10 Deleted Scenes That Actually Improve Movie Characters

Deleted scenes that improve movie characters - Spider-Man 2, Harry Potter & more!

J Jonah Jameson  Spider-Man 2
Sony Pictures

Too often our favourite or most reviled characters are left feeling unfinished.

Audiences come away from a movie wondering why a character suddenly fell out of the story, without any idea of the hidden delights intended to be in the finished film that were ultimately doomed to a dark existence on the special edition's second disc.

But fret no more!

That's right - we are here to pop open the old movie chest and fish out the finest character-building deleted scenes never to hit the screen. These are the unfortunate slip-ups of the biggest editors in the business, and defy the callous way in which they were discarded!

Some give villains their redemption, some bring back lost heroes' humanity, and others simply colour an extra panel in an already three-dimensional performance.

It's time for our characters and actors to have their due. Regardless of whether this means a split-second, game changing shot or a rich and well paced five-minute sequence, a dark, green-screened disaster that looks like it was filmed on your first flip phone, or a fully-fleshed out scene - all are accounted for, and none will leave you hanging.

Here are 10 deleted scenes that actually improve their characters.

10. Saruman's Demise - The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (2003)

Moviegoers of 2003 were baffled when they showed up to cinemas for their final hit of magic in Middle Earth with the concluding Lord Of The Rings entry: The Return Of The King. That's because, for reasons best known to the editors, Saruman - a primary antagonist of the trilogy - was missing from the theatrical release.

The extended (and definitive) edition of the film shone some light on why this was, as, in this deleted scene from the beginning of the film, Aragorn and co ride into a desolate Isengard and face off against the defeated Saruman, who is then shockingly slain by Grima Wormtongue's knife.

His death should have been included in the film no matter what, but somehow it was disposed of in the edit and we were left to believe that he was defeated elsewhere, off-screen - and we all know what happens when a character dies off-screen.

Most viewers see Saruman as a malevolent and deeply evil character, but this scene allows us to witness the tragedy in his tale. In defeat, Saruman is bedraggled, lost and alone, and, unwilling to concede and turn back from this path, the true depth of Sauron's grip upon his spirit is laid bare. In his death, we finally see the man amongst the corruption.


Writer, editor and lifelong critic of test screenings, money men and films-by-committee. Currently editing and open to offers of representation for his transgressive, class-conscious coming-of-age novel Everbloom.