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5 Awesome Movie Plot Leaks (That Inexplicably Went Nowhere)

If you’re like us, you consume about 50 movie news headlines every time you whip out your phone, because how can you possibly enjoy a film without knowing the granular details of every petty squabble that went into making it? Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, we’re all mainlining reports about every stage of the filmmaking process like old-timey cigar-chomping studio execs. Problem is, when the movies come out, some of the most exciting news bits we all devoured end up amounting to squat. So let’s look back and cringe at the times we got hyped over stuff like …

5

The Last Jedi — Kylo Ren Flew To Luke’s Island … So He Could Stand Off-Camera

Star Wars fans are among the most insatiably hungry for advance details, like sharks that survive off of hearing about fired directors and dumb alien names. Not surprisingly, when The Last Jedi was filming, outlets were so eager to snag a scoop that Lucasfilm was forced to battle paparazzi drones by building their own drone army. (That’s a drone army, not a clone army, which we all know would be highly unethical and surprisingly dull.)

One particularly exciting piece of news that slipped out was that Adam Driver had flown to Ireland, the filming location for Ahch-To, Luke Skywalker’s private island.

Screen Rant“SCOOP: Bono To Play Yoda.”

Barring any kind of Girls Go Celtic HBO movie, it sure seemed like Kylo Ren was going to find Rey and Luke, possibly with the Knights of Ren in tow — leading to, as one report speculated, “a battle between three highly-powered Force users.”

When The Movie Came Out …

Yeah, none of that stuff happened. Kylo Ren never journeyed to Ahch-To to battle Luke, Rey, and the passive aggression of those lizard nuns. He did speak to Rey via their midi-chlorian long-distance plan:

Lucasfilm

LucasfilmWe’ve included shots from one of the nipple-less scenes so your computer doesn’t melt.

Either because Adam Driver is a super generous actor or no one told him that Skype is a thing, he went to a remote island in Ireland solely to stand off-camera and deliver his lines for Daisy Ridley to react to. And you might be thinking, “Hey, what about that scene in which Kylo appears in Rey’s hut so they can finger each other … so to speak?”

Lucasfilm

LucasfilmThe most erotic non-incestuous (we think?) scene in the series.

That was shot on a sound stage, not on location. So we might as well have gotten excited about Mark Hamill’s personal trainer going to Ireland, because they had as much screen time as Kylo Ren on the actual island.

Similarly, when The Force Awakens was being made, a lot of people’s hopes got stoked when it was announced that two of the stars of the epic martial arts series The Raid had been cast, prompting speculation that the movie would have some kind of badass action scene. When they showed up in the movie …

Lucasfilm

… the pair briefly complained how Han Solo owed them money, before being promptly eaten by a giant tentacled Madball.

Lucasfilm

Lucasfilm“SOMEONE GET THE CAN OF RAID!”

4

Batman v Superman — Jena Malone’s Secret Role Wasn’t Robin Or Batgirl, But Some Random Nobody (And She Got Cut Anyway)

Leading up to the release of Batman v Superman, the most-buzzed about character wasn’t Batman, Superman, or even the methed-out Ninja Turtle that was Doomsday. It was Jena Malone’s mystery role. At first, anonymous sources claimed that she was playing Carrie Kelly, the female Robin originally from The Dark Knight Returns, and presumably the first Robin who wouldn’t be force-fed junk-shrinking pills.

VarietyFan theory: Carrie Kelly is Jimmy Olsen with lipstick and glasses.

Warner Bros. doggedly kept the casting info to themselves, so they must have been hiding something big. Next, it was reported that Malone was playing Barbara Gordon, and possibly even her alter-ego, Batgirl.

Comic BookBullshit v. Internet.

This was seemingly confirmed by a leaked Warner Bros. survey and some concept art featuring either Batgirl or a surprisingly buxom Bruce Wayne.

Warner Bros. PicturesOr maybe that extra space on top is to accommodate Ben Affleck’s chin?

When The Movie Came Out …

She wasn’t in the damn thing at all. It seems that in order to free up time for all the confusing dream sequences, fight scenes, and more dream sequences, Malone’s character was completely cut out of the theatrical version.

Thankfully, Malone’s role was finally revealed in the extended cut of the film, though she it turned out she wasn’t playing Batgirl, or Robin, or even goddamn Aunt Harriet. Her top-secret role turned out to be … Jenet Klyburn, a minor character from the comics who works at S.T.A.R. Labs. She only shows up in two scenes to help Lois Lane analyze some shrapnel.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. PicturesAt one point she takes off her glasses and Lois goes, “Who are you, and where did Jenet go?!”

In a later interview, Malone reflected that the experience was “definitely a lesson in public relations” that she “would love to reinterpret in maybe a political anarchist type of way.” So if any corrupt politicians get taken down by guerrilla accusations of being Batgirl, we’ll know who to point the finger at.

3

Iron Man 3 — Tony Built A Space Suit … For Basically No Reason

It’s no secret that people love writing about and reading about Marvel movies. Future generations will probably think of Black Panther as a movie based on the popular thinkpiece series. Back before Iron Man 3 was released, pop culture writers were quick to point out that one of the movie’s tie-in toys was this Funko Pop “Deep Space Suit”:

FunkoApparently, the movie is about Tony using the same head-enlarging substance as that guy from The Incredible Hulk.

The Funko Pop line isn’t exactly a good source on movie details — not every iconic movie character has soulless black devil eyes, for one thing. But then the movie’s Facebook page also teased what was now called the “Mark 39 Sub Orbital Suit.”

