19

During Truman's first escape attempt, he travels for several minutes at high speed before encountering a range of increasingly unlikely obstructions, culminating in a police road block and an (alleged) nuclear leak.

Is there any indication what the crew were so keen to stop him from seeing? Did the road lead to an exit or a wall (or even loop back around to the other side of Seahaven) or was there some another reason they didn't want him to go any further?

43

One of the earlier manuscripts tells us what he was kept from seeing: staging for his Fiji trip. After Truman is greeted by name from a policeman he's never met, Truman bursts from the car and is wrestled to the ground. The original scene ended differently

TRUMAN bursts past the alien-looking HAZARDOUS WATER WORKERS in their protective suits carrying detection instruments.
The workers give chase in their cumbersome suits, trying to cut off his path.

Nearing the edge of the forest, Truman hears the sound of hammers and saws. But before he has time to see the source of the sound, he is tackled to the ground.

As SEAHAVEN POLICE OFFICERS drag him away, one of the WASTE WORKERS walks the remaining few yards, pushing aside a wall of tropical foliage. We now see what Truman was prevented from seeing.

A Polynesian island is under construction by dozens of RIGGERS, PAINTERS and SET DECORATORS. Large cranes are lifting palm trees into place, a fake volcano is being tested in the distance and rehearsals for a firewalking ceremony are underway complete with hot coals, DRUMMERS and FIREWALKERS in native dress.

The wings and fuselage of an airliner are being constructed on a hydraulic gimbal. Leading into one side of the airliner is a covered walkway, emblazoned with a sign, "Seahaven Island - Departures". Emerging from the opposite side of the airliner is an old-fashioned airline stairway with the sign, "Welcome to Fiji"

At the foot of the steps, TWO WOMEN in Fijian dress are being shown the correct way to present a floral lei.

FIJI WOMAN: Did he see us?

WASTE WORKER: (into microphone) Negative.

enter image description here

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    Ah, so the desperation was because he was about to see an incomplete area of the stage, not because he was about to hit an exit... In exactly the same way that he nearly saw the truth as a child on the beach when he was climbing the wall – Valorum Aug 22 at 14:01
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    @NKCampbell - Peter Weir wrote it (and filmed it) as part of a companion mockumentary that was supposed to be as long as the film. In the end the studio pulled the plug, but they did use a lot of the interviews in the film itself when they re-edited it. – Valorum Aug 22 at 16:30
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    there were some pretty good moments in it @Valorum - shame it wasn't a paired project. In the days of streaming platforms, you might be able to get away with something that ambitious now – NKCampbell Aug 22 at 16:37
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    Aw what, they were making a companion "documentary"? That would've been great to see, damn shame it was cut. – DavidS Aug 23 at 15:07
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    @DavidS - Some of it still exists here; youtube.com/watch?v=frXlYeflkt4&feature=youtu.be&t=1235 - I'm assuming the full length version would have been more of the same – Valorum Aug 25 at 12:55

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