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Deleted Scenes From The Past Decade That Would've Changed Everything

Movies change a lot in the editing room. Characters get cut. Entire plots are abandoned. Key lines of dialogue are reconfigured to take on new meanings, and cliffhangers are added or removed. Writers and directors might think they know what their movies and TV shows will be like, but they won't know for sure until the finished footage hits the screen.

That was as true in the '10s as it's ever been, but thankfully, we no longer have to wonder what's been changed. Many times, we already know. Not only are deleted scenes often found on DVDs, Blu-rays, and streaming services, but actors, writers, and directors are more than happy to hop on the internet and explain exactly what was cut from their latest projects.

From Harry Potter movies to Avengers: Endgame, the past decade was full of big hits, many of which would've been very different if just one or two scenes had survived. Here are a few examples.

The redemption of Draco Malfoy

For ten years, Draco Malfoy served as Harry Potter's main rival and constant thorn in his side. Voldemort might've been the Harry Potter series' big bad, but Tom Felton's scheming, haughty, elitist Slytherin bully is the character you really grow to hate. From getting Harry banned from the Quidditch team to helping Snape kill Dumbledore, the kid is simply no good.

In both the books and the movies, Draco never redeems himself. It didn't have to be that way. In a deleted scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, the last entry in the first Harry Potter film series, Malfoy rushes to Harry's aid. During Harry's climactic showdown with Voldemort, Draco publicly denounces the evil wizard and gives Harry his wand, which ends up being the key to Voldemort's demise.

While it doesn't look like the scene was ever finished, seeing Draco finally stand up for himself is a nice cap to his eight-movie-long arc. Too bad it's not canon. As things turned out, Draco will always be a bully. Nothing more.

Peter Parker's parents live!

Spider-Man has one of the best origin stories of all time: Orphaned at a young age, little Peter Parker was adopted by his kindly aunt and uncle, who raised him until the day he was bitten by a radioactive spider, giving him superpowers. When his uncle dies in an accident that Peter could've prevented, the teen blames himself and devotes the rest of his life to doing good.

It's clean, simple, and heartbreaking, and it opens up all kinds of interesting dramatic possibilities. Peter has lost two father figures. His search for a third fuels some of his best stories. In comics, movies, and video games, Norman Osborne, Doctor Octopus, Curt "The Lizard" Conners, and Tony Stark have all taken Peter under their wing, usually with unexpected results.

That's what makes this clip from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 so wild. In the scene, Peter's father — like, his actual dad — stops by a graveyard to let his grieving son know that he's very much alive. That's not just a twist. That's the kind of bombshell that could upend the entire Spider-Man concept. Unfortunately, we'll never know what happened next. Not only was the cliffhanger ending cut from the film, but Sony rebooted Spider-Man with Marvel's help after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 disappointed at the box office, ensuring that there'd be no follow-up.

So disturbing it's almost funny

Joker broke records left and right. It's the highest-grossing movie ever released in October. It had the best-ever opening for stars Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro. It's the best-performing R-rated movie of all time — and it almost didn't happen. While shooting, director Todd Phillips shot a scene so depraved that it would've kept Joker from getting an R rating, meaning it would've been kept out of mainstream theaters (which tend not to show features rated NC-17 or above).

We don't know exactly what happened in the scene. According to Phillips, it had something to do with "a bathtub." It wasn't "pornographic." It was "insane." Joker is already so disturbing that many people feared it would encourage real-life violence. Mass shooting victims spoke out against the movie. The U.S. military issued an official warning ahead of the film's release. It's hard to imagine what could've been in the scene that was so much worse than the final product, but allegedly, it's out there.

No matter how incredible that scene was — and Phillips says it was "amazing" — cutting it was probably the right call. Joker doesn't need any more controversy, and the movie performed just fine without it.

Thanos' triumphant return? Not so fast

Avengers: Endgame has a ton of deleted scenes, many of which are available on the DVDs, Blu-rays, and on Disney+. There's the one in which Tony Stark has a vision of his adult daughter, who's played by 13 Reasons Why's Katherine Langford. There's the one in which almost every hero in the movie takes some time out from the final battle to trade quips. There's an emotional tribute to a fallen Avenger, and all sorts of fun but disposable jokes.

Had one deleted scene survived, it could've provided a way for Marvel to bring the Mad Titan Thanos back for an encore performance. In an alternate version of the rooftop chat between the Hulk and the Ancient One, Doctor Strange's mentor goes into greater detail about how the Marvel Cinematic Universe's metaphysics work. Basically, she says, the Infinity Stones can't bring people back from the dead. So, how could Hulk resurrect everyone Thanos snapped away? Easy: Those people didn't technically die. They simply stopped existing.

It's a small difference, but an important one. People like Black Widow can't be revived. Anyone who's a victim of a "snap" can. That includes Thanos (at least, the 2014 version of him), who disappeared when Tony Stark got his hands on the Infinity Gauntlet. Had this scene survived, it's possible that Thanos could've returned in other MCU movies. But it didn't and that's probably for the best. Thanos has been plaguing the MCU since 2012's The Avengers. It's time for some new blood.

Gold will be their crowns, gold their shrouds

Despite her flaws, Cersei Lannister loves her family, especially her children. Over the course of Game of Thrones' eight seasons, Cersei proved time and time again that she'd do anything to protect her spawn. Even after all three of her children met their grisly, prophesied deaths, Cersei's devotion didn't waver. As the queen revealed at the end of Game of Thrones season seven, she was pregnant with a fourth child.

