Earlier this afternoon, we celebrated ten years of “Moulin Rouge” alongside some of the musical masterpiece’s most prominent players, including director Baz Luhrmann and stars Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman. But the fun doesn’t end with our live-stream — we also have a deleted scene from “Moulin Rouge” for your viewing pleasure.
It’s a very significant, substantial deleted scene, too: an alternate opening for “Moulin Rouge” that would have featured McGregor as Christian singing a unique rendition of Cat Stevens “Father & Son” — a scene that Luhrmann and his team were forced to abandon when Stevens raised concerns with the use of his song.
“Of all the things ten years ago that was the most difficult in the process of making ’Moulin Rouge’ … came when we’d done a lot of work on an alternate opening to the film,” the director reveals in this behind-the-scenes footage.
“For very personal reasons, Cat Stevens felt that it was inappropriate that ’Father & Son’ appear in a movie that was about Moulin Rouge,” he continued. “I have to be honest, it was quite devastating for [co-writer Craig Pearce] and I. I think there was a positive side to it, in that it forced us to reexamine. I had hope alive that we might be able to shoot that opening sequence right through until shooting time, but the whole notion actually of ’Nature Boy’ and the use of that track deepened when we failed to get permission to use ’Father & Son.'”
But all was not lost: even though the scene never made it into the final cut of the film, nor was it fully shot, Luhrmann and his colleagues were able to shoot “a vocal test with Ewan McGregor, some imagery, and a sense of the orchestration we were going to use on that track,” resulting in this previously unseen scene from “Moulin Rouge.”
What do you think of the deleted scene? Tell us in the comments section and on Twitter!