Action epic Skyscraper nearly kicked off in far more downbeat fashion. The thriller stars Dwayne Johnson as a U.S. war veteran and former F.B.I. Hostage Rescue Team Leader who now assesses security for big buildings. And wouldn’t you know it, while on assignment in China, he finds himself framed for setting fire to the tallest, safest skyscraper in the world.
What follows is basically a modern spin on the Die Hard trope, with Johnson on the run, and endeavouring to finds those responsible for the blaze, while at the same time trying to save his family, who also happen to be trapped in the building. The film is being a blast from start-to-finish. Though that opening was initially very different.
Why the Skyscraper Scene Was Removed
In the director’s commentary of a deleted scene — which can be viewed above — Rawson Marshall Thurber explains: “We used to do this — the explosion, and have some aftermath here, before we get to the hospital, which we’re about to go to. And I guess it all just took too much time. It set up a movie that we didn’t quite deliver. It set up a tone that we didn’t quite deliver. And as much as I love the longer sequence — which I do — I think what’s better for the movie is what’s in the movie.”
The scene also features Dwayne Johnson “absolutely battered like you’ve never seen him before”, according to Thurber. While it sets up Johnson meeting Neve Campbell in hospital, to whom he’s married later in the film, which Thurber refers to as a classic meet-cute.
The clip can be watched with the commentary above, and without it below, while Skyscraper is available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.