During the build up to the release of Adam McKay’s eventual Best Picture Oscar nominee Vice, there was buzz surrounding a potential musical number included in the Dick Cheney biopic. Ultimately the film did not have such a sequence, but McKay was quick to confirm that one did exist, and he worked hard to get it into the film. Alas, it just didn’t fit, but it’s now been released online ahead of the film’s home video release, so we can see it in all its glory.
The sequence is set early on in the film when Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell) is showing Cheney (Christian Bale) the ropes around Washington, D.C. and explaining how to get your way and obtain—and hold onto—power. The number visualizes these ideas as Rumsfeld explains them to Cheney in the cafeteria, and Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard belts out the lyrics as government workers dance around the duo via choreography from Hamilton choreography Andy Blankenbuehler.
Speaking last year, McKay explained why the musical sequence didn’t work within the context of the film:
“It’s breathtaking. It’s incredible. And it just didn’t work. You didn’t need it. 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. The only reason it doesn’t pain me at this moment is because I know we tried everything we could do. You’re in the editing room and you’re like, ‘This is amazing. This is going to work.’ And you just forget the movie tells you what it wants.”
It’s certainly impressive, though I do agree it doesn’t necessarily fit within the context of the movie. And perhaps even an animated interlude may have better visualized these ideas that Rumsfeld is explaining, as the number also comes off as a tad confusing.
See for yourself in the video below. Vice arrives on Movies Anywhere and Digital on March 12th and on Blu-ray and DVD on April 2nd.