Check out this Star Trek TV spot — notice something that wasn't in the movie? That's right: around 0:15, there's baby Spock, complete with teeny Vulcan ears! Why do studios throw cool scenes into trailers, then cut them out of the final movies? Here's a list.
Why do the studios decide that scenes are strong enough to make it into movie trailers, but not strong enough to show up in the finished product? It's a mystery, but it shows how much last-minute editing and tweaking goes into movies nowadays. We're not the only ones to notice this — when I was almost done writing this post, I came across this discussion over at Cinematical.
Here are some examples from giant films of the past decade or so:
Star and co-writer Edward Norton famously clashed with Marvel over how long this movie should be, and a couple of scenes were featured prominently in the trailers but didn't make it into the theatrical release. There's this fireside chat between Bruce Banner and "Doc" Samson:
And then there's the whole opening sequence where Banner goes to Antarctica to try and kill himself, which supposedly includes a glimpse of Captain America's frozen body:
And also, the same trailer includes a bit where Bruce Banner argues with General Ross, saying there's only one thing that can fight the Abomination and "it's in me."
There seems to be a lot of stuff that was cut from the final print of the movie, where John Connor obsesses about how the future has been altered by all the time traveling in previous installments. "This is not the future my other warned me about," he says in one trailer.
In another trailer, his wife Kate says, "If you saved us in another future, you can save us in this one," or words to that effect. I get the impression all of Kate's stuff got cut out of the final print of the movie. That scene is included in this four-minute trailer:
Also, I can't remember Connor actually saying, "Win or lose, this war ends tonight" in the actual movie. Did he say that, and I just missed it?
We're also pretty sure that Connor putting his hand on his wife's pregnant stomach wasn't in the movie. (In fact her pregnancy hardly comes up at all.)
And there's a glimpse of a naked figure (or at least barelegged) reaching down and grabbing a Terminator's arm gun to blast the hell out of someone or something. Could that have been a rejected sequence featuring Arnie's T-800? I bet they shot a lot of stuff with Roland Kickinger, the bodybuilder whose naked body stood in for Arnie's:
We know they filmed a decent amount of stuff for this movie, including some more of Kirk's childhood and the reasons he decided to trash that Corvette. But the main thing that shows up in the trailers is the birth of baby Spock:
There's also a sequence where Nero says "The wait is over," which is in a bunch of the trailers but not in the movie. I think this is right after he busts out of the Klingon prison.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine:
Actually, this doesn't seem like it would have been such a great scene, but one trailer includes a sequence where we meet Storm as a kid:
A poster at Cinematical says the whole great scene where James McAvoy asks Angelina Jolie "Are we gonna bond now?" and she says, "Would you like to?" isn't in the movie. I don't have the movie on DVD, and can't remember off-hand if they're right:
As a commenter at Cinematical pointed out, the trailer for this film includes a whole inspirational speech from Bruce Willis, which never turns up in the movie:
I Am Legend:
This IMAX trailer (and some of the other trailers, I think) include some snippets of the film's original ending, which was replaced at the last minute. It's the bit where the plague mutant hisses right next to Will Smith's face, at around 2:20 in this video:
Another one the Cinematical commenters noticed. Apparently this film's trailers include a ton of futuristic scenes that aren't in the movie, including Maggie Cheung as a robot:
Reign Of Fire:
Annalee has been annoyed for years that this movie's trailer featured dragons fighting helicopters, but it didn't really happen in the movie:
And finally, reaching back quite a bit further, here's a trailer for True Lies that includes a number of scenes that aren't in the movie, or even in the DVD: