A movie trailer’s job is to excite potential audience members so much that they’re willing to drive to the movie theater and shell out the $15 for a ticket (something that’s not easy to do nowadays). A good preview for a movie is short, sweet, and to the point, giving us a taste of the film without spoiling any of the best parts. Truly, the art of crafting the perfect trailer takes great skill — when done well, a preview can draw in tons of people that probably wouldn’t have seen the film otherwise.
But here’s the thing: Some movie trailers include bits and pieces that don’t end up making it into the final cut of the film. Whether it’s a specific line, stunt, or dramatic shot, there are moments in trailers that catch our eyes — and then just simply aren’t present when we go to watch the movie. Is it a bit of false advertising? Perhaps. But it’s just a part of the movie-making process.
Movies undergo extensive revisions in the post-production process, with editors snipping away unnecessary chunks of dialogue and gratuitous shots. However, these scrapped moments can sometimes enhance a trailer, giving viewers a better sense of what the movie entails — even if that specific part doesn’t end up in the film, there are plenty more like it.
Here are 12 standout moments from film trailers that didn’t make it into the movie...
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was plagued by extensive reshoots, resulting in a finished product that didn’t quite resemble the trailers. Of course, this is Star Wars we’re talking about — so it’s likely that some of the moments in the trailer were a diversionary tactic to avoid spoilers. By any means, there are a lot of moments from the Rogue One trailers that aren’t in the movie, at least 18 and counting. In the teaser trailer, one of Jyn Erso’s key lines, “This is a rebellion, isn’t it? I rebel!” didn’t make it. At the very end of the teaser, there’s a dramatic reveal of Felicity Jones’ Jyn wearing an Imperial uniform while Forest Whitaker whispers in voiceover, “What will you become?” Neither the shot nor the voiceover is included in the final film.
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes is all kinds of bizarre, but it cut out a line from the trailer which had the potential to make it all the stranger. At the 1:30 mark, one of the apes declares, “Get me the spaceman!” in a hilariously serious tone. It’s unclear whether or not this line was ever intended to make it into the movie, or if it just serves as a bit of unabashed exposition for those who might be new to the franchise. Either way, it’s probably for the best the line was left out of the movie.
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
The trailers for The Amazing Spider-Man more than subtly teased a subplot involving the “untold story” of Peter Parker’s parents. For instance, this trailer features Rhys Ifans’ Lizard saying, “If you want the truth about your parents, Peter, come and get it.” He continues: “Do you think what happened to you, Peter, was an accident? Do you have any idea what you really are?” This hyped up audience members for new information about Spider-Man’s parents, but they were disappointed to learn that The Amazing Spider-Man included none. Ultimately, fans would have to wait until The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to get their answers.
The Truman Show follows Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, a man who has no clue that the life he’s living takes place within the confines of a reality show. In the trailer, there is a crucial moment at 1:06 where Truman looks up and notices a visible crack in the sky, where a light fell from its rigging. This would understandably cause a man to spiral towards paranoia. However, in the finished film, Truman looks up at the sky — but there’s no crack. It’s likely that the crack was included in the trailer to clue the audience in on the movie’s concept, even if Truman would discover the truth in other ways.
Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (1979)
The age-old tradition of Star Wars movies filling trailers with unused clips goes all the way back to The Empire Strikes Back. In this trailer, there is a peculiar moment where C-3P0 is seen peeling some sort of warning sticker away from a wall. It’s not quite sure what he’s doing, as this action isn’t seen in the final movie. Reportedly, this is from an earlier version in the script where Wampas were originally supposed to take over the Rebels’ base on Hoth. However, the bit was cut for time.
Superhero movies are often guilty of hyping up certain moments in trailers, only to have them never appear in the finished movie. This is certainly the case with Suicide Squad, whose trailer featured Jared Leto’s Joker uttering the line, “I’m just gonna hurt you really really, bad.” And this wasn’t just a fleeting remark — this line was basically the crux of the whole advertisement. This, along with a handful of other moments, was absent from the ill-fated movie, although it’s not clear why.
A bit of poking around on the internet will tell you everything you need to know about I Am Legend’s alternate ending, although the movie’s trailer will also give you a clue. At the very end of the trailer, one of the terrifying zombie-vampire creatures gets all up in Will Smith’s business. He lets out some sort of roar that doesn’t bode well for Smith’s Robert Neville. However, this chilling moment doesn’t appear in the film, and instead was used in the second ending — which now lives on as a DVD bonus feature.
Black Christmas is an example of a movie that is nothing like its trailer. The remake of the 1974 horror film features loads of shots that didn’t end up in the final cut, including a scene where a girl is trapped underneath ice. Doesn’t that seem like a pretty significant part to chop out? That’s not all — the actress falling off the roof wrapped in Christmas lights never even appears in the movie. Ultimately, Black Christmas’ uneven trailer can be chalked up to extensive reshoots, rendering the finished film as far different from the preview.
There’s a charming moment in the Iron Man 2 trailer where Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark asks Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) to give him a smooch for good luck at the back of a moving plane. She plants a big one on his Iron Man helmet, tossing it into the air. As he jumps after it, he delivers a quick, “You complete me!” Not only is his quip funny, it’s a great sum-up of Tony and Pepper’s chemistry. It may be a small thing, but this one exchange would have made Iron Man 2 better.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016)
As is the case with many sequels, the trailer for Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising attempts to remind audiences what they loved so much about the first movie. That’s why the preview clip for the movie includes a callback to the airbag sofa gag featured in Neighbors. However, the joke was too redundant to be included in the final film. Also missing? A scene where Beanie Feldstein gives Seth Rogen the middle finger.
The Transporter is full of epic action sequences courtesy of Jason Statham, but there’s one stunt in particular that’s notably missing from the film. It comes at the 1:06 mark in this trailer — Statham shields himself from a missile using nothing but a tea tray. While there are plenty of explosions, punches, and car chases to go around, there’s something undeniably badass about staving off a large missile using something as delicate as a small serving tray.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (2016)
The Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them features a line in its trailer that was omitted from the final film. Eddie Redmayne’s Newt assures a muggle cop, “Don’t panic. There’s absolutely nothing to worry about.” Except there is — a large beast is rushing up the street behind him. Redmayne actually had something to say about this himself. “I think when it got to the cut, [it was] tonally wrong to have the moment because actually, the stakes are too high for [Newt] to have a time out moment,” he explained in an interview.