The vast majority of deleted scenes are removed because they don't progress the plot or they were part of a plot thread that was removed. Although many of these scenes, especially those that are part of removed threads, add to character development, motivations and more, most don't change the entire of a film. Sure, there are scenes that create a slight tonal shift and are removed, but we're talking about scenes that change everything. For the most part, if it alters the mood at all, it was left in or never there in the first place.
There are rare cases, though. Sometimes, however, a scene is shot or planned that dramatically changes the film. Some of these were removed because the filmmakers realized that the scene was too jarring or too different from the rest of the movie. Some of these scenes were just removed for time reasons. This was sheer dumb luck because, had they been included, these deleted scenes would have made a massive impact; a dark impact.
That's what we're dealing with here, the darkness. We want to look at all those deleted scenes that not only would have changed their respective films but the deleted scenes that would have made their movies darker. Some of these scenes run so counter to their movies that it seems crazy that they were ever even considered, but they were. Most of the movies were hugely popular too, so you should be able to follow along rather nicely. Here are 15 of The Darkest Deleted Scenes That Would Have Totally Changed Their Movies.
The big deleted scene from Zootopia with collars on the predators has been mentioned here before, but we have to include it because of how dark it truly is. This scene, for those who haven't heard, would have shown that the predators are kept in check in Zootopia because they wear a shock collar that keeps their instincts debilitated. The scene that introduces this was very sad and very dark, but it was taken out because it changes the entire mood of the film. This scene implies that the predators in this town are forced to hide their true selves. They are not able to let nature take its course because it threatens the prey. This message, for a film all about society and being yourself, is not a very happy thought. Although the filmmakers of Zootopia wanted to get a message across, they probably didn't want it to be so dark.
14 Batman V. Superman
You know that when Mr. Dark and Gloomy himself, Zack Snyder, deletes a scene from one of his movies that it must be super dark. Well, that's how it went with Batman v Superman. We will let Snyder describe the scene for you: "We had a scene that we cut from the movie where [Superman] tries to look for [Martha] when he finds out that Lex has got her. It was a slightly dark scene that we cut out because it sort of represented this dark side. Because when he was looking for his mom, he heard all the cries of all the potential crimes going on in the city, you know when you look." This scene would imply that Superman, with his super hearing, can always hear the cries of the people. It also means that he has to be selective on which ones he answers. The scene no longer just about him trying to save his mother. It's now about him ignoring all the others in danger. Every time he saves anyone, he is playing favorites and that's a pretty bleak concept.
13 The Martian
Even though this scene from The Martian was never shot in its entirety, we're considering it as a deleted scene because it was planned. It was meant to be announced that the Hermes crew had a contingency plan if their supply mission failed. It was in the book as well. The plan was, since Johannsen was the smallest crew member, the others would kill themselves in order to ensure one person arrived home safely. This way, they wouldn't eat all the food, and their bodies would act as food for Johannsen. In the book, after the mission is a success, Martinez asks Johannsen who she was going to eat first, saying that he would taste best. He then says, "What? I thought you liked Mexican!"
Quint from Jaws was a bit of a madman. In the final cut, we see him as a crazed old man who has a good side. We see him snap a few times in the film, but one deleted scene showed him at his most unstable, maybe. It was subtle but intense. In the scene, Quint enters a music store to buy some piano wire. As the lady goes to get what he needs, a boy is playing the clarinet. Clearly, the kid is just learning. As he plays, Quint starts to keep the rhythm with his voice. At first, he does it lightly, but he continues to get louder and louder. The camera is fixed on the kid's face, who is facing forward. In the background, Quint is glaring at him getting visibly frustrated with the boy's mistakes. The boy gets more nervous and begins to make more mistakes. This is when Quint loses it. He starts belting out the tune and overtakes the boy's playing, screaming out the proper notes behind him and the kid trembles.
11 The Black Cauldron
The Black Cauldron was one of the darkest and scariest films ever put forth by the Disney animation team. This movie terrorized children. Amazingly, it could have been worse. We’ve seen some of the deleted frames from the film that almost made it in, but were cut out for being too intense. In the actual movie, when the undead attack and the mist kills some of the soldiers, we never get a detailed look at what happened, but we were supposed to. The deleted scene shows that the filmmakers had animated the skin sloughing off the skeletons of the men and them turning into undead skeletons. It is pretty gross and would have made the film into a literal nightmare for children.
10 Scorch Trials
We decided to include this deleted scene from Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials not because the scene itself is dark (it is, but that's besides the point). We included it because it was deleted for a very dark reason. In the second Maze Runner film, we follow a group of Gladers escaping. In this small group of survivors is Jack. Jack is all good. We see the gang running away from Cranks in an abandoned mall. Jack is there, but that's the last we see or hear of Jack. Incredibly, they did shoot a scene that shows that Jack is killed in the mall, but it was cut. The reason? The filmmakers didn't think anyone was paying attention to Jack anyway. They didn’t think we would miss him. They were right. No one even noticed that this kid was missing. There were like eight kids. One dies off-screen with no mention of it, and then there were seven. We don't notice at all.
