script for Bruce Almighty had the character of Bobby, who worked at the news station, selling snacks. He annoyed Bruce, who then proceeded to damn him, causing him to become demonically-possessed. Fortunately, Bruce eventually reversed it.
  • La Toya Jackson had a scene in Brüno (2009) in which the titular character invites her to eat sushi off an obese naked man and practically begs her to call her brother Michael to join them. Unfortunately, hours before the movie's red carpet premiere in Los Angeles, Michael died, and the scene was immediately cut.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Seth Green had a supporting role as Pike's friend who would later be turned into a vampire (he would've been the only cast member to have been in both the movie and the show), all of his scenes were cut but he can still be seen very briefly near the end among the vampires at the gym.
  • Melissa Leo's role as Mamie Eisenhower was cut out of Lee Daniels' The Butler.
    • Orlando Eric Street was cast as Barack Obama, but his scene never made it into the final cut.
  • Robin Williams' first film was the erotic comedy Can I Do It 'Till I Need Glasses?, but for whatever reason his scenes were removed from the first release. But shortly before Popeye was released the film was re-released with Williams' scenes included, the advertising boasting about his inclusion. Some of the advertising even implied Robin was the star of the movie!
  • Jasmine Guy filmed scenes for Carrie (2002) as a psychic detective who would lock horns with Detective Mulcahey. They were all cut late in production.
  • Woody Allen cut all of Vanessa Redgrave's scenes from his film Celebrity.
  • Phil Collins claims he was one of the children storming the castle at the end of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but was edited out because of a rather large and unsightly bandage on his head that was covering a cyst.
    • He was also one of the fans in the performance of "You Can't Do That" in A Hard Day's Night that was cut from the film.
  • A scene from A Christmas Story where Ralphie has a fantasy about being in the Flash Gordon universe was cut, however the credits still list the actors for Flash Gordon and Ming The Merciless.
  • Apollo and Athena had major roles in the original cut of Clash of the Titans (2010), but the film was reworked. Apollo's role was heavily reduced, while Athena was almost cut completely. Additionally all the Gods originally had lines in the first scene on Olympus.
  • Sofía Vergara's role as a plane hijacker in Collateral Damage was cut, as her scenes were too uncomfortable post-9/11.
  • Michelle Monaghan had a role as a half-breed demon who had a relationship with the title character in Constantine, but her role was cut because they wanted to greater emphasize his loneliness, and her role conflicted with that.
  • The Conversation originally featured Abe Vigoda as Harry's lawyer and Mackenzie Phillips as his teenaged niece. Based on the stills of the deleted scenes with Harry's neighbors, it looks like one of them was played by Howard Hesseman.
  • Debbie Harry acted in Cop Land, but was edited out in the final cut. She explained on a live television special that although she was cut, she still got paid.
  • A young Melissa Joan Hart had a brief role in Crocodile Dundee as a girl whose cut is magically healed, reportedly the scene was cut because the scene didn't fit into the movie's plot.
  • Scenes featuring Michael Berryman as the Skull Cowboy were cut from The Crow. Most likely because Brandon Lee's death meant that they couldn't film any more with his character.
  • Patrick Troughton had a cameo in The Curse of Frankenstein as a mortuary attendant. Although his name is credited on some early publicity material, his scenes were cut from the finished film.
  • Cursed was very much a Troubled Production, and as a result of Executive Meddling, re-writes, and re-casting, many actors filmed scenes that were never shown. Among those who fell victim to the Cursed curse were Skeet Ulrich (whose character was originally a central figure), Illeana Douglas, Heather Langenkamp, Scott Foley, Omar Epps, Robert Forster, Corey Feldman, and James Brolin.
  • Andy García's role as Michelle Pfeiffer's love interest in Dangerous Minds was left on the cutting room floor, thereby preventing a Romantic Plot Tumor.
  • Daredevil originally had a subplot involving the titular hero having to prove the innocence of a client played by Coolio, which was removed due to Executive Meddling. It was later restored for the Director's Cut.
  • Tracey Ullman was cast as a bartender named Toni in Death Becomes Her, with her character intended to be the eventual love interest to Bruce Willis' character Ernest. Due to lackluster test audience reception and the studio wanting the film retooled to be a pure black comedy, all of her scenes were cut (although she still appears in the theatrical trailer) and the ending was entirely reworked. note 
  • Ronny Cox shows up very briefly in Deep Blue Sea as the company CEO in the beginning, where he doesn't even say anything. Presumably the footage was cut.
  • Sammy Davis Jr. filmed a cameo in Diamonds Are Forever that ended up on the cutting room floor.
  • Christopher Sabat, who voiced Vegeta and Piccolo in the original Funimation dub of Dragon Ball Z, was cast as the voice of the Eternal Dragon in Dragonball Evolution, but all of his dialogue was cut from the movie.
  • Cheryl Smith had a sizable co-starring role in the original longer cut of The Driver, but the subplot involving her character wound up being excised and subsequently all of her scenes got cut out as well. Walter Hill regretted cutting these scenes and spoke favourably about Smith's acting skills.
  • Harrison Ford originally had a scene in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial where he played the school principal, but Steven Spielberg decided to cut it, not wanting to be accused of Stunt Casting (even though Ford's face was never shown).
  • Re-shoots to Edge of Tomorrow added in a role for Jeremy Piven, but it was left on the cutting room floor.
  • Ben Affleck filmed a scene as Matt Murdock in Elektra, but it was cut.
  • Many of the actors in the POW camp in Empire of the Sun had larger parts but those portions of the film were heavily cut down from what was shot. Robert Stephens and Paul McGann claimed they filmed larger parts of the film, but most of their scenes were cut.
  • Empire Records:
    • A young Tobey Maguire's scenes as Andy were cut.
    • Corey's sister Lily (Dianna Miranda) was cut from the film.
  • Escape Room: Tournament of Champions has a different "Extended Cut" in the home release that has a slightly different plot, with new characters added and others removed. In the theatrical version, Sonya is the unseen daughter of Amanda Harper, the Iraqi vet from the previous film, who is revealed to have survived her fall in the Escape Room, with Deborah Ann Woll reprising her role. In the extended cut, Sonya is the late wife of the creator of the Escape Room, an erstwhile new character named Henry. Their daughter, Claire, designed the challenges, basing them from her childhood memories. They are respectively played by Tanya van Graan, James Frain, and Isabelle Fuhrman, all of whom were cut in the theatrical release, whereas Woll was cut in the extended release. On another note, the theatrical version has Zoey seeing a therapist (played by Lucy Newman-Williams) who is revealed to have colluded with the creator of the Escape Room, something that was also excised in the extended cut since it would have conflicted with the new plot.
