9 huge movie stars killed off in the first act

Ever since Janet Leigh was killed off before the halfway point of Psycho, there’s been no guarantee that just because you’re a huge star, you won’t get wind up dead.

Sometimes it can happen towards the end of a movie to provide a third-act jolt (bye, Han), but some devilish filmmakers over the years have decided that’s not good enough for them and so killed off one of their stars before they even got past the first act.

Here are nine such examples where you were misled into thinking a huge star would play a major role in a movie. Needless to say, there are spoilers ahead.

1. Scream – Drew Barrymore

Even though it’s been parodied in the two decades since Scream‘s release, it doesn’t lessen the impact of the killer opening scene that proved Scream meant business.

Drew Barrymore was meant to play the lead role of Sidney Prescott before other commitments meant she couldn’t. Instead, Sidney went to Neve Campbell and Barrymore took on the role of the unfortunate Casey Becker, whose lack of horror knowledge leads to her boyfriend’s death and, eventually, her own at the hands of Ghostface.

2. Mission: Impossible – Kristin Scott Thomas and Emilio Estevez

Poor Ethan Hunt didn’t have much luck with his first big-screen Impossible Mission Force team as they all died in the opening mission of Mission: Impossible.

That included Kristin Scott Thomas’s Sarah Davies and Emilio Estevez’s Jack Harmon, both of them already well-known from major roles in the likes of Four Weddings and a Funeral and The Breakfast Club.

Jon Voight’s Jim Phelps also ‘dies’ – but he’s revealed to have faked his death and been a mole all along.

3. Avengers: Infinity War – Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba

Sure, we knew that deaths were coming in Avengers: Infinity War, but we thought we’d at least get to enjoy the opening of the mega Marvel hit.

It didn’t quite work out that way though, because before we’d even got to the title card, Thanos had made his mark by killing off a bunch of Asgardians including Idris Elba’s Heimdall and – most importantly – Tom Hiddleston’s Loki (or did he fake his death again?). No one was laughing about Thanos sitting on his throne anymore.

4. Life – Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds might have been coming off his biggest hit to date with Deadpool, but that didn’t protect his character in sci-fi Life.

Perhaps in a nod to Alien‘s shock Kane chestburster death, Reynolds’s Rory Adams meets a grisly demise as an alien organism (which the crew call Calvin, naturally) latches onto him, enters his mouth and eats him from the inside out. Even Deadpool might have struggled to come back from that.

5. Contagion – Kate Winslet

The world is at risk from a deadly virus in Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, but it’s alright, Kate Winslet’s Dr Erin Mears is going to save the day, right? Wrong.

She’s one of the first people to be sent to investigate the outbreak and does at least manage to work out where it originated from. Unfortunately for her, it’s at the cost of getting infected herself and without a vaccine yet, Dr Mears dies and is buried in a mass grave. That’s no way to treat Rose. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Beth also dies early on, but somehow that didn’t bother us as much.

6. Side Effects – Channing Tatum

Steven Soderbergh must enjoy killing off his movie’s stars – he pulled the same trick a few years later with Side Effects.

Tatum’s Martin Taylor looks to be set up as the movie’s co-lead, alongside Rooney Mara, who plays his wife Emily, until shortly after 30 minutes in when Emily fatally stabs Martin during a bout of sleepwalking. Well, that’s what she says anyway, but we won’t spoil the twist for you here.

7. Children of Men – Julianne Moore

In terms of shocking sudden deaths, Julianne Moore’s death in Children of Men has to be among one of the best, even setting aside that they were killing off one of the movie’s biggest stars.

She plays Julian Taylor, the ex-wife of Clive Owen’s Theo Faron, who offers Theo money to transport a young refugee to safety. As they’re on the way to the safe house, though, they’re ambushed and in a brilliant single tracking shot, Julian is shot in the neck and quickly bleeds to death. Harsh.

8. The Other Guys – Samuel L Jackson and Dwayne Johnson

Yes, The Other Guys is a comedy, yet that doesn’t make the rapid departures of Samuel L Jackson and Dwayne Johnson’s super cops any less surprising.

We knew that something would happen to make Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’s clueless duo take over as protectors of New York City. However, that doesn’t mean we thought the movie would have Jackson and Johnson’s characters mistakenly jump to their deaths, especially when keeping them around had plenty of comic potential.

9. Gravity – George Clooney

Much like Steven Soderbergh, Alfonso Cuarón wasn’t satisfied with killing off a major star in Children of Men, so he did it again in Gravity with George Clooney’s Matt Kowalski, who sacrifices himself to save Sandra Bullock’s Dr Ryan Stone.

OK, so Kowalski does technically return later on in the movie, but that’s just a hallucination on Stone’s part, which means that he still counts as a surprising early death – especially as it left Bullock on her own for the rest of the movie.

Go to the cinema a lot? Did you know you can get unlimited cinema tickets plus 10% off food and drink and access to exclusive preview screenings with Cineworld’s Unlimited Card?

Source: Read Full Article