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Why Josh Brolin Was Cut Out Of Suburbicon, According To George Clooney

The moment George Clooney told Josh Brolin he was cut

Josh Brolin isn't hurting for work. Next year alone, Brolin will be part of the two most anticipated comic-book blockbusters in Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2. Outside of the tentpole realm, the actor will hold down roles in Only the Brave (later this year) and Soldado -- the spiritual sequel to Sicario. But do you want to know one movie that Josh Brolin won't be in? George Clooney's Suburbicon... because the actor's scenes were cut. As Clooney explains:

We shot a couple of scenes with Josh [playing] a baseball coach that are really, really funny. But after we did our first screening, the one thing that became really clear to me was that [the scenes] let the air out of the balloon, in terms of the tension in the film. I had to write him this awful note where I just said, 'You're not going to believe it. But these scenes really don't work any more.'

George Clooney directs the upcoming Suburbicon, a fall film that is expected to make a splash on the film festival circuit. Though the premise sounds Coen-esque (and many people in the cast, including Clooney and Josh Brolin, are veterans of the Coen dramas), there's nothing funny about the story of one man's plunge into insanity. In explaining why he ultimately removed Brolin's scenes from the finished product, Clooney tells EW that he went through a similar stint with Terrence Malick on The Thin Red Line, where the bulk of Clooney's scenes were chopped out of the final cut of the movie, except for one awkward scene with the A-list actor at the very end of the movie. Clooney went on to elaborate:

[On Suburbicon], it is one of those where we were just, like, 'There was no option.' He was so great in the film. I never like talking about those kind of things because it can be really unfair to an actor, except to say he was just absolutely great in the movie.

Suburbicon, which is set in the 1950s, looks like a slapstick kind of dark drama, where a seemingly innocent man (Matt Damon) is rattled by a home invasion. Suddenly, the man is caught up in a growing criminal plot that involves the mob, and a number of instances of mob violence. The script comes from Joel and Ethan Coen, and was one that they worked on years ago, after penning Blood Simple. You can see their fingerprints all over the first trailer for the film:

Audiences will get a look at Suburbicon when it opens in theaters on October 27, after a pit stop at the Toronto International Film Festival in early September. Just don't look for Josh Brolin. His scenes didn't make the cut.

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.