Marvel StudiosWe fully expect Elon Musk to have one of these en route to Venus by 2021.

This prompted a shitload of articles surmising that Tony Stark would go into space in Iron Man 3. There were even rumors that Iron Man would use his fancy new suit to hook up with the Guardians of the Galaxy — something that actually happened in the comics, leading to a Tony/Gamora sex scene that left everyone underwhelmed (especially Gamora).

Comic Book

Screen Rant

MTVHopefully he remembered to pack condoms before heading out.

When The Movie Came Out …

Tony didn’t exactly go on an epic space adventure in Iron Man 3. In fact, he spent most of the movie out of the Iron Man suit after it breaks down, leaving him stranded in Tennessee.

We do learn that Tony has built an entire fleet of super-cool new Iron Man suits, including the Mark 39 Sub Orbital Suit. Unfortunately, the movie positions the suits as a manifestation of Tony’s PTSD. So after his remote-controlled suits save the day …

Marvel Studios

… Tony orders them all to self-destruct.

Marvel Studios“At least they lasted longer than Tony in bed.” — Gamora

Which is an emotionally satisfying beat in the movie, but kind of a bummer if you bought that toy expecting that Tony would make it to outer space, when he barely makes it out of Tennessee.

2

The X-Files Sequel Leaked A Fake Plot That Was Better Than The Real One

Before it was brought back to life by the spooky power of our culture’s crippling nostalgia addiction, The X-Files was seemingly content making follow-up movies. Mulder and Scully’s second big-screen adventure, The X-Files: I Want To Believe, was, of course, shrouded in secrecy during filming — that is, until reports of leaked set photos that showed director Chris Carter inspecting a big-ass werewolf head.

JoBlo

While some reports discredited the pics, leaked concept art seemed to corroborate them by showing Mulder himself turning into … it’s hard to say. It kind of looks like he was bitten by Ron Perlman.

20th Century FoxOr like he’s going undercover in an off-Broadway production of Cats.

When The Movie Came Out …

The real movie found Mulder and Scully teaming up with Agent Amanda Peet and Agent Xzibit …

20th Century Fox

… to wrangle a disgraced child-molesting priest who now has psychic visions, so that they can stop Eastern European organ traffickers who are dabbling in head transplants.

20th Century FoxSo one of those weird episodes you could safely skip, but two hours long.

As you may have noticed, there’s not a goddamn werewolf in sight. Where did that come from? Those original photos were staged to “mislead” people. When a member of the crew debunked them, they created fake concept art of Mulder going full Teen Wolf using a headshot from Californication, as if lycanthropy were an STD.

The craziest part of all of this is that it raises the question of why they didn’t just make a werewolf movie. Mulder and Scully taking on an old-school horror flick monster sounds like goofy fun. It’s at least preferable to a movie about black market organ transplants and a helpful psychic who’s also a child molester — which, frankly, sounds like a scrapped lyric from Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic.”

1

Holy Crap, Life Is A Venom Prequel! … Or Not

Prompting audiences to wonder exactly how loose movie adaptations of board games had gotten, the trailer for Life found Jake Gyllenhaal and a crew of suspiciously good-looking astronauts discovering a mysterious alien organism that turns all evil and attack-y. It wasn’t long before journalists began to theorize that Life was in truth a stealth prequel to Sony’s other upcoming movie involving an evil alien organism: the Spider-Man spinoff Venom.

Bloody Disgusting

Collider

MicTechnically, yes, life is a prequel to all movies, except those set at the Big Bang.

There was some justification for thinking that this sci-fi horror flick could be connected to a tangentially MCU-related superhero film, of all things. Not only was the same studio behind both, but Life‘s premise seemed quite similar to the origin of the Venom symbiote from the Spider-Man animated TV show. Both feature mysterious gooey alien organisms freaking the hell out of astronauts.

Columbia Pictures

Columbia Pictures

Marvel Animation

Marvel AnimationThis is why you always wipe your boots on the doormat before reentering your space station.

Plus, in what seemed like the biggest clue from the filmmakers, one of the crowd shots in the Life trailer was from Spider-Man 3 — the movie that introduced the disappointingly Topher-Grace-like Venom.

Columbia Pictures

Columbia PicturesWhich explains why that dude is using a flip phone in 2017.

It would also reflect other current movie marketing strategies. M. Night Shyamalan’s Split surprisingly turned out to share a universe with Unbreakable, the Comic-Con screening of a new horror movie called The Woods revealed that it was secretly a Blair Witch movie, and Avengers: Infinity War features a Tobias Funke cameo, teasing some very interesting developments for the upcoming fifth season of Arrested Development.

When The Movie Came Out …

Nope! It turned out Life was pretty much another Alien knockoff with fewer sideburns. That shot from Spider-Man 3? Merely an example of a studio recycling the same stock footage. Perhaps Marvel movies have taken over the entertainment industry to the point where we see them everywhere. It’s almost surprising that no one theorized that The Greatest Showman would end with the reveal that Wolverine had been dipping his toe in the world of musical theater.

Though, to be fair, as this Vulture piece points out, Life ends (spoilers) with Jake Gyllenhaal piloting an escape pod to Earth with the alien on board … so if they really wanted, Sony could still retroactively turn it into a prequel by simply giving his corpse a cameo in Venom.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter, or check out the podcast Rewatchability.

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