  • Ellen Pompeo had a scene in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where she played an ex-girlfriend of Joel that was deleted from the final cut.
  • Both Liam Hemsworth and Brittany Murphy were cut from The Expendables following script rewrites; Sylvester Stallone later gave Hemsworth a part in the first sequel (Murphy, who would have appeared as Mickey Rourke's girlfriend, passed away before the first film's release).
  • James Gandolfini shot scenes as a man who meets Sandra Bullock at grief counselling in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, but they were cut after negative reactions at test screenings.
  • Kidada Jones filmed several scenes in The Faculty portraying a girl called Venus, who was advertised in TV previews and a tie-in Tommy Hilfiger commercial. Most of them were cut and she can only be seen in the science class scene, standing next to Gabe (Usher's character).
  • Nicolas Cage had one of his first roles in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, as "Brad's Bud", but nearly every one of his scenes were cut. You can still see him for a couple seconds working the grill at the American Burger, and he's also seen as one of the spectators at the Ridgemont vs. Lincoln football game, in which star player Charles Jefferson leads the Ridgemont team to a major lopsided victory.
  • Lara Flynn Boyle's first film part was a small role in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but none of her scenes made it into the final movie.
  • Mick Jagger was supposed to appear in Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo, but various troubles with the production (along with Jagger's commitment to The Rolling Stones) led to his character being removed.
  • Margaret Nolan appeared as one of Rusk's potential victims in Frenzy, though her footage was cut from the film.
  • Farrah Fawcett's character was cut entirely out of the Gene Wilder movie Funny About Love. Roger Ebert described this as "One of the biggest breaks in Farrah Fawcett's career."
  • Harriet Walter filmed several scenes for a prominent role in The French Lieutenant's Woman that ended up cut completely.
  • Ben Stiller had cameo in Get Shorty as the director of one of Harry's low-budget B-movies. It was cut from the film because it didn't suit the flow of it. Even though Barry Sonnenfeld thought it was funny (maybe the funniest scene in the movie) it did nothing to advance the plot so it had to go.
  • The original five-hour cut of Gods and Generals (now available on Blu-Ray) featured a subplot following the life and career of John Wilkes Booth. It was cut due to Executive Meddling.
  • Serafina's daemon Kaisa doesn't appear in The Golden Compass, but photos exist of him with Eva Green.
  • Jessica Walter apparently played a character named Melody in the 1979 film Goldengirl. She does not appear in the final film nor is she listed in its credits.
  • A weird example in A Good Day to Die Hard. Mary Elizabeth Winstead reprised her role as John McClane's daughter in the theatrical version, but for some reason all scenes featuring her were cut in the Extended version for the home release. These not only include her physical appearances but also scenes where her voice is heard. The ending, where she prominently appears, had to be changed.
  • Nick Jones filmed a cameo as John Stewart in the Green Lantern (2011) movie, which ended up being deleted.
  • Dolph Lundgren's role in Hail, Caesar! was almost entirely deleted for time reasons, and he only appears as a silhouette.
  • Adrienne Barbeau had a small role in Halloween (2007) that was cut. Ironically she was once married to John Carpenter, the director of the original film.
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle originally ended with Harold meeting Maria's brother, played by Luis Guzman, who Harold initially mistakes for her boyfriend, and learns from him that Maria has gone to Amsterdam. As humorous as it was, Word of God decided it'd be better having Harold actually see Maria one last time before she goes to Amsterdam.
  • The Harry Potter films:
    • In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the late Rik Mayall filmed scenes as Peeves the Poltergeist. Test audiences didn't like the CGI effects of the design so the character was cut and none of the scenes have ever been released.
    • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Sir Cadogan, played by Paul Whitehouse, was cut almost completely out of the film. You do still see Sir Cadogan jumping through several paintings behind Ron, Harry and Hermione during the Fat Lady's disappearance, and he appeared in the DVD special features.
    • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them had a sub-plot about Jacob getting dumped by his fiancée Mildred (played by Sinead Matthews) cut entirely from the final product. However, Matthews is credited for her role in it.
    • Several minor characters got the cut in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
      • When the casting call went out for teenaged Newt and Leta, there was another character listed named Sebastian who doesn't appear in the film. According to the actor who was cast, "Sebastian" was a codename for protagonist Newt's brother Theseus but the scene was cut.
      • According to a UK extra database, Kendra Dumbledore was also cast in the film but didn't make it into the final product.
      • Three years after the film’s release, the MuggleNet fansite was given costume test and set photos of Ariana Dumbledore. She was wearing two different outfits in the photos which imply she was in multiple flashback scenes. Their source told them that the scenes were cut to focus more on the main plot, which had enough going on already.
  • Jonathan Brandis had a role as Private Lewis P. Wakely in the 2002 film Hart's War. Already struggling with depression over his career waning after seaQuest DSV being cancelled and being typecast as a child/teen actor, he had hoped Hart's War would be his comeback role. Instead, his role ended up cut entirely, ultimately worsening his depression to the point that it's thought to have been a contributing factor behind his suicide in 2003.
  • Frankie Howerd (as Sam Ahab) and Wendy Richard had a cameo in Help! that was left out of final editing owing to its length. However, the sequence was left in the film novelisation.
  • Chris Cooper filmed scenes for her (2013) that were cut.
  • Hope Lange was cast as a love interest for George Peppard's character in How the West Was Won, but her scenes were cut from the final print of the film. She portrayed young Julie Stuart, the daughter of Henry Fonda's character. After Lange's scenes were deleted from the film, Julie was later portrayed by Carolyn Jones.
  • Harold Ramis originally had a scene as John Cusack's father in High Fidelity, but it was cut. Beverly D'Angelo was also in a scene in the film, based on the scene in the book where Rob is buying records off of someone whose husband ran out on her.
  • In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Peter Jackson was to play Basketman, the Lake-town spy who emerges from a basket. Basketman's scene was cut after a complaint from Peter Jackson's wife.
  • Matt Smith filmed a cameo for In Bruges as a younger version of Harry Waters, the character played by Ralph Fiennes. The scene went rather viral after Smith was cast in Doctor Who.
  • Daisy Ridley had a small part in The Inbetweeners 2. After unexpectedly getting cast in The Force Awakens, her filming schedule suddenly made it impossible for her to do reshoots, so it was decided that the easiest solution would be to just cut her role entirely.
  • Brandon Routh was cast as a vampire in Gregor Jordan's film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ short-story collection The Informers, but all of his scenes were removed before the film's release.
  • Inglorious Basterds:
    • Maggie Cheung was cast as the former owner of Shoshanna's movie theatre, but all of her scenes were cut from the final release.
