Directors aren't perfect. Sometimes the editing process requires the filmmaker to make tough decisions regarding story and characters. There's only so much time in one movie. That's why the recent news about Sienna Miller's character being cut out of Black Mass shouldn't surprise anyone. It's not the first time:
1. Harrison Ford - E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Ford was married to the woman who wrote E.T., Melissa Mathison, for over 20 years, but she couldn't keep him in her most famous movie. Ford plays the school principal in the film, who disciplines Elliott after he releases all the frogs.
2. Kevin Costner - The Big Chill
One of the most famous instances of a major actor being cut out of a film happened during the making of The Big Chill. The movie, about a group of college friends reuniting after a suicide, featured Costner as the deceased, Alex. His scenes were shot in flashback, but eventually cut out of the film entirely.
3. Paul Rudd - Bridesmaids
Rudd played against type in 2011's Bridesmaids as an obnoxious suitor for Kristen Wiig's character, Annie. The scene fits in the movie and is typically hilarious thanks to the two stars involved, but Wiig explained the movie just got too long and tough decisions had to be made. That included eschewing Rudd's character. Here's a video of the scene, made by the world's laziest YouTuber.
4. Shailene Woodley - The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Critics railed against The Amazing Spider-Man sequel upon its release for being so overstuffed with supporting characters that none of them worked. But the movie was originally supposed to be even more stuffed. Shailene Woodley was cast as Mary Jane Watson to create a love triangle dynamic including Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). But the script got too huge and Mary Jane was cut.
5. Sienna Miller - Black Mass
"It came down to narrative choices." That's how director Scott Cooper summed up his decision to cut Miller's character from Black Mass. The film, about notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger (played by Johnny Depp), covers decades and Miller would have aged from her twenties to her fifties for the role as Catherine Greig, Bulger's loyal girlfriend.