Last week I got the three-disc “Complete Dossier” version of Apocalypse Now. I watched the movie and the bonus features. At one point in the bonus features someone was explaining that Harvey Keitel was at first cast to play the role of Captain Benjamin L. Willard; but after some amount of shooting with Keitel, the director Coppola decided to fire Keitel and later cast Martin Sheen in the role.
As the audio recording of this explanation proceeded, the accompanying video was not the speaker but footage shot for Apocalypse Now. For a moment I thought we would see Harvey Keitel in the role, as this seemed the natural choice to accompany the discussion.
But instead, we saw the scene from the theatrical film, with Sheen in the role, in fact the same "terminate with extreme prejudice" scene included in this discussion elsewhere of the same facts.
And it started me thinking.
On DVD releases of films, it’s very common to include deleted scenes. But I think that it’s extremely rare to include footage of actors fired from the production. It seems to me I once saw it done in connection with a Woody Allen movie, but if I’m right about that I suspect it was in a separate documentary, because Woody Allen's DVD releases are strikingly lacking in bonus features. I don’t think that I can recall a single other exhibition of footage of fired actors.
Why is that?
Are the same issues raised in Star Wars films, when footage of deceased actors, shot during the making of previous films, is re-used? Or when technology allows the re-animation of their images?