The solemn and gruff Dick Cheney is not someone you would expect to be a chipper, song and dance man, but Adam McKay’s Best Picture-nominated film “Vice” nearly featured a lavish musical number.
McKay directed a sequence in which Steve Carell’s Donald Rumsfeld is showing Christian Bale’s Dick Cheney the ropes inside a D.C. cafeteria, but it was ultimately cut from the movie. Rumsfeld starts to explain that every interaction and meeting could be a win or lose opportunity and chance for advancement, when who should stand up to burst out into song but Brittany Howard, the bluesy frontwoman for rock band Alabama Shakes.
Howard sings about the more underhanded techniques politicians use to get things done, like strategically leaking things to the press but then being publicly outraged about it as a way of preventing people from sitting into meetings.
“Hear only yes, and never no, and I always have the final say so,” Howard belts out during the scene.
Nicholas Britell composed the music for the scene, and Andy Blankenbuehler, the choreographer for “Hamilton,” choreographed the dancing.
Sadly, the sequence didn’t make it into “Vice,” and the film’s editor Hank Corwin told The Hollywood Reporter back in January that much as he loved it, it would’ve weighed down the film at the wrong moment.
“Adam directed the heck out of it; it was really entertaining,” Corwin told THR. “But what we found was, in the context of the film, it weighed the film down at the wrong time. The film wanted to move quickly in that area, and it would have slowed it down. It was very painful [to cut it].”
If only we got to see Christian Bale dust off his old “Newsies” dancing shoes, then maybe the scene would’ve made the final cut.
Watch it above.