Ben Affleck is poised to have a big fall. The formerly maligned actor stars and directs the drama "Argo" and plays a lead role in Terrence Malick's "To the Wonder," a romantic drama premiering at the Venice Film Festival. Or maybe he doesn't.
Intrepid blogger Jeffrey Wells -- who is at the Telluride Film Festival this week, where Affleck is in attendance to support "Argo" -- tweeted on Friday that the actor's "Wonder" part has been significantly cut. "I'm told he's barely in [it]," Wells wrote.
Of course, that puts Affleck in some pretty great company. It was recently revealed that "To the Wonder" co-stars Rachel Weisz, Amanda Peet, Michael Sheen and Barry Pepper were also cut out of the film completely. Stars Rachel McAdams, Olga Kurylenko and Javier Bardem are presumably still part of the finished product, as are assorted leaves of grass, wind gusts and stalks of wheat.
Malick -- a notorious recluse -- has done this before. He famously cut Mickey Rourke, Gary Oldman, Martin Sheen and Billy Bob Thornton out of "The Thin Red Line," and severely reduced the lead role Adrien Brody was set to play.
"I was so focused and professional, I gave everything to it, and then to not receive everything ... in terms of witnessing my own work. It was extremely unpleasant because I'd already begun the press for a film that I wasn't really in," Brody told The Independent back in 2001. "Terry obviously changed the entire concept of the film. I had never experienced anything like that."
For his part, Affleck doesn't seem too upset with the potential cuts. He praised "To the Wonder" for being even more experimental than "Tree of Life."
"To the Wonder" screens at the Venice and Toronto film festivals. It doesn't have U.S. distribution at the moment.
[via Indiewire/The Playlist]
Kevin Costner, 'The Big Chill'
Kevin Costner was set to have his big break in "The Big Chill," but his role was done away with in post-production. In the end, he only appeared as a corpse at the beginning of the film.
Michelle Monaghan, 'Constantine'
Michelle Monaghan starred in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" with Robert Downey Jr. and "Mission: Impossible III" with Tom Cruise, but her role in "Constantine" opposite Keanu Reeves wasn't meant to be. "Michelle was fantastic and one of her scenes -- one of the scenes we had to cut -- was one of my favorite scenes we shot in this movie," <a href="http://movies.about.com/od/constantine/a/constntfl021705.htm" target="_hplink">director Francis Lawrence said</a>. If only that was enough.
James Gandolfini, 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close'
James Gandolfini was cast as a potential love interest for Sandra Bullock's 9/11 widow in "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." After test audiences didn't like those scenes, <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/25/entertainment/la-ca-stephen-daldry-20111225/2" target="_hplink">his part was removed</a>. However, Gandolfini <em>was</em> still mentioned in an early trailer for the eventual Best Picture nominee.
Robert Pattinson, 'Vanity Fair'
"Twilight" star Robert Pattinson played Reese Witherspoon's son in the period drama "Vanity Fair," <a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1665188/robert-pattinson-reese-witherspoon-generation-award.jhtml" target="_hplink">but his part in the 2004 drama was dropped</a>. In twist of events that only Hollywood could love, Pattinson would later star as Witherspoon's lover in "Water For Elephants."
Ryan Gosling, 'The Lovely Bones'
Ryan Gosling didn't face the indignity of being cut out of "The Lovely Bones"; he was actually fired just days before production started after a massive weight gain. "We had a different idea of how the character should look," <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/ryan-gosling-peter-jackson-fired-55303" target="_hplink">Gosling told THR</a>. "I really believed he should be 210 pounds."
Mickey Rourke, 'The Thin Red Line'
What do Mickey Rourke, Billy Bob Thornton, Gary Oldman, Viggo Mortensen and Martin Sheen have in common? They were all cut out of the final print of Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line." Rourke's role wound up on the deleted scenes of the Blu-ray. Check out his excised appearance <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bRJ0yyVb_o" target="_hplink">here</a>.
Maya Rudolph & Amy Poehler, 'Anchorman'
Adam McKay had so much funny footage from "Anchorman" that he created an entirely new film, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wake_Up,_Ron_Burgundy:_The_Lost_Movie" target="_hplink">"Wake Up, Ron Burgundy,"</a> with the scraps. "Saturday Night Live" funnywomen and BFFs Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler both appear in the extra film, but not in "Anchorman" proper.
Liv Tyler, 'Everyone Says I Love You'
Liv Tyler filmed scenes for Woody Allen's underrated musical romance "Everyone Says I Love You," but they were cut out of the finished product to reduce running time.
Tobey Maguire, 'Empire Records'
Before he became your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire has his scenes in teen comedy "Empire Records" deleted.
Angela Bassett, 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith'
"Mr. & Mrs. Smith" isn't just known as the film that brought Brad and Angelina together; it was also a hilarious Hollywood mess. Director Doug Liman hired <em>two</em> sets of actors to play the spy's warring bosses -- Terrence Stamp and Jacqueline Bisset and Keith David and Angela Bassett -- <a href="http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/21880/mr-mrs-smith-unrated/" target="_hplink">before cutting out their scenes altogether</a>. In the finished film, you can hear the voices of Bassett and David, but that's all.
Uma Thurman, 'Savages'
Thurman was set to appear as Blake Lively's mother in the Oliver Stone film, but her scenes were cut. "It was so intense, in fact, that we ended up cutting characters from the book, like the mother," Stone told HuffPost Entertainment. "She was a good character -- Uma Thurman played her beautifully -- and the scenes were good, but you don't have time, you know? We have one goal in the movie, and you go out that gate and it's like a horse race."
Rachel Weisz, 'To the Wonder'
Terrence Malick strikes again. For his latest film, "To the Wonder," Malick left contributions from Weisz, Barry Pepper, Michael Sheen, Amanda Peet and even Jessica Chastain on the cutting room floor. "I had the experience of working with [Malick], but I will not have the pleasure of seeing my work," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/29/rachel-weisz-terrence-malick-to-the-wonder_n_1838934.html" target="_hplink">Weisz said</a>.
Tobey Maguire, 'Life of Pi'
The second time isn't the charm for Tobey Maguire, who in addition to "Empire Records" also saw his scenes cut from Ang Lee's "Life of Pi." Maguire was too famous for the small role and Lee re-cast the part with a lesser-known actor.
Also on HuffPost: