Bruce Willis in ‘Unbreakable’.
“It was a really sad cut because it makes you smile and you have fun watching it, but that’s how it goes,” M. Night Shyamalan explained in the DVD extras.
It is such a great scene, it’s hard to believe it did not make the final cut.
With all the chatter surrounding M. Night Shyamalan now that he has announced a sequel to Unbreakable and Split, it is time to talk about one of the best scenes from the 2000 Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson starrer that didn’t make it into the theatrical release.
The scene: After Willis’ David Dunn lifts a tremendous about of weight in his home with his son looking on in astonishment, the unlikely hero decides to push himself even more by going to the weight room used by the football team at the stadium where he works. There, Dunn bench-presses 495 pounds using a suicide (no thumbs) grip.
Calling it “a really sad cut,” Shyamalan explained in the DVD extras that the scene, while “a lot of fun,” just felt too similar to the first scene. But the moment is fantastic for a number of reasons. First, there is the music, a trumpet-heavy theme that fit perfectly with the feat Dunn accomplished.
Next, it is a lot of fun to watch Dunn calculate that he lifted nearly 500 pounds, yet after the bar is racked, he is not fazed in the least; not breathing heavy, nor flushed. Now, this is somewhat reminiscent of the earlier weightlifting scene, but the lighting was so dark in that scene, and so much was happening with the focus on the son’s amazement, it was easy to miss the fact that Dunn was not fazed.
Finally, there’s the spectacular reaction from the football players, who at first pay no attention to Dunn and then are completely flabbergasted at the end.
“It was a scene I had a lot of fun shooting and storyboarding,” Shyamalan explains in the DVD extras. “The reason we took it out was I felt it was a little redundant, that we got the idea that he can lift a lot of weight and that he was being a little slow to catch on that he’s special.”