Matthew Fox was pretty excited about starring with Brad Pitt in "World War Z."
"It's the biggest movie I've ever been a part of. I was just a real fan of the books, and I'm a huge fan of [director] Marc Forster, who I've gotten to be friends with over the past few years," Fox told Boston Common Magazine last year. "I just think he's a fantastic director and has incredible taste in any genre that he takes on, so I'm excited to be a part of it."
As those who watched "World War Z" over the weekend can attest, however, Fox is only barely a part of the finished film. He appears so briefly, in fact, that one commenter on David Edelstein's review of the film for New York Magazine didn't even register Fox's role: "It seems as if Edelstein didn't actually watch the film [...] while Matthew Fox was reportedly cast, he doesn't appear in the finished film." He does: Fox plays a chopper pilot who helps Pitt and his onscreen family get to safety in the film's early going.
Why would an actor like Fox have such a small part in "World War Z"? Reshoots, as it turns out. A post over at Movies.com dissects the original ending of "World War Z," which was famously scrapped and re-written by Damon Lindelof and Drew Goddard. (A full breakdown of the changes those two made can be found here.) In that initial denouement, Fox has a central role, playing a soldier who strikes up a relationship with Pitt's onscreen wife, played by Mireille Enos.
He’s a Navy SEAL who rescues Brad Pitt and his family off of a rooftop in Philadelphia. He ends up looking after his family amidst this chaos, while Brad Pitt’s character tries to find a solution to the zombie apocalypse. The movie is the setup for the possibility of a trilogy. My role would be more developed, I think, if there were to be more films. But I just was really excited to be a part of it in any way.
Unfortunately for Fox, none of those scenes appear in "World War Z," meaning the romantic conflict that would have played out in the sequel likely won't include his character.
For more on the changed ending of "World War Z," head to Movies.com.
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.