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Refitted for Sequel

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"We always leave ideas that were in the first draft as you go along. You know, either a set piece that was great but too expensive, an idea that was really bright, but it couldn't quite fit the structure... so we have a little stash of stuff we wanted to do that we didn't get to do. So if that's a possibility, A) I would be very happy to do a sequel, but B) a lot of these ideas, set pieces and all that, actually have in them a really good seed for a sequel."

So you've finished writing your new adventure film. It has everything you can imagine, with a very evil villain, a mysterious female-lead and even a biplane chase! The studio loves it and you get it green-lit. But as you move into pre-production, you notice the film needs to get trimmed down. The biplane chase was great, but you know it has to go, as it adds too little to the plot. A shame, it even got storyboarded and most of the models were already built. But with it left out, the pacing is improved and the change was for the better. The film eventually gets released to rave reviews and great box-office numbers. So the studio calls you up for a sequel! You start working on script and realize something:

Hey...Why, I could work the biplane chase into this one!

The sequence remains virtually identical to its first outing, except that this time a different girl is behind our hero. Just because you didn't use it the first time, doesn't mean it never can be used, instead it can be refitted for the sequel.


The reasons for dropping a sequence is usually:

  • Pacing: Some sequences just end up being too long in the end, or there is one chase too many.
  • Budgetary or time-constraints: Everything in a film costs money, A LOT of money. Sometimes some things will just be too expensive and needs to be cut. In other cases, to avoid a delay you need to take something out.
  • Technological: Sometimes, the technology needed to produce the sequence (or at least on budget) is not there yet.

Another variation is when doing an adaptation of a work, a scene from an earlier installments makes into a later one. Sometimes it isn’t a sequence that's re-used, but can be things like sets or props made for an earlier installment.

Most of these tend to be removed early, anywhere from the script writing to having gotten some sets built.


This is mostly a film, TV or video-game based trope, as readers have a lot more tolerance for length and writing an extra sequence doesn’t cost anything other than time.

For video-games, it can be related to Dummied Out. With the advent of DLC, this allows makers to finish parts that were not in the main game. The difference of how this is received varies greatly as sometimes you are paying more for what originally was going to be included in the original game, while other times it can be expanded into a much larger role (see Fallout: New Vegas example below).

Compare Saved for the Sequel, where an element makes it to the main work in an abbreviated form and gets its full development in the Sequel, and Development Gag, where the excised element is still referenced in the final work in some way.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Gundam:
  • In Pokémon, the footage from the cancelled "Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma" two-parter in Best Wishes - where the Relic Castle's mechanism is activated, revealing the Meteonite - was reused for the scene in Best Wishes Season 2 when the Abyssal Ruins are activated to uncover the Reveal Glass.
  • In the planned Mythos arc adaptation for the 1979-80 Cyborg 009 anime, Helena would have been replaced with a more mythologically-accurate Expy named Artemis. The show was cancelled before the Mythos arc could be adapted, but Artemis later made a proper debut in the 2001 anime.
  • In FLCL, there was apparently an unused idea to reveal that the town of Mabase was actually on Mars. FLCL Alternative, originally designed as a Stealth Prequel, ties that idea into its final episodes, which feature Haruko winding up on Mars with some human colonists. Whether or not it's still a prequel or an Alternate Universe depends on interpretation.
  • Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence is an expanded version of the Robot Rondo chapter from the original manga that the first movie left out.
  • Dragon Ball has an unusual instance of this with Gogeta, the fusion of Goku and Vegeta. Akira Toriyama originally planned on introducing the character during the Buu Saga, but then he discovered that Toei was already making a movie whose main selling point was the grand debut of Gogeta. Not wanting to step on any toes, Toriyama came up with an entirely different method of fusion that produced an entirely different fused character, Vegitto. A couple of decades later, Toriyama penned the movie Dragon Ball Super: Broly and decided to have Goku and Vegeta fuse in order to fight the titular enemy; so while Gogeta was an "official" part of Dragon Ball lore, he didn't become canon until 24 years after his debut.

  • Season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer set up a Big Bad called the Anointed One, a Dark Messiah for vampires with the body of a young boy. He wasn't popular and got unceremoniously killed off before he could do anything. The idea got recycled a bit for Harth, the main villain of the comic book Sequel Series Fray.


    Film — Animated 
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer lost the song "We're a Couple of Misfits" in reruns, from 1965-1997, to accommodate for additional commercials and/or a re-shot ending. Before its restoration to Rudolph, it reappeared in the 1979 Crossover Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, as a duet between Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman.
  • Toy Story 2:
    • The dream sequence and the idea of opening on a Show Within a Show version of Buzz Lightyear were scenes that had originally been planned from the first film.
    • Bo Peep was supposed to be part of the party sent to rescue Woody, but was kept behind as the as she's made of porcelain and fragile. In Toy Story 4 she's a deuteragonist who's right in the center of the action and adventure.
  • The Lion King:
    • There is one scene deleted from the final cut where Timon refused to go help Simba and Pumbaa tries to encourage him. A storyboard version of it can be found on Youtube. The Lion King 1½ features a similar scene that relates to Timon's overall "dream home" subplot.
    • More famously, 1 1/2 takes a "lost" verse from "Hakuna Matata," and shows Timon's backstory.
    • Concept art for "Warthog Rhapsody", which was replaced by "Hakuna Matata", uses a waterfall scene that looks like one used in 1 1/2. The tune for the song was reused for "That’s All I Need".
    • The song "He Lives in You" from The Lion King II: Simba's Pride was originally written for the first film, though it did show up first in the Broadway musical.
    • The Lion King was originally going to explain how Timon was kicked out of his colony during an earlier version of "Hakuna Matata", but it was cut for time. Timon's backstory was explored in far greater depth in the prequel/midquel, The Lion King 1½.
  • The lava whales from Atlantis: Milo's Return.
  • Lilo & Stitch originally made references to the Hawaiian legend of Hi'iaka and Lo'hiau. This idea was brought back for Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch.
  • Finn McMissile was originally going to appear in the first Cars film as a character in a movie Lightning McQueen and Sally Carrera were watching in at a drive-in movie theater, but that scene was cut. He did appear in person in the first sequel, however.
  • Aladdin: The original movie only features one version of "Arabian Nights". The others which lyricist Howard Ashman had written ended up on both sequels (with Aladdin: The Return of Jafar one also being Aladdin: The Series theme).
  • In a case of What Could Have Been, Disney was planning on making a sequel featurette for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that would have incorporated two scenes that made it to the pencil-test stage before being dropped from the film.
  • Fun and Fancy Free opens with Jiminy Cricket singing "I'm a Happy-Go-Lucky Fellow", which was originally written for him to sing in Pinocchio.
  • A few planned segments for Fantasia made it into some of the other package movies. One segment that was in fact fully animated and complete but omitted from the film (an egret dance scene to "Clair De Lune") was recycled for Make Mine Music!, but edited to the piece "Blue Bayou".
  • Hotel Transylvania:
    • In the first movie, Jonathan was originally going to be a descendant of Dracula's enemy, Abraham Van Helsing, which would have given Drac even more reason to distrust him. This idea was reworked for the third movie, in which by Drac falls in love with Van Helsing's great-granddaughter.
    • The scene in the second movie where Drac discovers Mavis is pregnant was originally planned for the first movie as a flashback with Drac and his wife Martha.
  • In Finding Dory, the title character, Dory, has multiple flashbacks over the course of movie telling her backstory, which was originally intended for the first movie, as Marlin's backstory would've originally been told over the course of the movie in flashbacks.
  • An adaptational case occurs in Bambi II, which refits a scene from the novel not used in the first film where Bambi is almost caught by a hunter utilising a deer call. Since this was a midquel it actually regresses the timeline instead, Bambi is still a fawn and recognises the call as his mother's voice, while in the novel he was an adult who recognised it as Faline's.
  • An interesting variant for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Peter B. Parker's story arc in this film reuses ideas from the unmade Spider-Man 4, specifically him divorcing Mary Jane. The original script for that movie had it come as a result of him cheating on her and ended with him abandoning her and their child; Sam Raimi felt that this made Peter come across as an unlikable jerk, contributing to the problems that ultimately got that film scrapped. Spider-Verse has the reason for the divorce be Peter simply undergoing a mid-life crisis that went From Bad to Worse after Aunt May died, causing him to act in an impulsive and self-destructive manner that ruined his marriage. It also ends on a much happier note, with him regaining his resolve and trying to patch things up with MJ.
  • Frozen:
    • An early cut scene from Frozen, back when Elsa was still a villain who froze Arendelle on purpose, is Anna saying "That's no blizzard—that's my sister!". The line "That's my sister!" was reused in Frozen II.
    • Part of the melody from the Cut Song "Life's Too Short" was reused in the short Frozen Fever.
    • In Frozen II, it's shown that, Elsa didn't like romance as a child. This is similar to a concept in the Cut Song "We Know Better", in which she shows only disdain at the idea of princes.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom included several sequences originally planned for Raiders of the Lost Ark:
    • Much of the original sword fight that would have been between Indy and the swordsman he shot instead made it into the sword fight at the end of Temple of Doom (where Indy tries the same thing, but his gun is missing).
    • The minecart chase was originally planned for Raiders (and even storyboarded) but had to be cut for pacing reasons.
    • Indy was originally to find the headpiece to the Staff of Ra in Shanghai, but the scene was cut before shooting. Elements of it (like Indy covering from gunfire behind a rolling gong) are in the opening of Temple.
    • The villain buying the pilots in Indy's plane, who parachute and leave him to crash, but he saves himself by using an inflatable raft to soften the impact. This was going to happen before Indy arrived in Egypt in Raiders.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • The opening to The Lost World: Jurassic Park is adapted from the opening of the first Jurassic Park book.
    • Also the baby Tyrannosaurus killing a villain, the Compsognathus swarm killing another, the group hiding behind a waterfall and the adult rex being incapable of reaching them except with its tongue, and the raptors sneaking into a ship bound for the continent (though scenes with raptors aboard or on the mainland were cut, leaving the crew's deaths in the film unexplained). A baby Triceratops that was built for a scene in the first film that was not shot in the end gets to appear in this sequel.
    • Some scenes in Jurassic Park III are from the books that inspired the previous two movies: The river chase and aviary from the first and the cloning lab from The Lost World (1995).
    • The book's aviary inspired a scripted pteranodon flock attack in the abandoned worker compound of TLW. CGI models and at least one animatronic were made, but the scene was too much of a challenge and was abandoned, the CGI models having just a cameo in the end. JP3's aviary is thus refitted from both the first film and its sequel. TLW was also originally intended to end with a shot of the pteranodons leaving the island; this was the ending shot of JP3.
    • Jurassic World refits the pteranodon attack once again, but closer to how it went in the TLW script (pteranodons attacking a large mass of people in the ground and a helicopter in the air at the same time, throwing a member of the crew out and impaling another through the front window, before making it crash). It also rescues a scene from the original book where Wu reminds Hammond that the park's dinosaurs cannot be considered real dinosaurs because of how much foreign DNA was inserted in them to complete the sequence, but this time it is an older Wu saying it to Hammond's replacement, Masrani.
  • A rare case of a scene being shot for the first and used (not remade) in the sequel: The opening to The Karate Kid Part II was originally intended as the ending of The Karate Kid (1984).
  • Considering the immensity of the Star Wars universe, a lot of ideas get recycled.
    • The original outline of A New Hope had scenes and concepts which were reused in the sequels.
      • A chase through an asteroid field became one of the major action sequences in The Empire Strikes Back.
      • Cloud City in Empire was based on concept art for the Imperial capital city (which was mostly replaced with scenes aboard the Death Star).
      • A ground battle at the Rebel base on Yavin was later adapted to the Battle of Endor (a similar forested planetoid) in Return of the Jedi. And while Jedi turned the Wookiee planet into the Ewok one, Revenge of the Sith actually went to Wookiee homeworld Kashyyyk.
      • In the original script, Tatooine would have been named Utapau. When The Phantom Menace rolled around, Lucas tried to use the name with the planet that ultimately became Naboo. He was finally able to use the name in Revenge of the Sith for the planet where Obi-Wan Kenobi fights General Grevious.
      • The TIE Bombers featured prominently during the asteroid scenes were based on concept drawings for an Imperial boarding craft that was supposed to be shown boarding Princess Leia's ship at the beginning of A New Hope. Rogue One finally featured the TIE Bomber boarding craft.
    • The planet which would become Coruscant was first planned for Jedi, but realizing a planetwide city onscreen was technically impossible at the time, a second Death Star was used instead. A shot of Coruscant was later added to the Special Edition.
    • In early drafts of Jedi the final showdown with the Emperor was supposed to take place on a volcanic lava-covered planet called Had Abbadon. The lava planet idea was revisited as Mustafar in Sith, while the name "Had Abbadon" made it into the Star Wars: Legacy comic as a planet name.
    • Legendary designer Ralph McQuarrie came up with designs for a lava-planet castle that Darth Vader lived in as far back as Empire Strikes Back before it finally appeared in Rogue One.
    • The short, blue reptilian Aleena species were part of a deleted scene in The Phantom Menace. They reappear in Attack of the Clones.
    • Early designs for Queen Amidala's ship in The Phantom Menace included one with a solar sail design, it would be re-used in Attack of the Clones as Dooku's sail ship.
    • The "flying whale" of Kamino in Attack of the Clones was based upon a design dating back to The Empire Strikes Back for Cloud City.
    • In a deleted scene in The Phantom Menace, R2-D2 was supposed to fall off a walkway in Coruscant and levitate back by activating rocket boosters. The rocket boosters make their official appearance in Attack of the Clones/Revenge of the Sith.
    • Harrison Ford wanted Han Solo to be killed off in Return of the Jedi, but was overruled by George Lucas. He got his wish in The Force Awakens.
    • An early idea for The Force Awakens was to going to involve the partially submerged remains of the second Death Star. That plot point would eventually be used in The Rise of Skywalker.
  • Vito's backstory in The Godfather Part II is taken from scenes in the original novel which were left out of the first film.
  • The bathroom set in X2: X-Men United was originally built for a flashback scene Cyclops discovering his powers, that was left before being shot. A scene similar to what they'd intended turns up in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and the first time Cyclops uses his powers in X-Men: Apocalypse is in a bathroom.
  • In The Lord of the Rings trilogy:
    • The entire adventure in the Old Forest with Tom Bombadil got Adapted Out from The Fellowship of the Ring. However, part of it (specifically, the hobbits getting attacked by a hostile tree) got worked into the Extended Edition of The Two Towers, taking place in Fangorn Forest with Treebeard playing Bombadil's role.
    • The prelude to The Return of the King featuring Sméagol was originally intended to be a flashback during the Dead Marshes scene in The Two Towers where Frodo voices Gollum's real name to him, sparking old memories. In the book, the flashback takes place even earlier, in the first book: Gandalf tells it to Frodo still in Hobbiton when telling him about the true nature of the Ring.
    • The scenes where Théoden and co. go to Isengard were originally planned for the end of The Two Towers, but were moved to the beginning of The Return of the King due to Ending Fatigue. The talk with Saruman even ended up cut from the theatrical cut as it was anticlimactic, but the Extended Edition restored it as it was meant for watching the trilogy back to back.
    • This comes up again with The Hobbit (especially in the Extended Editions), which recycles a number of scenes or moments from the Lord of the Rings books that couldn't make it into the movies. This kinda makes sense, considering that the Hobbit book is far too short to fill a trilogy.
  • Inverted in the first two Christopher Reeve Superman movies, where the "spin the Earth backwards-time travel" ending in the first film was actually planned to be used at the end of the second, but Donner added it to the first film to create a more memorable climax. Spinning the Earth backward was used again in the Richard Donner cut of Superman II.
    • Zod and co. we're originally meant to come to Earth in the first movie but was saved for the sequel because it would make the movie too long.
  • Star Trek
  • In the Harry Potter books, Ron joins the Quidditch team in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Due to it already being the longest book in the series, this storyline was moved in the film adaptations to the next book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The same was done for Luna Lovegood showing her support by wearing a Gryffindor lion hat.
  • Back to the Future:
    • In Part II, as Marty McFly tries to sneak by the car with his other self and Lorraine in the first film, he hears Lorraine say "When I have kids, I'm going to let them do anything they want. Anything at all!", to which his other self says "I'd like to have that in writing...", which was originally part of that scene before being cut for pacing.
    • In the first film, the producers considered using "Papa Loves Mambo" by Perry Como when Marty arrives in the 1955 Hill Valley, before deciding on "Mister Sandman" by The Four Aces, thereby making it the "Mister Sandman" Sequence. In Part II, the song is used as Biff drives to the Enchantment Under The Sea dance.
    • It's widely known that the time machine was originally conceived as a chamber (specifically a refrigerator), and in order to travel back to 1985, Doc and Marty would've sneaked into a nuclear testing site in the desert to get the necessary 1.21 gigawatts of electricity. In Back to the Future Part III, the 1955 Doc sends Marty to 1885 at a drive-in theater in the desert.
  • The plot of the second Dirty Harry film Magnum Force about the main villain killing criminals who escaped justice was taken from Terrence Malick's draft for the first film.
  • Several scenes from the Child's Play series:
    • The death of the teacher and the factory finale in 2 were both intended to be featured in the original.
    • The opening scene in Child's Play 3 was originally how Child's Play 2 would have ended (And, in fact, a different version of it is used in some TV versions). It was also how Child's Play was going to end back when the factory was the intended finale
    • The evidence locker scene in Bride of Chucky was going to be the opening of Child's Play 2.
    • The electrocution of Tiffany in Bride of Chucky was how the babysitter died in an earlier draft of the first film's script.
    • The ending of Curse of Chucky with the court case and Chucky being among the evidence and Fioana being declared legally insane was intended for the beginning of Child's Play 2 with Karen Barclay's character
    • Initially, there was supposed to be a shot in Curse of Chucky that revealed that Andy owned a gun store, illustrating just how ready he was for Chucky's return.
  • The scene in Ghostbusters II where a woman gets attacked by her fur coat coming to life after she walks through a slime puddle was originally written for the first film. Also, the part where Ray knocks out the whole city's power is a refit from the original screenplay: Egon's prototype Proton Pack, which needed to be plugged into a heavy-duty outlet (for safety reasons, he hadn't fitted the particle accelerator yet). Plug in, switch on, and...the power went back through and melted the cable, reached the outlet, and knocked out all of New York's power.
  • Once Upon a Time in Mexico contains several scenes that were leftover from El Mariachi and Desperado. The hotel escape was originally intended for the latter, and the escape from the compound (while guarded in a jail cell) was included in the original script for the former.
  • The latter portion of the scene featuring Harris and Proctor at the Blue Oyster Bar in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol was originally written for Art Metrano and Lance Kinsey in Police Academy 3: Back in Training. However, the scene was removed from the final draft for the third film, and used in the fourth film instead, with Mauser's role being reassigned to Harris.
  • Plot elements in Robocop 3 like OCP forcing people to move from their homes with Rehab-forces and the donut shop scene with all the cops pulling their guns out came from Frank Miller's original script for RoboCop 2.
  • In The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, the concept of Jonathan as an owner of a casino being attacked by the bad guys was originally planned for The Mummy Returns, but was cut due to budget constraints and brought back for this film.
  • The backstory about Gracie's mother being a cop who died on duty in Miss Congeniality 2 was meant for the first film.
  • Krang, as well as Bebop and Rocksteady were all considered for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) to the point of making it to the concept art phase, but didn't get in. They did appear in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
    • Doctor Octopus was going to be a villain in the first film alongside The Green Goblin, but Sam Raimi decided that one villain was enough, and saved him for Spider-Man 2.
    • Footage of Harry Osborn cradling his father's body after the final fight scene of the original film was shot, but left unused until it was repurposed for a flashback Harry has in Spider-Man 3.
  • Batman:
  • Early drafts of Sex and the City: The Movie featured a subplot about Charlotte's fear that her husband was having an affair with their young, braless nanny. The idea was removed in subsequent script revisions, but ended up being used in the sequel, where the nanny in question was played by Alice Eve.
  • The scene in Blade: Trinity where vampires keep humans in giant blood bags to feed on was an idea meant for the first film.
  • The Spy Who Loved Me: The opening where James Bond skis off a cliff and opens a parachute was originally suggested by George Lazenby for On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but was scrapped because the filmmakers lacked the resources to pull it off.
  • Blade Runner had a storyboarded, but unused, opening that involved Deckard shooting a Replicant on a farm, before tearing open his head to reveal its robot parts. This was eventually reworked and used as the opening of the sequel, Blade Runner 2049.
  • James Gunn originally intended to have Adam Warlock join the team in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but had had to remove him from the script due to concerns about there already being too many characters. It's since been confirmed that Warlock will appear in the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
  • Thor: The Dark World was originally going to feature an appearance from Valkyrie, but the idea ended up being scrapped. Valkyrie would later be used as a major character in Thor: Ragnarok. Hela was also planned to be the villain in The Dark World at one point, but was likewise reused for Ragnarok.
  • Director Jon Watts wanted to use Nick Fury as Peter Parker's mentor figure in Spider-Man: Homecoming but Marvel Studios had him use Tony Stark instead due to the existing relationship between the two characters. Fury would later be Parker's mentor throughout the sequel, Spider-Man: Far From Home.
  • This early script for Labyrinth had Sarah letting Jareth into the house because he was disguised as a playwright. This ended up happening in the Return to Labyrinth sequel manga.
  • An early draft of Shock Treatment had Brad turning gay and leaving Janet then Janet giving birth to Frank's son. These were planned to be used in later sequels like Revenge of the Old Queen and Rocky Horror 2000 that never got made.
  • The helicopter attack on Zukovsky's caviar factory in The World Is Not Enough was intended for Goldeneye.
  • According to Word of God, in Godzilla (1998) there were going to be other kaiju, but they got held back to appear in the sequel. Perhaps if they had put them in the movie there would actually have been a sequel.
  • Early drafts of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) featured Casey Jones, Beebop and Rocksteady, but all three characters ended up being written out. They appeared in the sequel.

  • Harry Potter:
    • The opening chapter of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, in which Cornelius Fudge meets with the Muggle Prime Minister, was originally written for the first book. After cutting it from the first book, J. K. Rowling reworked it as an opening for the third and later fifth book, but ultimately it didn't get used until book six.
    • In a bigger case of this, the entire Half-Blood Prince storyline was originally intended for the second book (in fact, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was its working title), but Rowling realized "that I had two major plots here that really did not work too well together side-by-side, so one had to be pulled out." She also decided that it was too early in the series to reveal so much information about Snape.
    • A subversion: Rowling considered opening the second book with a scene where Draco Malfoy and Theodore Nott are hanging out together at Malfoy Manor and discussing recent events from their point of view. She later reworked the scene as an opening for the fourth book, but she decided to cut it that time as well. Ultimately, it was never used in the series at all.
    • Rowling originally planned that when Harry entered the Leaky Cauldron and was accosted by the patrons, one of the people there would be an obnoxious reporter named Bridget. She ended up cutting the reporter and having her show up in the fourth book, now named Rita Skeeter.
  • The Discworld short story "The Sea and Little Fishes," published in the collection Legends, edited by Robert Silverberg, originally had a scene in in where Granny Weatherwax went up to the "gnarly ground" to go and sulk in a cave behind a stone witch, and Nanny Ogg had to go and find her. It got cut because Silverberg thought it was slowing things down, but was later greatly expanded for use in Carpe Jugulum.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Sentinels in The Gifted have the power to transform into rolling spheres that move at high speeds. This was actually a leftover idea from X2: X-Men United, where the Sentinels would have been capable of transforming into giant rolling disks.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: The episodes "The Apple" and "The Savage Curtain" alluded to the possibility that the Enterprise could conduct a saucer separation, but it wasn't depicted due to technical restraints. Star Trek: The Next Generation would finally feature a saucer separation in its pilot episode "Encounter at Farpoint", and two more times in the series, "The Arsenal of Freedom" (also from season 1) and "The Best of Both Worlds: Part II" (season 4's premiere), before being depicted for the last time in Star Trek: Generations.
    • As a part of the failed bid to revive Star Trek as a TV series in the 70s (Phase II), a handful of episodic scripts and a two-part pilot were prepared. While the series never made it to production, the existing work on the pilot was turned into Star Trek: The Motion Picture and two of the completed scripts earmarked for recycling. These eventually became the TNG episodes The Child and Devil's Due.
  • Little Mermaid's Island was a failed 1990 Jim Henson collab show based off of The Little Mermaid. Its two episodes were never commercially available, however elements from the show ended up used elsewhere:
    • The "Tell the Truth" song was later reused in a 1997 Sesame Street episode called "Telling the Truth".
    • Flounder's twin sister Sandy was reused in The Little Mermaid's Treasure Chest books.
  • Concept art of Zemo's iconic purple mask was created for Captain America: Civil War, but ultimately didn't make it into the finished film. The mask would later be used for the Falcon and the Winter Soldier TV Spin-Off.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Sometimes a Game Master plans content for his games which doesn't end up getting used (usually because the game went Off the Rails and the players ended up going a different direction). In those cases, it's not unusual for unused material to end up getting worked into future campaigns to salvage the time and energy that went into them.

    Video Games 
  • Call of Duty:
    • Modern Warfare 2 has a level ("Contingency") with a setpiece that can't be seen during normal gameplay — as you fight off enemy forces, Price goes inside the Russian submarine and activates a nuclear missile. It was originally possible to follow Price inside the sub yourself (instead of being stuck outside on the dock), and could watch as he went through the process of arming and firing the missile in real-time. Come Modern Warfare 3, the first level of the game concludes with a sequence where you follow your AI partner inside a similar Russian submarine to disable it, using the same animations and level layout as the scrapped sub interior from the previous game.
    • Modern Warfare 2 also had a planned (but scrapped early on) sequence where Russian forces would invade the International Space Station (ISS), forcing the onboard staff members to defend the station and prevent it from being hacked. This was stripped down in the final game to an interactive cutscene where an astronaut watches the nuclear device detonate before being hit by a shockwave. Call of Duty: Ghosts reuses the level idea for the first stage, where a pair of scientists defend the ODIN space station from enemy forces before it disintegrates and the player character(s) accept their fate.
  • Danganronpa:
    • More like "Refitted For Another Franchise," but the beta for Danganronpa, originally called DISTRUST, had a trust mechanic that decided the fates of certain characters. This would later be reused for Virtue's Last Reward, the second game in the Zero Escape series, also by Spike Chunsoft.
    • Concept art for Mondo Owada had a design that would later be used for Gundham Tanaka in Super Danganronpa 2.
  • An early version of Map 10 of Doom II can be found in an alpha version of the first game. It was scrapped and carried over to the sequel.
  • Dragon Age II was supposed to receive an Expansion Pack, titled The Exalted March, which would concern the eponymous holy crusade against Kirkwall and Hawke's efforts to repel it. Due to DA2 cold reception, the plans for the expansion were aborted, but Word of God is that most of its storyline was incorporated into Dragon Age: Inquisition, the third core installment, in one way or another.
  • Fallout: Van Buren was canceled, but the majority of the plot and Caesar's Legion was incorporated into New Vegas. And the parts of Van Buren that weren't part of New Vegas proper were used for DLC, namely Honest Hearts.
  • Kirby Star Allies has two examples:
    • The design for the Bonus Boss, Morpho Knight, is based on a piece of concept art for the cancelled Gamecube Kirby game. The artbook in which the design previously appeared labeled it as "Meta Knight" though it's unclear what the design was truly for.
    • The concept of a final boss with heavy connections to the Dark Matter was initially intended for Kirby: Planet Robobot: Concept art reveals that Star Dream, rather than linking with the Access Ark which would reveal itself as a machine similar to Galactic Nova, would have revealed itself to be a robot modeled after Zero Two. Star Allies reworks the idea of a destructive boss linked to Zero and Dark Matter into Void Termina. Concept art (presumably for the Soul fight) even shows Kirby in an area baring a similarity to Void Termina's innards.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Ocarina of Time:
      • The Horse Call in Twilight Princess dates back to this game. It was originally a Reed Whistle but was scrapped in favor of Epona's Song. Another planned mechanic with Epona for the 1998 game was being able to use swordplay while riding her, which was added in Twilight Princess as well.
      • The game was originally planned to have an Ice Temple and a Wind Temple, hence why two of the Medallion icons are modeled after ice and wind respectively (it also explains why the Forest and Water routes in Ganon's Tower are themed around wind and ice, again respectively). They were replaced with the Forest Temple and the Water Temple, which ended upo relegating the Ice Cavern to a Mini-Dungeon . The Wind Waker eventually brought back the Wind Temple, while the posthumous former sage of the Wind Temple, Fado, is named after the character who was going to be the sage of the scrapped Ocarina version before Saria took the role for the repurposed version. Ice-themed dungeons went on to appear in subsequent games, including an Ice Temple by name in Phantom Hourglass.
    • The Hero's Shade teaching you moves in Twilight Princess is similar to an unused concept for Majora's Mask where Link learned skills via cutscene.
    • The Wind Waker:
      • Word of God is that this is the case for the two additional dungeons that didn't make the cut due to time constraints, which is why the HD remake didn't incorporate them.
      • The E3 announcement trailer for the game shows that Link originally had a sneaking ability for stealth portions of the game. It was replaced with hiding inside barrels. Years later, Breath of the Wild implemented a stealth ability.
    • Dummied Out code for Twilight Princess indicates that there was supposed to be a regular Shield Surf mechanic rather than the more limited snowboarding on Snowpeak in the final version. Shield surfing ended up being featured in Breath of the Wild, and you could do it anywhere from the moment you found your first shield.
    • Breath of the Wild had more DLC conceptualized than what was officially released in the Expansion Pass. However, as the number of DLC ideas and the size of the content were substantial, the development team decided these ideas would serve better as building blocks of a direct sequel.
  • Mass Effect:
    • According to pre-release interviews, Bioware took a series of side missions which were scrapped from Mass Effect 2 (which apparently took place on the Citadel) and repurposed them for use in Mass Effect 3.
    • 2 also has an unused concept for an NPC companion called "Sparky the Dog", which would have resided on the Normandy and been referred to as a loyal friend for Shepard. This was later reused for the "KEI-9" robot dog companion, which was included as part of the Collector's Edition.
  • Artbooks for the Monster Hunter series showed early ideas for Hunters to be able to use various bugs to assist and fight monsters. This was finally implemented in the fourth generation as the Insect Glaive.
  • Persona 4:
    • The original concept for Rise Kujikawa was a blonde, chain-wielding ice queen delinquent who was a fully-controllable party member. By the time of the final game, Rise's blonde hair was lost when she was redesigned to look more like her voice actress (some aspects of the original design went to Social Link NPC Ai Ebihara), the delinquency aspect was dropped to avoid redundancy with fellow party member Kanji Tatsumi, and she was moved to a Mission Control role providing support for the party. In the next game, party member Ann Takamaki uses a number of these rejected concepts: delinquency, blonde hair, and a frontline Action Girl who fights with whips.
    • Originally, the Killer was going to have been either Yosuke or Yukiko, but their intended motives were considered too generic. The concept of a party member being one of the antagonists was later used for Persona 5.
    • Concept art had the Killer, Adachi, wearing a yellow raincoat. Persona 4: Arena Ultimax has him wear one during his intro.
  • Pokémon:
  • The side-mission "The Smell of the Grease Paint" from Red Dead Redemption II is a tweaked version of one cut from the first game that was found by modders in the files of the PC version. Arthur has to help a woman in a traveling show with her giant and dwarf castmates. The original version in I was to find lonely a lonely giant and lonely dwarf and try to get them to be friends.
  • Saints Row: The Third:
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Shigeru Miyamoto once stated he had wanted to have Mario ride a dinosaur as early as Super Mario Bros.. However, the NES limitations prevented it from happening (they got closer to the concept in Super Mario Bros. 3 with Goomba's Shoe, which is functionally similar to Yoshi). It was deemed impossible until the fourth main game, Super Mario World for the SNES.
    • Miyamoto also wanted the end-of-level flags in the first game to only go up as far as Mario grabbed the flagpole, which would finally happen 26 years later in Super Mario 3D Land.
    • Originally, Super Mario Galaxy was going to feature more levels, characters, enemies, and power ups (such as the Cloud Flower and the Rock Mushroom, as well as the inclusion of Yoshi), but all of them were dropped from the final version of the game. However, this also led to the creation of the game's sequel, Super Mario Galaxy 2, which became of these abandoned concepts (to the point that the disc name for it is "SUPER_MARIO_GALAXY_MORE"), as well as an Early-Bird Cameo of Yoshi in the first game as two different planets encountered there.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic & Knuckles consists almost entirely of material that was originally intended for Sonic the Hedgehog 3 but was cut due to time and hardware constraints. The two games can, however, be locked on together, which creates Sonic 3 & Knuckles which is the official full game, and the longest in the original Sonic trilogy.
    • The background music for the "Get Blue Spheres" special stage in Sonic 3 & Knuckles was originally written for the canceled arcade Puzzle Game SegaSonic Bros.
    • Time-traveling was a concept first conceived for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 but wasn't added into a game until Sonic CD. The unused Rock World Zone was the 'past version' of the more well-known, also unused, Sand Shower Zone. Dust Hill (for a very long time considered the desert zone seen in early screenshots), a crumbling, worn-down variation of Green Hill set in a "bad present" where Dr. Robotnik has succeeded in taking over the world, may have been revives as Sonic Forces' decidedly arid take on the zone.
    • Vector was originally supposed to be part of a rock band with Sonic in the first game. The concept was scrapped when they couldn't implement the characters in the game, as a sound test mode intended to show them had to be cut out due to memory limitations. He was reintroduced in Knuckles Chaotix.
    • Sonic Adventure: The music used for the "Pleasure Castle" section of Twinkle Park was first meant to be used in Sonic 3D Blast. The original intent for said game was for the Special Stage music to change depending on whether you accessed it through Tails or Knuckles; unfortunately, Knuckles's Special Stage theme was cut due to cartridge space limitations, and Tails's theme was used for both varieties.
  • Uru: Ages Beyond Myst is an interesting example. The game was intended to be significantly more ambitious than the finished product ended up being, with regular online content updates continuing the story and extra Ages to explore. When the online component was cancelled, some of said content was reused into a pair of expansion packs. When the online was Uncancelled, several plot threads were picked up for a bit before the online was dropped again and the plot was Left Hanging. Everything was eventually finished in Myst V: End of Ages, and one scrapped Age was recycled for the later Spiritual Successor, Obduction.
  • Wasteland 2 was intended to feature a Cargo Cult faction known as the Gippers, who worship Ronald Reagan and paint communists as literal demons. They were cut early in development, with only some character portraits remaining in the game, but were retooled for the later Wasteland 3.
  • The levels Witchyworld, Glitter Gulch Mine and the lava side of Hailfire Peaks in Banjo Tooie were originally intended for Banjo-Kazooie. And in a case of Refitted For Spiritual Successor, the scrapped level Fungus Forest made its way into Donkey Kong 64 as Fungi Forest.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kingdom Hearts I was originally going to have Disney Castle and Pride Lands as playable worlds. Playable Disney Castle did appear in a beta trailer, but the programmers couldn't figure out the mechanics of playing as non-anthropomorphic animals in Pride Lands. They were later used in Kingdom Hearts II.
    • The Final World in Kingdom Hearts III was originally planned for the first game.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy II had a dungeon theme composed for it that, for whatever reason, ultimately went unused. It was later fleshed out, rearranged, and worked into Final Fantasy VI as "The Magic House".
    • When the whole dev team was working together to come up with Jobs for Final Fantasy V, Tetsuya Nomura came up with two - a new variant of the Ninja that had a Canine Companion, and a Gambler who used slot-machine-based magic and dice-roll-based damage. Neither made it into V due to time constraints, but Nomura was given creative control over two party members in Final Fantasy VI who have these Jobs - Shadow, and Setzer.
    • The Final Fantasy VIII Final Boss track "The Extreme" was originally written for Final Fantasy VII (probably an alternate version of the Jenova battle theme) - you can hear the five-note Leitmotif of that game incorporated into the arrangement.
  • Joker's Gunshot fatality from Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe had to be toned down in order for the game to get a T rating. The original uncensored fatality was later given to Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat 9.
  • At the end of The Secret of Monkey Island, Guybrush was originally supposed to follow LeChuck into an alley and down into an underground passage. The underground passage was brought back in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, and if Guybrush takes the elevator up he can go to the alley from the first game, only with a barrier blocking the way to the street. A remnant of this in the first game is the way that LeChuck (disguised as Fester Shinetop), calls you into the alley - entirely optional, but if you do it, you would automatically expect to go there later in the game as the door is locked at that point.
  • Nathan Copeland, one of the bosses for No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, was originally intended for the first No More Heroes.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All was originally intended to have five cases. However, due to the limited amount of memory available on a GBA cartridge, the fourth case was cut, retooled, and became the third case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations.
  • An unused intro cutscene for Crash Bandicoot (1996) briefly features Tiny Tiger and the Komodo Brothers; bosses who aren't in the game, but do appear in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, indicating they were meant to have appeared in the original game. The music composer even made a track for the boss, where the boss was apparently just Komodo Joe.
  • Not for a direct sequel but a sequel franchise, Insomniac Games originally created spherical worlds for Spyro: Year of the Dragon's skateboarding levels, but cut them for time. They liked the idea so much they revisited it for Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Ditto from the Pokémon series was meant to be among the Poké Ball summons in Super Smash Bros. Melee. When summoned, it would replicate the user and fight. As it cannot work with the hardware without crashing, Ditto was scrapped... until Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, when it finally got a chance to shine.
    • Bowser, King Dedede, and Mewtwo were meant to be in the first game; they did not get in due to time and budget constraints. Bowser and Mewtwo would eventually make it into Melee, while King Dedede would not join until Brawl. Pit was also considered for Melee as a retro character (among many other characters), but the Ice Climbers were added over him due to their gameplay potential. Pit would go on to join in Brawl, with an updated appearance, which would lead to a new game after over two decades.
    • Miis were also considered to be added in Brawl, but Masahiro Sakurai decided against adding them, because, at the time, he could not figure out how to implement them. They join in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U as fully customizable characters.
    • The Villager was considered to join the battle in Brawl, but Sakurai likewise decided not to include him because Animal Crossing being about as peaceful as a video game series can get, he couldn't think of any good moves to give him. By the time the fourth game started development, he eventually did find good moves for him, and thus the Villager became playable.
    • Shigeru Miyamoto personally requested Pac-Man be made a playable character for Brawl (Pac-Man is his favorite video game character), but Sakurai was unable to think of a good moveset at the time. He would make his debut in U/3DS, and indeed, most of his attacks there draw inspiration from other classic Namco games rather than his home series alone.
    • Final Smashes were intended to be included in the original Nintendo 64 game, as evidenced by unused audio files, but weren't added in until Brawl on the Wii.
  • A section of Chapter 5 of King's Quest (2015) consists of some ideas that were developed for earlier chapters (according to some concept art) but cut, among them a goblin riding on a rat and an entire song by Whisper. They surface here when old Graham becomes confused about the earlier stories he had told his granddaughter Gwendolyn, with her correcting him on the details as a meta-commentary (she literally says that the Whisper song, in particular, would've "made that chapter too long.")
  • Undertale was originally going to have a magic system, but as the lore developed and humans were firmly established as non-magical, it had to be cut. Deltarune has you play as a party of three, and the two non-humans do have access to magic.
  • Sakura Wars:
    • The concept where Maria Tachibana joined the Flower Division as its latest recruit from America following the Great Kanto Earthquake in Sakura Wars (1996) would later be reused in Sakura Wars: The Movie, with Ratchet Altair taking Maria's place.
    • Sakura Wars 4: Fall in Love, Maidens was originally going to have Ichiro Ogami travel to New York City and Taiwan to lead the new combat revues that were based there. However, the plans were soon scrapped because the Useful Notes/Dreamcast was ending production and Overworks was given only ten months to finish the game. The New York settings were eventually used for Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love.
  • Tekken was intended to have Devil Kazuya with wings (as seen in concept art), P. Jack with the ability to fly (he has a jetpack in the game though it is not functional), and Kunimitsu as a female character (she ended up using Yoshimitsu's male assets due to space limitations). In addition, the boss characters would have differed more substantially than being Moveset Clones with a couple of extra moves. These were all implemented in Tekken 2, as the hardware was now up to the standard to include them.
  • Spyro the Dragon:

    Western Animation 
  • The idea of the origins of the Avatar in Avatar: The Last Airbender has been kicked around since book 2, but was eventually fitted into book 2 of the sequel series The Legend of Korra.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • Many of Ralph McQuarrie's designs were redesigned for the series:
      • The Kwazel Maw is based on his concept art for swamp creatures on Dagobah.
      • Maridun's design stems from his concepts for Return of the Jedi.
      • Orto Plutonia is based on his concepts for Hoth.
      • The Courscant park seen in "Duchess of Mandalore" is based on multiple art concepts he made.
      • The Well of the Dark Side is based on a design for Return of the Jedi where Luke would've faced the Emperor in the lower levels of Coruscant.
      • Rako's new helmet in "Friends and Enemies" is based on his concepts for Boba Fett.
    • The Eta-class shuttle is based on Joe Johnston's design for the Imperial shuttle in Return of the Jedi.
    • The Jedi jumpspeeders in "Ghosts of Mortis" are based on a speeder bike concept from Return of the Jedi.
    • The Zygerrian HH-87 Starhopper is based on an unused design for an Imperial shuttle in Return of the Jedi.
    • The design of the Phoenix ship is based on an Imperial shuttle design.
    • Rako Hardeen's helmet in "Deception" is based on a Rebel trooper design for Return of the Jedi.
    • Derrown's design dates back to Ron Cobb's concepts for a cantina alien for A New Hope.
    • The designs of the clone troopers' cold-weather gear is based on concept art associated with The Empire Strikes Back.
    • From Doug Chiang's designs:
      • The city of Cliffhold on Iego is based on his designs back in The Phantom Menace.
      • Pre Vizsla's helmet in "A Friend in Need" is based on his design for a clone trooper helmet in Attack of the Clones.
    • From Iain McCaig's designs:
      • Robonino's design comes from his unused Prequel Trilogy design for an alien Jedi.
      • Satine Kryze's look is based on a design for Queen Padmé Amidala in The Phantom Menace, and her royal guards are also based on an unused Sith design from said film.
      • Mother Talzin's design is based on his concepts for a Sith Witch in The Phantom Menace.
      • Krismo Sodi's design stems from his illustrations for Obi-Wan for The Phantom Menace.
      • Tiplee and Tiplar are based on his designs for a female Sith Lord for Attack of the Clones.
    • Padmé's headdress in the Pilot Movie (along with "Bombad Jedi") is based on an unused design for her in Attack of the Clones.
    • Tera Sinube's design based on an alien senator concept for The Phantom Menace.
    • The clone barracks on Kamino are based on designs for Attack of the Clones.
    • The Anoobas are based on Terryl Whitlatch's design for a hound creature in The Phantom Menace.
    • A Separatist starship seen in the Umbara arc is based on a starship design for Revenge of the Sith.
    • Colonel Gascon is based on an early concept design for Jar Jar Binks for The Phantom Menace.
    • Ringo Vinda is based on an concept design from Revenge of the Sith.
    • Rig Nema's design is based on an early concept design for Mace Windu.
  • Star Wars Rebels also uses a lot of designs that didn't make it into the movies, including but by no means limited to:
    • Zeb's design comes from unused concept art of Chewbacca from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
    • Fifth Brother is based on unused designs for the Knights of Ren from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
    • The outfit worn by the young Princess Leia is an unused costume Ralph McQuarrie designed for Leia in A New Hope.
    • Chopper's design is based on concept art for R2-D2.
    • The Bendu is based on the original concept for Yoda, back when the character was going to be a gigantic creature instead of the little green dude everyone knows and loves. His name also comes from the "Jedi-Bendu", Lucas' original name for the Jedi.
  • Star Wars Resistance:
  • Bob Uecker was going to play a guest role in Teen Titans Go!'s very first season. But because they couldn't find any way to fit him in, he wound up appearing in a season 5 episode instead.
  • The Simpsons episode "I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can" was going to have a Lead In where Bart realises he wasted his summer and rushes all the activities he intended to do on the last day. It ended up being cut for time and used in "The Monkey Suit" instead, three seasons later.
  • The Steven Universe episode "Hit the Diamond" was going to have a scene where Steven gives nicknames to the Ruby Squad, but it ended up being cut. It took until "Back to the Moon", the Squad's second appearance, for the nickname scene to happen


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