    • Cloris Leachman was in a flashback scene as The Bear Jew's grandmother that got cut. Her scene would have explained how The Bear Jew got his bat.
  • Ghostface Killah of Wu-Tang Clan was supposed to have a cameo in Iron Man, but his sequence was cut from the final film.
  • An unidentified actress was cast to play Tony's dead mother for a Flashback sequence in Iron Man 3, but the scene was never finished.
  • Sam Rockwell had a Deleted Scene in Jarhead where he played Jake Gyllenhaal's uncle.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • The theatrical cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has several missing characters compared to the Ultimate Edition, including a CIA team at the beginning in Nairomi, S.T.A.R. Labs secretary Jenet Klyburn (Jena Malone), the girlfriend of criminal Cesar Santos and a tramp who talks to Clark Kent about Batman being on a hunt.
    • Due to the original plans for the movie having been heavily altered (and in some cases outright dropped) after the responses to Batman v Superman, Justice League, which had a Troubled Production as a result, has multiple instances of this:
      • The movie originally featured appearances from Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko (to tease Aquaman) and Kiersey Clemons as Iris West (to tease The Flash), including a scene where Barry would've used his powers to save Iris from a car accident. Both of these parts were cut, even though part of the car accident scene was used in the trailer.
      • Robin Wright was originally set to reprise her role as General Antiope from Wonder Woman in a Flashback, but this too was cut.
      • Other deleted flashback scenes would've served an origin story for Cyborg, with Karen Bryson playing his mother, Elinore Stone. Said deleted flashbacks also included a scene with Cyborg helping a Struggling Single Mother played by C. Amanda Maud.
      • Other deleted scenes featured Ryan Choi, one of the scientists at S.T.A.R. Labs.
      • Audiobook reader and Bit Character actor Ray Porter was cast as Darkseid, who was supposed to lead the invasion to Earth in ancient times before his role was written out and replaced by Steppenwolf in said ancient times.
      • Martian Manhunter (revealed to be Calvin Swanwick and played by Harry Lennix) was also cut, his scenes couldn't be filmed.
    • Zack Snyder's Justice League is an inversion — all of the aforementioned missing characters are featured in this version. However, it also has a straight example, as Snyder cast Wayne T. Carr as the John Stewart version of Green Lantern in a cameo, only for the studio to request that the scene be cut.
  • Michael Jai White originally had a cameo in Kill Bill as a martial artist with a score to settle with Bill. A rather awesome fight scene was sadly cut.
  • Killing Them Softly originally had cameos by Garrett Dillahunt and Bella Heathcoate that apparently wound up on the cutting room floor; the two had to settle for a "Thanks To..." mention in the end credits.
  • Liza Minnelli filmed a scene in The King of Comedy where she played herself on Jerry Langford's talk show and sang "New York, New York" but it didn't make the final cut. Minnelli only appears in the finished film as a life-size cardboard cutout, a guest on Rupert Pupkin's basement talk show.
  • A Knight's Tale: Olivia Williams filmed a scene as Geoffrey Chaucer's wife Phillipa which didn't make it into the final cut of the movie.
  • L.A. Story: Both John Lithgow and Scott Bakula filmed scenes that were later cut during the editing process. Lithgow's character Harry Zell is mentioned by other characters in a couple of scenes.
  • Tori Spelling had a cameo as herself in Last Action Hero, but it was eventually left on the cutting room floor.
  • The Last Airbender cut an extra twenty minutes with the Kyoshi Warriors. This makes a bit of sense, since introducing Suki might have been weird given that Sokka has Yue as a Love Interest in this film. Unfortunately, most of the film's other artistic choices were bad enough that we'll never see her or the others introduced in a sequel.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: A character named Eva Draper (Winter Ave Zoli), the daughter of German scientist Karl Draper, was removed during editing but remained in some of the promotional material. Eva had appeared in two scenes: one ended up on the cutting room floor, and she was digitally replaced with a different character in the other. A brief fight scene featuring Tom Sawyer and the replacement character was rotoscoped into the film. The deleted scenes which feature Draper appear on the DVD.
  • Liar Liar had a deleted scene with Fletcher defending his client, Skull (played by Randall "Tex" Cobb), and his actor is listed in the opening credits. In the finished film, all we get of this character is a brief scene with him thanking Fletcher and a name mention when he calls Fletcher in need of legal advice.
  • Supermodel Claudia Schiffer was originally cast in Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels as Eddie's girlfriend. She completed filming but was later edited out after negative test screenings.
  • Dewey Martin was originally cast in The Longest Day as Lt. Wilder, whose role was deleted from the final cut.
  • From The Lords of Salem:
    • Udo Kier had a role as a horror movie character in a Show Within a Show that was cut from the final cut.
    • Originally, Richard Lynch played Jonathan Hawthorne and Andrew Prine played a character called Judges Samuel Mather. Due to Lynch's worsening health condition, Rob Zombie reshot Hawthorne's most important scenes and filmed new shoots for the burning scene with Prine as the reverend and omitted the judge.
  • Kelly Jo Minter as Maria was cut from The Lost Boys. The only true appearance she makes is over Lucy's shoulder in the video store, yet she still received billing in the film's opening credits.
  • British comedian Omid Djalili got prominent billing in The Love Guru, despite his one scene as Guru Satchabigknoba being removed from the theatrical cut, but it was included as a deleted scene on the Blu-ray release.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker's role as feminist crusader Gloria Steinem was cut out of Lovelace.
  • Machete had two examples, one very straight and one rather more unusual. Both appear in deleted scenes on the DVD release.
    • Rose McGowan would have played a sexily deranged female sidekick to the hitman Osiris, called Boots McCoy. Originally, she and not Von Jackson would have shot Luz in the eye.
    • Sartana would have had a slutty, drug-addicted twin sister, who would also have been played by Jessica Alba using split-screen. She would have been killed by Boots.
  • In Magnolia, Orlando Jones' role, as "The Worm"—the father of the rapping boy and also the murderer of the man in the closet—was left on the cutting room floor. This makes Dead Guy In Closet's Murder an Unreveal and makes the boy's presence in the film more or less random. In the final cut Jones appears only as the mysterious hooded pedestrian that Officer Jim chases before losing his gun.
  • Averted in The Man Who Would Be King. John Huston considered cutting out the Rudyard Kipling character (played by Christopher Plummer) and probably would have, had star Sean Connery not decided to Wag the Director.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Michael K. Williams was supposed to have a significant cameo in The Incredible Hulk (2008), which Edward Norton wrote for him because he's a huge fan of The Wire. It got severely cut down in the editing room, so in the finished movie, Williams basically shows up (completely out of nowhere) for a few seconds during the final battle.
    • Tom Hiddleston was meant to return as Loki for Thor's nightmare sequence in Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, test audiences found the nightmare sequence confusing (apparently some thought that Loki was controlling Ultron, and the fact that the scepter he used in The Avengers to induce mind control is a MacGuffin in Age of Ultron probably didn't help), so it was drastically shortened, removing Loki's appearance in the process.
    • Lulu Wilson filmed a few scenes as Doctor Strange’s sister Donna for his solo movie but they didn't make it into the final product.
    • Nathan Fillion was originally going to make an unorthodox cameo appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Simon Williams, but with the twist that he'd only appear on a series of in-universe movie posters at a film festival. The scene with the film festival was cut from the finished movie, removing the easter egg in the process. Jennifer Sharp also filmed a flashback scene as Mantis' mother, which ended up being deleted.
    • Katherine Langford was to make an appearance in Avengers: Endgame as an adult Morgan Stark, whom Iron Man meets after snapping Thanos and his forces out of existence in a Call-Back to a similar scene in Infinity War where Thanos met young Gamora after decimating the universe. Her role, along with the scene she was featured in, was ultimately dropped from the film due to said scene confusing test audiences.
    • Lexi Rabe had stated on Instagram that she was supposed to reprise her role as Morgan Stark in Spider-Man: No Way Home, yet it was cut.
  • Jennifer Ehle was cast as George Clooney's love interest in Michael Clayton, but all of her scenes were cut (save for a brief, out-of-focus appearance in the background of one shot). Clooney personally apologized to her for the exclusion.
  • Edward Herrmann originally appeared in Miss Congeniality as Gracie's father, but his part was cut.
  • George Harrison originally had a larger role in Monty Python's Life of Brian, but it got cut to him just being introduced as the manager of the Mount and saying "Hello." Pilate's wife, only mentioned in the final cut, was to have been played by Burt Case, a very tall actor who had another bit part that remained in the film.
    • Also, a scene setting up Otto and the Judean People's Front was deleted, so their Big Damn Heroes (Subverted) moment at the end comes out of nowhere.
  • Julianne Moore, Tony Shalhoub and Anton Yelchin star in deleted sketches from Movie 43.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005):
    • Estella Warren planned to make a big comeback with a supporting role, but her part - she and Adam Brody play a husband and wife who get wrapped up in the film's plot - was deleted from the final print (although Brody remains in the movie).
    • Keith David & Angela Bassett were cast as the bosses of the title characters, but only their voices remained in the final movie.
    • Terence Stamp and Jacqueline Bisset also appeared in a subplot as terrorists that got cut.
  • The Muppets originally had cameos by Steve Carell, Billy Crystal, Wanda Sykes and Danny Trejo. Sykes and Trejo's scenes appeared on one of the trailers. (Trejo does appear in Muppets Most Wanted.)
  • Famous bodybuilding siblings David and Peter Paul had a scene in Natural Born Killers where they were interviewed by the Robert Downey Jr. character because despite having their legs hacked off by the main characters, they can't help but be impressed by their charisma. Director Oliver Stone, despite praising their scene as the best-written one in the movie (whose screenplay was written by Quentin Tarantino), couldn't fit it into the final cut.
    • Ashley Judd also had a part that was cut, where she had a 9-minute scene as a courtroom witness. Denis Leary appeared in a cameo as a conspiracy theory-obsessed prisoner that was cut.
  • Sam Waterston played CIA director Richard Helms in Oliver Stone's Nixon, but after public outcry from Helms' children over how his character was portrayed, his scene was cut from the film. It was later reinstated for the home video Director's Cut.
  • Louise Fletcher appeared in Once Upon a Time in America as the director of the cemetery Noodles visits in 1968. She appears only in the restored version.
  • Lionel Stander's entire scene as the bartender in Once Upon a Time in the West was cut from international prints, but he remained on the credits.
  • Hugh Herbert filmed scenes playing Mercury in One Touch of Venus, but they were deleted.
  • Curly Howard of The Three Stooges fame was cast as a Confederate soldier in the 1934 Civil War drama Operator 13. Most of his scenes were cut, however, and he can only be seen briefly in a crowd. The Stooges as a group would later parody the movie in their short film Uncivil Warriors.
  • Outlaw King originally included a scene where William Wallace met Robert the Bruce while on a hunting trip. Wallace called Bruce a coward and a traitor, but Bruce helped him escape from an English search party regardless. In the final film, Wallace is still referenced as keeping the fight offscreen and his severed head and arm appear in a couple of scenes set after his execution.
  • Leni Zieglmeier was cast as Wendy Darling in Pan, but her scenes were cut from the final film.
  • Jared Leto had a cameo as an actor in Phone Booth that was cut as it didn't fit the film's tone. However, the cable version adds this scene back in to pad the film's run time.
  • Elizabeth Berkely had a small scene in Point Break (1991) that was cut.
  • Julie Brown was going to appear in Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment as Mahoney's second love interest, a seamstress named Chole Daniels, only to find out later that all her scenes, bar two nearly cameo apearances, were cut from the final print.
  • The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes was originally envisioned as a three-hour movie composed of four semiconnected stories. However, the studio pressured Billy Wilder into removing the first and third segments, completely cutting Inspector Lestrade (played by George Benson) and other characters played by the likes of Noel Johnson, Nicole Shelby, and David Kossoff from the movie.
  • This trope explains why the end credits for Problem Child include several characters who don't appear in the film.
  • From Prom Night (1980):
    • After the family visits Robin's grave, Mr Hammond takes his wife to visit Dr Fairchild. The men would talk briefly in the hallway, where it would be revealed that Robin and Alex were twins.
    • Mr Sykes would be shown witnessing Wendy's murder. In the theatrical cut, he can still be seen during her chase.
    • The girls would be passing notes in class, which was Jude telling them about Slick. Kim would be caught with the note and forced to read it aloud to the class. This is why Mr Weller calls Kim "the literary Ms Hammond" when she arrives at the gym late.
  • In Pulp Fiction, there was originally a scene with Dick Miller as Monster Joe, the owner of the car place where Winston Wolf leaves Jules and Vince. Quentin Tarantino has since said that this would have made it in if it weren't for pacing reasons.
  • Bruce Campbell had a cameo in The Quick and the Dead that was cut out in the final edit. His name still appears in the final credits.
  • In Rat Race, Owen caught a ride on a moving house only to discover it was not quite empty when he walked in on Kimberly Page in her underwear, causing her to scream. This leads to Diamond Dallas Page showing up and beating up the former referee. The scene was cut from the final film for time purposes.
  • Nina Siemaszko played a detective named McCluskey in Reservoir Dogs. The scene was cut because it revealed too much about Harvey Keitel's character.
  • Played with in the Special Features of Resolution where several gag scenes maintain a fiction that there used to be a third main character at the cabin, but that all of his scenes were cut.
  • Chris Cooper originally had a role in The Ring where he played a Serial Killer who tried to convince Naomi Watts to petition for his early release. Had his scene remained in the movie, she would have delivered the killer tape to his cell at the film's end.
  • Although Harry Carey Jr. was listed in the credits for Rio Bravo on-screen, he does not appear in the picture. Carey had a drinking problem at the time. He called Howard Hawks "Howard" instead of "Mr. Hawks" on one of his first days on the set, infuriating Hawks. His contract, including his pay and his screen credit, was honored, but his part (a townsman) was cut.
  • Anthony LaPagila filmed a single scene as Al Capone for Road to Perdition and it was cut out. However, like Jared Leto in Phone Booth, his scene is thrown into TV showings. Interestingly, Alfred Molina was the producers' first choice to play Capone but couldn't due to schedule conflicts.
  • Megan Park filmed some scenes in Room as Joy's high school friend, but they were all cut.
  • Uma Thurman filmed scenes as Blake Lively's mother for Oliver Stone's Savages, but they were cut from the final film.
  • Dan Castellaneta filmed a scene in Say Anything... when he played Mr. Deegan, a teacher who tries to hit on Diane at the party, but it was cut (though it's included as a Deleted Scene on the DVD).
  • Sofía Vergara reprised her role as Odile in a scene filmed for The Smurfs 2, but was eventually dropped from the theatrical release.
  • But for a single shot in the montage that closes the movie, this is Jeaneane Garofalo's fate in Southland Tales. Brian O'Halloran (Dante Hicks from Clerks) was also rumored to have been cut.
  • Spice World originally had cameos from Jason Isaacs and Gary Glitter that were eventually cut. The latter case is very well justified, as the singer was arrested for possession of child pornography shortly before the film's release.
  • Adrian Lester filmed a cameo as a scientist that Marko visits in Spider-Man 3 that was cut.
  • Michael Dorn (best known for playing Worf in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Ninenote ) was offered a cameo role in Star Trek Into Darkness, but it was eventually cut because the filmmakers didn't want "to mix the old with the new".
  • Star Trek: Nemesis was supposed to have a scene with Wil Wheaton as Wesley at Troi and Riker's wedding, but it was cut, leaving him with only a brief, dialogue-free appearance in the film.
    • Steven Culp was supposed to appear as Commander Martin Madden, Picard's new first officer, in the end, but he got cut out. Culp would later play MACO Major Hayes on Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • The Star Wars saga has several interesting examples of this.
    • Declan Mulholland was cast in A New Hope as Jabba the Hutt, who was conceived to be a portly crime boss who wore a shaggy fur coat and was very receptive to Han Solo's offer to settle his debts. His role was deleted from the final product, due to George Lucas apparently unable to get the vision of the character (which he wanted to be played by an animated creature) where he wanted. The footage was later reworked to replace Mulholland with a CGI Jabba for the Special Edition releases.
    • The actors who played Luke's friends at Tosche Station in the original film (Camie, Fixer, Deak and Windy) had their roles prior to release, with the sole exception of Garrick Hagon (who played Biggs), who saw his role cut down to just appearances on Yavin 4 and the Death Star assault.
    • The character of Shaak Ti (played by Orii Shorshan) appeared in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, but most of her role in the latter was deleted from the final print. She was intended to be killed in the film (first via a sequence on the Droid Control Ship where General Grievous executes her in front of Anakin and Obi-Wan, and then via a scene where she would be killed by Anakin during Order 66). Both of these sequences were cut, though the former is included on the DVD as a deleted scene. Her role in Sith was eventually pared down to a shot of her in hologram.
    • Genevieve O'Reilly was intended to play the character of Mon Mothma in Revenge of the Sith. The scene she appeared in (showcasing the unofficial formation of the Rebel Alliance) was cut from the finished product and she isn't seen in the theatrical film, save one brief establishing shot (though her scenes were included as a Deleted Scene on home media releases). However, she was later cast as the same character in Rogue One and the Star Wars Rebels animated series, which more or less makes those scenes in Sith canonical.
    • The Force Awakens was originally supposed to feature a character named Constable Zuvio, the Kyuzo militia leader of Niima Outpost on Jakku. The character was cut from the movie but an action figure was released anyway. Christina Chong was also announced to be in the cast, but all her scenes were deleted.
    • The much-ballyhooed cameos by Princes Harry and William ended up being cut from the theatrical release of The Last Jedi, as did another one from Tom Hardy (which, as a fully suited Stormtrooper, would have been yet another role where his face is covered up).
  • Maggie Stiff filmed a scene in Stop-Loss as the assistant to the senator, meeting Brandon in his office. It's deleted from the film, and she's only heard over the phone.
  • James Van Der Beek was cut out of Todd Solondz's Storytelling. It's not known exactly who he was playing, but rumors say that he played a gay football player whose part included an explicit sex scene.
  • Tom Hedden's family were originally given roles in Straw Dogs (1971), but they were either cut or never filmed. June Brown was cast as Hedden's wife, together with Chloe Franks as their daughter Emma, and a scene was scripted featuring both in their home doing laundry with Susan George. However, although the scene was included, it was never filmed. Michael Mundell was originally cast as Cawsey the rat-catcher but was later switched to the role of Bertie Hedden in a scene featuring the village children. However, this entire scripted role was also never filmed because the scene was canceled due to time and budget constraints.
  • A variant happens in the movie Sucker Punch. While Jon Hamm does make an appearance at the end as the doctor who performs a lobotomy on Baby Doll, a deleted scene also had him appear in the bordello fantasy, as the High Roller. In the scene, it would have been revealed that the High Roller had no intention of raping her, and asks for love between a man and a woman, in exchange for setting her free. Baby Doll consenting leads to her seeing the lobotomy as her freedom in the real world. Apparently the scene was cut because Executive Meddling kept whittling it down, until it began to look like Baby Doll wasn't entirely consenting to the sex. Since that ruined the entire point of the scene, it was cut and the High Roller remained an unseen character.
  • Matt Damon had a cameo in The Sum of All Fears as a waiter, but it was cut from the final film.
  • Eric Christian Olsen filmed a few scenes in Sunshine Cleaning as Randy, one of Norah's booty calls. Most of his scenes are deleted, except for the one where Norah sees a report about an ambulance crash while on the couch with him.
  • Tim Burton decided to drop the Crowd Songs partway through filming Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, feeling they were uncinematic. This resulted in performers Christopher Lee and Anthony Stewart Head being cut from the movie (even though the latter has a single line cameo following "The Contest").
  • At the Turner Classic Movies 2010 Classic Film Festival, screenwriter and actor Buck Henry revealed that he was an extra in Sweet Smell of Success in the scene when Falco gets his hand caught in the door. Unfortunately, said Henry, he ended up on the cutting room floor.
  • Sub Girl originally played an integral part in Tank Girl, but the studio cut her role down to a cameo.
  • Michael Biehn was supposed to reprise his role as Kyle Reese in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but his scene was cut. It was, however, reinstated for the Director's Cut.
    • In the original cut of the movie Miles and Tarissa Dyson had a daughter as well as their son, Danny. The only scene where the daughter appeared was cut, and one of Tarissa's lines referring to her in a later scene was removed as well. Both of these edits were reinstated for the Director's Cut.
  • Speaking of Terminator, Terry Crews was originally going to play one of the Resistance soldiers in Terminator Salvation. However, almost his entire role was cut, so he only shows up in a single scene as a dead body. Due to Crews being a fairly recognizable actor, this unintentionally makes his appearance as a corpse seem like a humorous cameo.
  • Terrence Malick is notorious for this. He manages to bring an All-Star Cast and they don't make it to the final cut or are reduced to a few minutes due to the fact that he shapes his films as he is making them.
  • Joe Bob Briggs had a deleted cameo as a victim in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.
  • Catherine Keener was cast as Detective Slocumb's wife in Thelma & Louise, but her scene was cut. It's included on the Special Edition DVD.
  • Thirteen Women:
    • Marjorie Gateson was cast to play Martha, the woman Hazel was implied to be having an affair with in Thirteen Women. The Hays Office objected to the film depicting a lesbian relationship, so all of Gateson's scenes ended up being deleted.
    • Phyllis Fraser and Betty Furness were cast as the Twelfth Woman and the Thirteenth Woman, respectively, but had their roles removed to shorten the film's runtime. This resulted in the movie having an Artifact Title.
    • John Armess was also edited out of the film just before its release.
    • Peg Entwistle, who jumped to her death a month before the film's release, had her screentime drastically reduced to four minutes.
  • Titanic:
    • The film was first written as a four hour-long movie with three main couples that were a foil to each other in some way: Rose and Jack, who crossed social barriers; the historical film pioneer Daniel Marvin and his wife Mary, who travelled in First Class; and Jack's friend Fabrizio and a Norwegian immigrant named Helga, who travelled in Steerage and chose to stay with her parents instead of going with him during the sinking. Of these, the Marvins never made the transition to film (with only one, nameless cameraman appearing in one scene that was later cut); while Helga was Demoted to Extra in the cutting room, leaving no hint of her romance with Fabrizio in the released film (excluding a brief shot of them dancing at a party).
    • A deleted scene showed the SS Californian radio operator Cyril Evans and third officer Charles Groves reacting to the Titanic operator Jack Phillips telling them to "shut up". The final film makes no reference to the other ship.
    • Titanic's gym instructor Thomas McCawley appeared in two scenes that were cut: one where he showed Rose's family the gym machines, and another where he refused to wear a life vest, claiming that it'll just "impede [his] stroke". His death in the original script was given to Fabrizio.
    • A scene showing the so-called "first victim" of the sinking, Junior Assistant 2nd Engineer Jonathan Shepherd (who asked to be left behind in a flooding boiler room after falling and breaking his leg) was scripted and shot, but ultimately cut.
  • Judy Greer's role as Casey's Mother in Tomorrowland was denoted to a flashback home video and is missing from the present day time period. Word of God is that Casey's Mother (along with members of Casey's extended family) were cut to streamline the story. Casey's mother appears in the present time period in the Junior Novelization. Some of their scenes are among the deleted scenes on the Blu-ray release.
  • Adriana Barraza had a role as the owner of a diner in Thor that was cut for time, though she is still listed in the end credits. The director ended up sending her a letter of apology.
  • Philip Bosco's scenes as the Dean in The Time Machine (2002) were cut from the final print.
  • Jack Black appears in a scene in True Romance as a movie theatre usher that was cut from both the theatrical and director's cuts. Tony Scott later regretted cutting the scene.
  • Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie was originally three hours long, and featured many characters who were either cut out or removed from the script through rewrites. Former rangers Billy, Trini, and Zack were all supposed to appear, but David Yost quit, and Thuy Trang and Walter Jones turned the film down. Also removed was a mermaid, Mandika, an ally of Zordon's who would help the Rangers find the Ghost Galleon ship and later prevent Kimberly from drowning. All of her scenes were shot, but were later cut from the movie, and have never been seen since.
  • Ruth Negga filmed about a week's worth of footage in 12 Years a Slave as a slave kept in a cage surrounded by alligators, only for all the scenes to be cut.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's Non-Actor Vehicle UHF, had at least two characters who were removed via editing in the final product.
  • Clint Eastwood cast his mother Ruth Wood, who toiled through an uncomfortable day (wearing a heavy dress) as an extra in Unforgiven, filming a scene where she boards a train. The scene was eventually cut, with her son apologizing that the film was "too long and something had to go." All was forgiven when he brought her to the Academy Awards and thanked her prominently in his acceptance speech.
  • Before Twilight and Harry Potter, Robert Pattinson was cast as Becky Sharp's son in Vanity Fair in which he reconciles with his mother. Perhaps because this was wildly Out of Character for Becky, it was cut.
  • In W., Michael Shannon had a scene as the preacher who converted Dubya to evangelical Christianity. For some reason or another, it was cut out of the final product.
    • Rob Corddry and Ioan Gruffudd also had their roles cut to almost nothing (Corddry has a one-line role at the end, Gruffudd has one scene in the middle).
  • Ruth Wilson shot scenes as Liam Neeson's partner in A Walk Among the Tombstones, but they were cut after the filmmakers decided to make Neeson's character a loner.
  • Bill Walker appeared in a deleted scene for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? delivering a package to Jane at the Hudson Mansion. It was filmed in the studio recreation of the house but never made it to the final release. He is uncredited.
  • In What's Your Number? Nadine Jacobsen played the tween version of Ally Darling in a flashback involving her and First Love Jake Adams with Jake decides to lose his virginity to Ally, however the scene was left on the cutting room floor due to time-related reasons.
  • Max von Sydow plays the character that gives his silver-pointed cane to Lawrence Talbott in The Wolfman (2010), but his one scene was cut from the theatrical release. It survives in the director's cut of the DVD.
