Adam McKay explains why he cut an “incredible” musical number from Vice
Speaking in an interview with Variety. director Adam McKay revealed that his biopic on the former vice president Dick Cheney once included a pretty out there sequence…specifically a musical number.
“I couldn’t get that one to work,”McKay admits. “It was kind of when Rumsfeld is teaching Cheney about Washington D.C. and how to get ahead. It’s sort of like ‘neither a borrower nor a lender be,’ he’s kind of giving him that speech. But the speech is about, ‘Who cares about anything? You’ve got to just get ahead of people, making your moves.’ I think there was a line in it, ‘The means justify the ends,’ which I always loved.”
The song was written by Oscar-nominated composer Nicholas Britell and featured Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard and choreography from Hamilton’s Andy Blankenbuehler.
McKay says the sequence is “breathtaking” and “incredible,” but just couldn’t figure out how to make it work, citing length and tone as the primary issues.
“You didn’t need it,” he said. “It was too long in that area of the movie. We tried 15 versions of it. We moved it here, we moved it there. We played it really short. We played it way longer and put scenes in the middle of it. We tried every single thing you could do.”
Also on the cutting room floor was footage featuring a young, 15-year old Dick Cheney; a sequence test audiences just didn’t care for. No matter, as with all of McKay’s films the deleted scenes will pop up on the eventual Blu-ray release.
Vice explores the epic story about how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today. The film’s ensemble cast includes Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carrell, Sam Rockwell, Jesse Plemons, Alison Pill, Lily Rabe, Tyler Perry, Justin Kirk, Lisagay Hamilton, Shea Whigham, and Eddie Marsan.
The project reunites award-winning director and co-writer Adam McKay with The Big Short stars Christian Bale and Steve Carell, as well as Talladega Nights‘ Amy Adams. Bale will be headlining as former Vice President Dick Cheney, with Adams as his wife Lynne Cheney, Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush, Carell as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Tyler Perry as Colin Powell, and Bill Pullman as former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller.