8 Scrapped Movie Plots That Turned Up In Other Films

Wait, how did that go from there to there?

Spider-Man Web Shooters
Sony Pictures

One phenomenon that actually happens with major filmmaking is sometimes ideas that get rejected from one film might actually turn up in another later on.

Sometimes it’s something that couldn’t be used in a film, but was picked back up for a sequel. Or sometimes it may be something a studio already spent money on, so they repurpose it for another film.

Sometimes it could even be the mysterious phenomenon of “parallel thinking”: when an idea in the atmosphere floats from one creative mind over to another, who then snatches it up and puts it to use. Okay, that’s pretty lofty. Usually it’s just somebody ringing somebody else up saying, “Hey, I need an idea for this movie I’m making. You got anything you’re not using?”

8. Back To The Future Almost Nuked The Fridge

Indiana Jones Nuke The Fridge
Paramount Pictures

In 2008 audiences felt pretty letdown when the opening action sequence of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull climaxed with Dr. Jones surviving an atomic bomb blast by shutting himself into a refrigerator. The crash alone would’ve killed the 60-something-year-old man.

The oddest thing about that scene is that the idea came from another film Steven Spielberg was involved with many years before. Spielberg was a producer on Back to Future, which nearly used the exact notion of using a refrigerator as shelter against a nuclear blast.

In early drafts of the screenplay, instead of the now-famous DeLorean that Doc Brown and Marty McFly used to travel through time, the time machine was a device that shot a “time ray” that could be shot into specifically designed “time chambers.” They scrapped the time-ray-and-chamber idea for the DeLorean deciding that a time machine would be better if it could move around. Also it’s just way cooler.

In the original draft, to get back to 1985, Marty was going to have to get into a refrigerator in the back of a truck that barreled into a nuclear bomb test site in the middle of the Nevada desert—just like Indy ended up doing in that movie about alien skulls. The explosion would give the time ray its power to transport Marty through time.

Oddly it was Spielberg who shot down the idea, voicing concern that children would recreate the scene in their homes and get trapped inside refrigerators. Which is odd because 25 years later he went on and had Indy do it.

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