Superhero movie scenes you never knew existed

You've no doubt noticed that most superhero movies are long—you could probably travel to Krypton and back in the time it took you to watch Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice—but the versions you see in the theater are often truncated from a much longer cut. Plenty of interesting stuff gets left on the cutting room floor along the way, but it isn't lost forever; you just have to search a little harder to find it. Here's a look at some rarely-seen deleted sequences from well-known superhero movies.

The Crow (1994) - The Skull Cowboy

There were a few oases of quality in the wasteland of 1990s comic book-to-movie adaptations, and one among them is The Crow. A group of thugs kill the movie's protagonist, Eric Draven (Brandon Lee), and his girlfriend Shelly (Sofia Shinas). One year later, Draven returns from the dead to get revenge. The key to his resurrection and immortality is an enigmatic crow that accompanies him on his quest, but originally, there was another character called the Skull Cowboy who served as Draven's guide.


Director Alex Proyas shot a few scenes with veteran horror movie actor Michael Berryman in the role, but ultimately scrapped the Skull Cowboy and chose to focus more on the crow itself as Draven's link to the afterlife. It's worth noting that this footage appears to be from a work print version of the movie. The audio was never dubbed, so what you're hearing is Berryman's muffled voice in the mask. The Skull Cowboy is an interesting idea and has a appropriately macabre appearance, but it was probably a wise decision to scrap the character since he seems superfluous to the movie's overall story.


Deadpool (2016) - Cancer World Tour

Tim Miller, director of Deadpool, lamented in interviews that theatergoers never got the chance to watch one of his favorite scenes. In this scene, unofficially titled "Cancer World Tour," we see Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) and his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) visiting a clinic in Guadalajara, Mexico, on the final stop of their world journey to find a cure for Wade's cancer. Wade discovers that the clinic's doctor is another quack, kills the man in frustration, and runs into the street. It's a brutal sequence that features great acting from Reynolds. Fortunately, fans were able to finally watch it on subsequent Blu-Ray and DVD releases of Deadpool.

Batman Forever (1995) - Giant Bat Scene

We can all agree that the two Joel Schumacher-directed Batman movies—Batman Forever and Batman & Robin—are not the Dark Knight's best outings. That being said, Batman Forever has some redeemable qualities. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. cut what is arguably the movie's best scene.


In the movie, Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer) recounts that seeing a bat when he was a child inspired him to become Batman. Later in the movie, Wayne contracts temporary amnesia after Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) grazes his head with a bullet. Bruce returns to the cave where he first saw the bat, but this time it turns into a monstrous beast (designed by famous makeup artist Rick Baker) and stands before him with its wings outstretched. After seeing this, Bruce remembers he's Batman and proceeds to track down the the Riddler (Jim Carrey) and Two-Face. Why did the filmmakers delete this scene? This is only speculation, but perhaps the studio deemed it too frightening for the younger audiences they wanted to attract. Remember that the previous film, 1992's Batman Returns, attracted controversy for its gloomy tone.


Superman IV (1987) - Nuclear Man Version 1.0

As if Superman IV: The Quest for Peace wasn't bad enough, here comes a deleted scene that makes the movie even worse. This fourth and final installment in Christopher Reeve's run as Supes centers on Lex Luthor's obsession with creating a Nuclear Man to destroy our hero. In the theatrical cut, Luthor's first attempt succeeds and the ridiculous, blond-haired menace, played by Mark Pillow, is born.


Originally, however, Luthor designed a prototype version played by future Game of Thrones actor Clive Mantle. The filmmakers shot a few scenes with this simpleton proto-Nuclear Man, including a tensionless fight with Superman outside a club that features awful music and horrendous special effects (especially the wirework). The character was ultimately cut from the movie, reportedly after a disastrous test screening.


Superman II (Donner Cut, 2006) - Lois Shoots Clark

In the theatrical version of Superman II, Lois (Margot Kidder) discovers that Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve) is Superman after he trips over a rug, falls into a fire, and she inspects his uninjured hand. Superman's reveal to Lois played out quite differently in the original script. Lois is convinced that Clark is Superman by this point in the movie. To prove this, she decides to shoot Clark with a revolver. Superman is impervious to bullets, so he's unaffected by the shot and is therefore forced to reveal his true identity. The unmasked Superman remarks that, if she'd been wrong, then Clark Kent would be death. Lois smirks and replies that she used blanks in the gun.


It's a nice scene that reveals Lois's cleverness. Unfortunately, director Richard Donner never got a chance to shoot the scene before the movie's producers fired him, but what we do have are filmed rehearsals between Reeve and Kidder, which is what Donner used for his cut of Superman II in 2006. The footage is obviously not meant for prime time. You can readily tell that Donner shot them separately—and some time apart, considering that Reeve's hairstyle changes between shots. Nevertheless, it's nice that we have some version of this scene, which, even in its unfinished form, is arguably better than the more slapstick version we got in the theatrical cut.


The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) - Ratha's Alternate Death

You may recall that veteran international actor Irrfan Khan played Oscorp executive Dr. Rajit Ratha in The Amazing Spider-Man. His character is a rather mundane corporate stooge that the Lizard eventually dispatches on a bridge, but Ratha's death scene was originally quite different. In an alternate version, he confronts Dr. Curt Connors/the Lizard (Rhys Ifans) and Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) in the former's secret lab. He shoots Connors with a gun and stuns Peter with some sort of gas. In the conversation that follows, Ratha insinuates that there's more to Peter having gained powers than an accidental spider bite. Connors, still alive, cuts the conversation short by turning into the Lizard and biting off Ratha's face.


Director Marc Webb likely jettisoned the scene because it involved a mystery subplot about Peter's powers that Webb flirted with but never included in the final film. You can see remnants of this storyline in some of the movie's trailers. It's probably a good idea that Webb decided to forego this subplot, but we still enjoy the deleted scene because it makes Ratha into a more empathetic and nuanced character.


Superman II (Donner Cut, 2006 - Jor-El Dies, Again

A major Superman II plot point concerns Kal-El (Christopher Reeve) giving up his powers in order to lead a normal life with Lois Lane (Margot Kidder). When Supes realizes his mistake, he returns to the Fortress of Solitude and begs his father, Jor-El (Marlon Brando), to help him. The theatrical version doesn't fully explain how Superman regains his powers to fight Zod, merely hinting that the green crystal that accompanied him on his journey to Earth as a baby somehow restores his abilities. The resulting scene lacks drama because Superman doesn't sacrifice anything for his mistake.


Originally, however, Jor-El appears and restores his son's powers by giving up the energy that keeps his consciousness alive. In other words, he dies to save both his son and Earth. Unfortunately, producers had to cut the scene because of salary disputes with the late Brando; it didn't see the light of day until Warner Bros. gave director Richard Donner a chance to construct his own cut of Superman II in 2006. It's also worth noting that this deleted scene marks the only time Reeve and Brando appeared on set together in either of the first two Superman movies.


Watchmen (2009) - The Death of Hollis Mason

One memorable scene from the Watchmen graphic novel depicts a gang beating the elderly Nite Owl/Hollis Mason to death in his apartment. Director Zack Snyder filmed the fight for his 2009 film adaptation, but later excised it from the theatrical version. Fortunately, later DVD and Blu-ray releases of Watchmen gave fans a chance to view this excellent segment.


Mason (Stephen McHattie) futilely defends himself, and in the midst of the fisticuffs experiences black and white flashbacks to his glory days pummeling Golden Age supervillains. Since the filmmakers removed Mason's death, they also deleted a follow-up scene in which Night Owl II/Daniel Dreiberg (Patrick Wilson) learns of the murder and brutally takes out his anger on a thug.


Daredevil (2003) - Coolio's subplot

The Netflix series Daredevil is officially a hit show. The generally high quality of the series may help some forget the disastrously bad movie that preceded it in 2003, starring a pre-Batman Ben Affleck as the Man Without Fear. The whole mess of a movie is a testament to what most superhero flicks were like before Marvel Studios perfected the craft; that being said, the Daredevil director's cut is deemed by some to be marginally better than the theatrical version.


Most notably, it features a previously deleted subplot in which Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson (Jon Favreau) decide to defend a career criminal named Dante Jackson (Coolio) who has been framed by the Kingpin (Michael Clark Duncan) for murder. It's nice to see the law practice of Nelson & Murdock actually investigating and working as attorneys—that's some of the best stuff in the Netflix show. Besides, we welcome anything that alleviates the bad taste left over from that cringeworthy playground fight scene.


X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) - Mall Scene

X-Men: Apocalypse introduces us to teenaged versions of the mutants we met in earlier movies: Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Nightcrawler. At one point, the group decides to leave Professor Xavier's mansion and go to the mall. In the deleted scene that follows, we see the group engage in common '80s teen activities like shop for music, chow down at the food court, and play arcade games, all set to the strains of the Men Without Hats hit "Safety Dance." It's a fun montage that features a great deal of levity. Nonetheless, it's easy to understand why director Bryan Singer took it out—the movie was already overly long, and the montage doesn't further the plot in any meaningful way.

Batman (1989) - Robin's debut

Early drafts of screenwriter Sam Hamm's script for Batman featured a cameo by the Dark Knight's future sidekick, Robin. Director Tim Burton never shot the scene because it was ultimately deemed unnecessary. Then again, maybe the filmmakers axed it because they couldn't get Kiefer Sutherland for the role. Whatever the reason, we can still imagine what the scene may have been like courtesy of the pre-production storyboards, which depict the Joker fleeing from the confrontation at Vicki Vale's apartment in a van while Batman gives chase through the streets of Gotham City on a horse. The pursuit ends at a circus where an acrobatic team called the Flying Graysons are performing, and the Joker lights the circus ablaze, killing all the acrobats except Dick Grayson. The future Robin, hungry for vengeance, jumps on top of the Joker's van and manages to stop the vehicle, after which Batman intervenes to ensure his future sidekick is uninjured.


Warner Bros. included the storyboarded sequence as a special feature on the Batman DVD, and enlisted Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill to reprise their Batman: The Animated Series roles as the Caped Crusader and the Joker, respectively. All in all, it's an interesting scene, but it feels out of place compared to the Batman movie we got in 1989. It actually feels like a better fit for the aforementioned animated series, and we're not just saying that because Conroy and Hamill ended up voicing the characters.