9 Superman II
Superman II isn't all that lighthearted, but it's not really vicious either. There was a scene that would have made this one much darker, though, but it was deleted. It would have raised the stakes and showed the villains as more heartless than in the final cut. In the scene, Zod and company take over that small town and insist that no one can leave. As they announce this, a kid rides off on a horse, presumably to tattle-tale. Zod repeats his order and looks over at Non. Non gets the message. He, already with a cop car siren in his hand from earlier, steps up and throws the light about two miles in the air. Direct hit. It smashes the kid and kills him. Someone screams that it was only a boy. That's when Ursa says, a boy that "will never be a man." Cold-blooded.
8 The Shining
The Shining is already dark and really no deleted scene could make it that much worse, but the ending that was originally shot did make one of the characters, the hotel manager, much more sinister. In the deleted scene, we see Danny and his mother, Wendy, in the hospital. Stuart Ullman, the manager, comes to visit. Ullman drops off flowers and then speaks with Danny shortly. As he leaves, he turns and throws Danny a yellow ball. Now, this small move is potentially huge. This implicates Ullman in the events and horrors of the film. Remember that it was the yellow ball that lured Danny into room 234 in the first place. This might mean that Ullman intentionally lured them to the Overlook hotel.
7 The Avengers
Even though we all know that Steve Rogers, Captain America, is sad, we don't have it really hammered home in the beginning like we could have. In a deleted scene from The Avengers, there were three minutes of Steve being Captain sad. We see him watching old war clips in the dark all alone. He then sits there in that dark room and looks over files of all his dead friends. Then he takes to the city, again alone, eating lunch by himself, riding the subway by himself, and walking by himself. During all of this, the high-tech world is being shoved in his face, and the happiness of others is flaunted. It doesn't necessarily change the movie, but it does make Captain America's story much darker than it was at that point in the franchise. It wouldn't be until later that this message would really come across, and we were shown how lonely he is.
6 Mrs. Doubtfire
Mrs. Doubtfire certainly has its moments of the sad and the sappy, but it's also primarily a feel-good family movie. There are a couple deleted scenes that were taken out in order to hide some of the major family drama that was shot. Sure, that element was still at the film's core, but it was subtler. The fighting between the mother and father was intended to be amplified in a major way. In one deleted scene, the three kids listen and cry together in a room as the parents scream at each other down the hall. This would have made the kids look much more like victims than the final cut showed. Another scene had mother and father get into a fight during one of the children's spelling bees. The kid messes up and dad has to beg forgiveness. Together, these scenes make both parents look like the bad guys instead of two people trying their best to make things work.
5 The Mask
No one would go out and claim that The Mask is all sunshine and kittens, but it has a lighter side to it, even when it does dip into the violence. Well, in the final cut, we see Peggy, the newspaper reporter, sell Stanley Ipkiss out to the bad guy and then disappear. We assume that she took her bounty and ran. In a deleted scene, however, things didn't work out so well for her. After she sells Ipkiss out, she tries to leave. The big bad, Dorian, grabs her before she goes and says, "A girl like you deserves to have her face plastered all over page one." He then throws her into a printing press where she is killed. The newspaper then prints out the image of her just before she dies, and the words are printed in blood. Honestly, it's a bada** scene, but it does bring the film into another level of darkness.
Even though this scene was never properly animated, we do consider it a deleted scene because it was storyboarded and conceptualized. It comes from Cars, and it was called "Lost." In the scene, Lightning McQueen drives off the road into a forest. Now, the creators called this place a graveyard, but what kind of car graveyard is in a forest? A normal graveyard would be a junkyard, wouldn't it? This forest had cars impaled by trees and others hanging as if some giant monster had been killing cars for sport for years. Even though the scene felt totally out of place and was deleted because it would have haunted children, it would be interesting to learn what exactly happened to these cars. How did they get there and who killed them?
3 Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
There were quite a few deleted scenes from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, but none would have made as big an impact as the pod racer introduction scene. This deleted scene introduced the competitors at length and added in a crazy dark insinuation. One of the racers is Ratts Tyerell. Now, Ratts is known in the movie as the little alien that screams and crashes during the race, dying in a fiery blaze. Well, in the deleted scene, right after his introduction, we meet Ratts' family. As the camera pans over to them in the crowd, the announcers state, "His whole family is here today to cheer him on." This is when we clue in that he has a wife and kids, including a newborn in its mother's arms. Suddenly, Ratts' brutal death isn't so funny.
2 Natural Born Killers
Near the end of Natural Born Killers, Mickey and Mallory are helped–saved even–by a prisoner named Owen Traft. Not long after this, Taft disappears, and we don't hear from him again. The film ends with a happy fairytale ending for the two serial killers. There was an alternate ending, though—one that was shot but then deleted. It showed what happened to Taft. He was in the van with Mickey and Mallory. As they were driving away, Mickey and Mallory started talking about their future, a future that didn't include Taft. He was hurt by that. He then asked if he could sleep with Mallory. She denied him and mocked him. That hurt Taft more. He then pulled out a shotgun and killed them both.
1 Beauty And The Beast
While you may not see it as such, we believe that the deleted scene from Beauty and the Beast is one of the darkest of all. In this scene, LeFou tries to hide in the bathroom of the castle during the big fight at the end. He hears a noise and notices that the toilet is also alive. Later, the toilet, now a man, is reunited with LeFou and he apparently doesn't smell very good. Just think about this for a second. Think about who uses that castle bathroom and how large and beastly that person is. Think about being subjected to that life for a decade or however long it was. That is the darkest punishment we could ever think of—a punishment we wouldn't wish on our worst enemies.
Sources: Wikipedia; IMDB; Reddit; Cracked; Youtube