America: The Motion Picture offers up a totally insane retelling of the American Revolutionary War and the birth of the United States of America. It’s a movie that gives George Washington chainsaws on his arms, makes him best friends with Abraham Lincoln, turns Benedict Arnold into a werewolf, and features a final battle with a giant Paul Bunyan and a Big Ben that had transformed into a massive robot. But even with all that, there were a couple deleted scenes that were too expensive and too ridiculous to make it into the final cut. Director Matt Thompson talked about these America: The Motion Picture deleted scenes with us during our interview following the movie’s release last week.
The Deleted Scene That Was Too Expensive
When George Washington (voiced by Channing Tatum) is doubting the path he’s on to stop Benedict Arnold from destroying the American Revolution, there’s a dream sequence that reunites him with Abraham Lincoln (voiced by Will Forte). Lincoln was mauled to death by Werewolf Benedict Arnold, but now he’s returned to offer Washington some guidance in his dreams.
Unfortunately, Washington’s “dream world” is an abandoned, disheveled warehouse, but there’s a reason for that. As Lincoln explains, “I’ve been told by the ‘dream producers’ that we could use this money more effectively elsewhere, like in an epic ending battle happening sometime in the next 30 minutes or so.”
Lincoln goes on to tell Washington what the dream would have entailed. Honest Abe paints the picture, “I had this whole idea worked out. You were going to fight a dream hydra.” The creature would have been made up of all of King James’ rules, and for every rule that Washington cut through, another would appear. Lincoln adds, “It was all about how the revolution is about more than just breaking the king’s rules. It’s also about your son.”
We asked director Matt Thompson if this was an actual deleted scene or just a meta gag created for a laugh. Turns out it’s both! Thompson told us:
“The picture that Lincoln holds up in that scene was a board from the scene as it was. That scene was 100% happening, but it was going to be expensive and we’re on a little bit of a smaller budget here than you would find in your regular big star cartoon movie. They couldn’t afford it. So that was me saying, “Nah, can’t afford it. Let’s make a nod to it.” That scene was 1000% boarded and happening.”
The Scene That Was Too Ridiculous
Even though America: The Motion Picture is a totally insane remix of America history, one that features Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy at the funeral of Abraham Lincoln, there were still scenes that were too ridiculous to make it into the movie. Thompson revealed his favorite gag that got cut from the film:
“My favorite thing that got cut in the movie, and it was in the movie for so long, and I wanted it to stay. There’s a nod to it in the credits, about one minute into the credits there’s a small coda scene. You meet some characters that you haven’t met on screen before, but yet we’ve talked about them throughout the movie.”
Thompson is talking about the appearance of the characters you see above: dinosaur wrangler George Washingten, racecar driver (or “racist”) Sam Adems, and professional wrestler Thomas Edisen. Our heroes are mistaken for these characters with alternate spellings throughout the movie, but at one point, they appeared more often than just this little credits scene. Thompson explained:
“At one point, they were throughout the [final battle] scene and because it just got too insane, too crazy, we had to let that go. So that is me lamenting the fact that I had to finally let that through-line joke go, but I put it back in there at the end. It’s just a five-second coda and if people see the movie they, and they see that coda scene, they can pretty much figure out what was happening there.”
It would have been great to see George Washingten, Sam Adems, and Thomas Edisen get more involved with the final battle. But when you have double decker bus AT-AT walkers, Johnny Appleseed spitting apple seeds out of his mouth like a machine gun, and British ships on the back of giant elephants, sometimes there’s a line you have to draw.
Be sure to read our full interview with Matt Thompson for more about America: The Motion Picture, now on Netflix.
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