  • In the 1939 film version of The Women, Margaret Dumont was cast as Mrs. Wagstaff, but got edited out entirely.
  • The X-Men Film Series have multiple examples of this:
    • X2: X-Men United was meant to feature brief cameos from Beast and Gambit during the brainwashed Professor X's telepathic attack on the mutants, which would have caused their powers to flare involuntarily, but the sequence was cut. The characters would later appear in X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, respectively.
    • Fan favorite Jubilee (Marvel Comics) appears in very minor blink and you miss it cameos in all three of the original X-Men films, but a slightly longer scene that had her showing off her powers was cut from X2.
    • The actor who played Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) was intended to have a much larger presence in X-Men: The Last Stand (including a fight scene with both Juggernaut and Magneto, who throws Colossus away when he armors up). Almost the entirety of his role is deleted, and he appears in a non-speaking background role for the entirety of the film.
    • Anna Paquin's role as Rogue was cut out of X-Men: Days of Future Past, but her major scene was included on the Blu-Ray release as a deleted scene. A 17-minute longer "Rogue Cut" of the movie was later released on Blu-Ray, which restored her role completely, along with other changes added as well.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse was going to have the debut of Channing Tatum as Gambit. The Artifact of playing cards remains in the opening sequence.
  • Leon Askin played a lawyer in Young Frankenstein (reading the last will) but was cut out.
  • In the theatrical release of Kingdom of Heaven, Sibylla's son does not appear, as the arc involving his character was cut for time. He does appear in the directors' cut.
    • Several minor characters from Balian's village in France were also cut or Demoted to Extra for the theatrical release.
  • Jean Yoon played Knives' mother in a deleted scene in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World which recreates the scene of Scott and Knives' meeting from the comic.
  • Yesterday (2019): Ana de Armas had a role as a rival Love Interest for Jack, but was cut since test audiences thought it made Jack unsympathetic. This was actually a point of contention, since two of de Armas' fans filed a lawsuit against Universal, claiming that they had been duped into renting the film since she was shown in the trailer, only to find out that she wasn't in it.

  • In-universe, this provides the premise (and the title) for The Face on the Cutting-Room Floor by Ernest Borneman (writing as Cameron McCabe). Film boss Isador Bloom orders that all footage of Estella Lamare be removed from his latest movie, turning a love triangle into a straightforward romance. Shortly afterwards, Estella is found dead.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The pilot for Chuck featured Natalie Martinez as the protagonist's other love interest and neighbor Kayla Hart, who was going to be a main character but was instead cut from the pilot (and series) entirely before it aired. Martinez remained in promotional materials for some time after the pilot aired, however, generating a great deal of confusion among viewers following the show's production as to when she would make her first appearance before it was finally acknowledged she was cut from the show.
  • Gordon Tipple originally did an opening voice-over narration as the Master in the Doctor Who Doctor Who telemovie, but this was cut out in favor of Paul McGann doing a narration instead. Tipple's involvement with the film was reduced to a single scene where he had no dialogue, his face was totally obscured by shadows and his version of the Master was promptly killed off, making his discernible presence in the film next to nonexistent.
  • Macy Gray had a role in the pilot of Empire as a maternal figure/love interest to Hakeem. She was removed due to Executive Meddling.
  • Liam Burke shot scenes as "The Mad King" (Aerys II Targaryen) for flashbacks in Game of Thrones, but they were all cut.
    • Sean Bean played Brandon Stark, the elder brother of his regular character Eddard Stark, in one of such flashbacks. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it showed Brandon's death.
    • John Standing played Jon Arryn in the unaired pilot. After the episode was rewritten and partly reshot, all of Arryn's scenes were cut except for one showing his dead body.
  • The Highlander series had a variant of this - Christopher Lambert did appear in the pilot, but when footage shot for the pilot was used in a flashback in a later ep, Lambert was edited out because they couldn't afford to pay for a second appearance.
  • The characters in Modern Family speak directly to the camera as if being filmed in a documentary. The cameraman was going to be Dutch filmmaker Geert Floortje, an exchange student who had been living with Jay's family and would be involved in a love triangle with Mitchell and Claire. This role was dropped, but The Artifact of speaking to the camera remains, as if the family is still participating in a documentary.
  • On The X-Files, Scully was originally supposed to have a boyfriend at the start of the series, named Ethan. He was eventually cut, but the deleted scenes with him can be seen on Youtube. Ethan also tends to crop up in fanfiction.
  • Happens to Dev in Master of None. Dev, a struggling actor who mostly works in commercials, gets a minor role as a doctor in a Summer Blockbuster about The Plague. When he goes to the premiere he finds that all his scenes have been cut.
  • Friends has an In-Universe example. Joey gets a guest spot on Law & Order and invites his grandmother from Italy to watch with the gang. While they're watching, he discovers that they cut him out of the episode and he tries to keep his grandmother from finding out.
    • June Gable was originally cast to play Joey's agent Estelle Leonard for the first season episode "The One With The Butt" where Joey first starts working with her. The character was cut from that episode and Gable would appear as a different character later in the season. In a twist on the trope the writers eventually brought Estelle, and Gable, back for the second season and made her a minor recurring character.
  • Similarly, Penny from The Big Bang Theory decided to give up acting after she made an appearance on NCIS and the scene ended up being cut.
  • Another In-Universe example comes from the Growing Pains episode "Coughing Boy", where Mike lands a minor role on a show called New York Heat, and apparently doing such a good job on it that he considers dropping out of college to persue an acting career. He's not happy when he finds out they cut his lines from the episode, and they mispelled his name on top of that.
  • In Preacher (2016), it was originally intended that the non-supernatural villain of the first season would not be Odin Quincannon, but a Gender Flipped version of him called Vyla Quincannon, played by Elizabeth Perkins. The decision to go with Odin instead was made late enough that a few sequences with Vyla were actually filmed for the pilot episode, and included as deleted scenes on the DVD release.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981): A rare case of an inanimate object getting this treatment is Zaphod's second head, an elaborate animatronic affair that was envisioned delivering at least half of actor Mark Wing-Davey's lines. Unfortunately, the thing proved to be incredibly unreliable and didn't look all that convincing when it did work, and the production team lost patience after a few days of filming and downgraded its role to a mostly inanimate prop, with a line where Zaphod tells it to "go back to sleep" added to cover it.
  • Good Omens (2019): The original novel includes a group of Hell's Angels who decide to tag along with the Four Horse Persons of the Apocalypse as they ride to Tadfield. The Hell's Angels were cast for the show but budget limitations led to them being cut before any of their scenes were shot.

