10 Movie Origin Stories We Almost Got

These origin stories sadly didn't make the cut.

Heath Ledger The Joker
Warner Bros.

Moviegoers often complain that studios are far too eager to come up with origin stories for characters who, honestly, don't really need it.

This is especially true in the horror genre, where an antagonist can derive enormous power from their backstory being kept ambiguous - we all know how thoroughly Michael Myers was ruined by the Halloween sequels completely demystifying his origins.

Not all origin stories are inherently bad, of course, and sometimes they can even find greatness where fans least expected it. Yet on rare occasions, planned character backstories actually get cut during production for one reason or another.

Perhaps a visionary filmmaker insisted an origin story wasn't necessary, maybe it didn't fit with the movie's tone as it evolved through rewrites, or it was simply whittled down in the editing process due to pacing issues.

From origin stories we didn't really need to ones that almost definitely would've improved things, these 10 proposed backstories were all given the executive chop at some point in the process, ensuring they'll never see the light of day in their intended form...

10. The Joker Almost Had A Studio-Mandated Backstory - The Dark Knight

Heath Ledger The Joker
Warner Bros.

One of the defining aspects of The Dark Knight's Joker (Heath Ledger) is his ambiguous origin story, which consists entirely of the supervillain telling a few conflicting tales about how he got his grotesque facial scars.

Christopher Nolan made the smart decision to never settle on a concrete backstory for the Clown Prince of Crime, leaving fans free to speculate wildly forever more.

But this creative call did receive some worried responses from the big-wigs at Warner Bros., who felt that depriving audiences of The Joker's origins was a huge risk. Story writer David S. Goyer recently said of the internal reaction:

"I do remember when we were talking about, 'Well, what if the Joker doesn't really have an origin story?' Even after the success of Batman Begins, that was considered a very controversial thing. We got a lot of pushback. People were worried."

In the end the studio of course ceded to Nolan and Goyer's vision, but had they been a little more insistent upon a Joker prologue, the film absolutely would've featured it.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.