Or was she? Many fans surmised that Cersei was lying about her baby in order to keep her brother (and her lover) Jamie by her side as the war in Westeros continued, and scoured Game of Thrones' final season for clues that could reveal the truth. What they should've been looking for was a deleted scene. During season seven, the Game of Thrones crew shot a scene in which Cersei had a miscarriage, but the moment never actually aired.

That implies that Cersei was intended to be pregnant for real, although what ultimately made it to the screen remains ambiguous. If Cersei really was carrying another baby, it explains a lot of her behavior in season eight. If she pretended to be pregnant after miscarrying in order to manipulate the people around her — well, we wouldn't put that past her, either.

Deadpool's dark side... okay, even darker

Deadpool is a violent movie, but it's not a dark one. Sure, its sense of humor is pitch black, but at its core Deadpool is more of a blood-soaked romantic comedy with some high-octane action scenes and superhero parody mixed in. That's a difficult balance to strike, and it would've been easy for director Tim Miller to fall off the tightrope. Play things too light, and the action loses all of its edge. Dwell on Wade Wilson's violent acts, and the movie becomes a drama, not a comedy.

That's why this scene was cut. Originally, Deadpool featured a sequence in which Wilson and his wife, Vanessa, tour the world in search of a cure for Wade's cancer. On their trip, they run across a con man masquerading as a doctor bilking cancer patients out of their money. Enraged, Wade kills the man in front of Vanessa. It's the first time Vanessa sees "the monster" that Wade really is, and Wade quickly walks away in shame.

"Ryan [Reynolds]... just crushed it," Miller said. "He was so good, but it just didn't work with the pacing of the movie." The scene had to go, ensuring that we could all laugh along with Wade — even if we sometimes felt bad for doing so.

Before the paint

It's not the makeup that makes Pennywise so scary. It's the creature's mysterious, unknowable nature. While Pennywise might look like a clown, it's actually an ancient, malevolent entity who traveled to Earth to feed on children and their terror.

Stephen King's It explore's Pennywise's history, revealing that Pennywise is a cosmic being known as the Eater of Worlds who's locked in a perpetual battle against a giant, god-like space turtle. That works fine in prose, but would probably would've looked a little silly on the big screen. And yet, It was going to delve a little into Pennywise's origin story anyway, through a scene set in 1637 in which the villain eats a baby.

The scene wasn't cut because it demystified Pennywise. It was removed because, as Pennywise actor Bill Skarsgard explained, it was "really, really disturbing." And so, the big-screen iteration of Pennywise remains an unknowable, unexplained monster. If you want to know more, you'll have to read the book.

Thou shalt not kill... unless thou art Batman

Zack Snyder's Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice have been criticized for their dark, brooding takes on DC's superheroes, but other than when Superman snaps Zod's neck — which is done to protect innocents, and is played as a tragic moment for the Man of Tomorrow — they're not actually murderers. At worst, you can say that Snyder's Batman and Superman show casual disregard for collateral damage. They don't go out of their way to kill people.

Had one scene remained in Batman v Superman, that argument would've been a lot harder to make. Batman is already unrelentingly brutal in Batman v Superman's warehouse fight, in which the Caped Crusader goes up against an army of goons in order to save Martha Kent, but one moment that didn't make the final cut takes things too far: Batman actually uses one of his foes as a human shield to block incoming bullets.

Now, technically, Batman's victim was wearing a kevlar vest, so it's possible that the man didn't die. Still, that probably wouldn't have read well during Batman v Superman's fast-paced action scenes, and bulletproof vests aren't foolproof. Stunt coordinator Damon Caro admits that the moment "would have violated" Bruce Wayne's heroic ethos, so as cool as it looks, it's better that it was left on the cutting room floor.

How Moana became an only child

Disney's Moana tells the story of a young girl who voyages among the Polynesian islands, defying her family's edict to stay close to land. Before Moana can leave her home, she needs to learn how to sail. As the daughter of Motunui's chief, Moana is the next in line of succession, and her parents have done everything they can to keep the child away from the ocean in order to keep her safe.

Over the course of the film, Moana — with some help from the demigod, Maui — learns how to handle a boat. It's not easy, and her triumph over the dangerous seas is a major part of Moana's character arc. In the original version of the film, though, Moana's journey wasn't quite so tough. Instead of growing up as an only child, Moana had six brothers, and in one cut scene they taught her how to sail.

Directors Ron Clements and John Musker ultimately condemned Moana's siblings to the cutting room floor in order to make Moana less skilled of a sailor, ramping up the challenges she faced and making her journey that much more satisfying.

The emancipation of one Harley Quinn, delayed

In the leadup to David Ayers' Suicide Squad, Jared Leto's Joker received a ton of press — and then was barely in the final film. According to Margot Robbie, who played Joker's girlfriend Harley Quinn in the movie, there was just too much going on to devote more time to the criminal duo's dysfunctional relationship. Something had to go, and Joker drew the short straw.

However, removing Joker from the equation didn't just cut down Leto's performance. It hurt Harley's arc, too. In a cut scene, Joker cut a deal with Suicide Squad's antagonist, the Enchantress, and swooped in to take Harley back to Gotham. Just one problem: Harley didn't want to go. Instead of bowing to Joker's wishes, Harley stood up to her insane paramour and chose her new teammates over the mad clown.

Given that Joker and Harley's relationship is highly toxic, it would've been a great moment for the character, and it's too bad that Harley's choice didn't make the cut. At least it looks like Harley will be getting out of the Joker's shadow eventually: in Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, Harley embarks on a new adventure after dumping Joker for good.