  • The original production of the musical Show Boat cast a well-known actress as Hetty Chilson, though Edna Ferber's character had already been practically Demoted to Extra before being cut out of the show entirely. The actress, Dagmar Oakland, remained in the cast as Dolly, a small part in a filler scene.
  • Early versions of Hadestown had Cerberus, played by Sara Grace, as Hadestown's human security head who sang in response to Hades in "Why We Build the Wall." The role was phased out once the show came to Edmonton and London and could afford a proper chorus.
  • Eurydice originally had two more characters, Eurydice's grandmother and the mother of the lord of the underworld, who were both played by the same actress. Critics felt their roles were confusing and didn't support the text, so future editions cut the roles.

    Video Games 
  • All of the Duke Nukem Forever trailers up till Gearbox took over featured The Prospector. He was dropped by Gearbox as a character.
  • Ray Chase stated that he recorded voice lines for an important character in Fallout 4, but the character was removed at some point. He is still credited in-game despite this.
  • Final Fantasy XV had a very Troubled Production, which saw several characters cut from the finalized story as confirmed by Roberto Ferrari, the secondary character designer. The biggest example among them is Stella Nox Fleuret, the original heroine of the game, who later was replaced by Lunafreya. The game developers have stressed that Stella and Luna are completely different characters on many occasions, though design-wise Luna is a reworked version of Stella.
  • Grand Theft Auto III had three characters that were cut: German musician Novy, homeless terrorist Darkel, and Curtly. The last two still remain credited in the game's manual, but little is known about Darkel, except that some of his missions were reassigned to other characters or given out-of-context as optional Rampages, and absolutely nothing is known about Curtly. Since the actors for these two are both dead, there is no way to receive further information about them unless Rockstar speaks up about them.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty a character named Chinaman was originally meant as one of the Dead Cell, but before release, he was cut for reasons unknown. Vamp ended up having his initial role (as an immortal vampire) merged with Chinaman's (as an expert swimmer and even able to run along water) in part because, compared to another member of Dead Cell, Oldboy (a hundred-year-old soldier who was supposed to be Big Boss' old mentor) who got cut almost as soon as he was conceived of, Chinaman lasted long enough into development to have a boss arena built for him that couldn't be easily removed or repurposed by the time they decided to remove him.
  • The credits for Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 still list Denis Akiyama as the voice of Kan Akahashi, but the character does not actually appear in any role, speaking or otherwise, in the game. Amusingly, he would have been one of only two actors from the first game that the developers would bother to track down for the sequel.
  • Likewise, Lilo & Stitch prequel game Disney's Stitch: Experiment 626 had Zoe Caldwell listed in the credits, but her lines as the Grand Councilwoman were cut from the final release.
  • Gregg Berger appears in the credits for Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, but with no apparent role as any of the characters. He was likely meant to appear in the game as Ripto, given that he was one of the datamined characters and he had reprised his role shortly before in the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, but in the end only Spyro, Hunter and Gnasty Gnorc appeared in the game as guest characters.

    Western Animation 
  • The Joker was meant to cameo in the Justice League episode "This Little Piggy", where after Diana had been turned into a pig, Batman would be walking down the street with her and would pass the Joker preparing to commit a crime with his gang. The Joker, in the middle of preparing a heist and laying out his convoluted plan to deal with Batman, would see Batman holding and consoling a pig and would stare at it in Dull Surprise, then throw his hands in the air and abandon the entire scheme. For various reasons, the scene was dropped.
  • Catherine Cobert was meant to appear in the Young Justice pilot movie as the Justice League's PR liaison, but she ended up being cut for time. Her design was later recycled for the character of Cat Grant, and Catherine finally got to make a proper debut in Season 2.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Luna Eclipsed" originally had a scene where Twilight Sparkle took Princess Luna to see Rarity to help improve her image with a new dress. As a result of the scene being cut, Rarity had an absent episode.
  • In a deleted scene in Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, during the first communication with Admiral Hunter, when the transmission is interrupted due to an "accident", Dr. Emil Lang's panicked voice (voiced by Greg Snegoff who voiced him in Robotech and Robotech II The Sentinels) can be heard in the background desperately trying to re-establish contact with Janice who was aboard the Deukalion. This is not so much a deleted scene since it appears in the film but Dr. Lang's voice is omitted. This version of the scene can be found in the extras included on subsequent releases of The Shadow Chronicles DVD. It was likely removed because Lang's voice in the background was distracting from the dialogue between Vince and General Reinhardt.
  • In Dexter's Laboratory, the Dial M for Monkey segment "Peltra" had Tom Kenny credited as voicing a character named Tailor, but said character was nowhere to be seen, Peltra's only minions being Skinner and Tanner. However, there was a comic adaptation of the episode featured in the fourth issue of Cartoon Network Presents, which did include a third minion named Tailor.
  • According to this article, comedian Kevin Meaney was going to play an unspecified role in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, with dialogue even being recorded for the role. It wound up being scrapped for unexplained reasons.
  • According to Mark Evanier, The Garfield Show episode "Down on the Farm" was originally going to feature a cameo by Orson Pig from U.S. Acres where he'd berate Garfield for complaining about his experiences on the farm and reminding the cat that at least he still had a show. A model of Orson had been constructed and Gregg Berger recorded Orson's line (reprising his role from Garfield and Friends), but the production team was forced to nix Orson's cameo because of international laws prohibiting cartoons from featuring talking pigs.
  • The ''I Am Weasel episode "I Am My Lifetime" features cameos from various Hanna-Barbera characters in different retirement communities. One of the residents, Betty Rubble, was originally going to have a voiced role, with BJ Ward reprising her role. Her dialogue was cut from the final episode so although Betty appears, she doesn't speak.
  • The Fairly OddParents episode "Teacher's Pet" credits Dee Bradley Baker as voicing Remy Buxaplenty even though Remy doesn't physically appear in the episode and is only mentioned.


Video Example(s):


Grand Councilwoman's cut lines

Disney's Stitch: Experiment 626 has Zoe Caldwell credited in the game, but her character role as the Grand Councilwoman doesn't appear in the final product. However, storyboards and audio retrieved by a member of The Cutting Room Floor, a wiki for unused video game content and leftover debugging material, and uploaded to YouTube proves that the game would have had the Grand Councilwoman appearing and speaking in the game's final cutscene.

The first part of the video shows the final cutscene's storyboards synced up with voice lines ripped from the game, including those of Caldwell as the Grand Councilwoman, while the second part shows the cutscene as it appears in the final product, without the Grand Councilwoman appearing at all.

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / DeletedRole

Media sources: