The hit movie Everything Everywhere All At Once was a real comeback for Ke Huy Quan. A child actor in the ‘80s, Quan retired from acting to work behind the scenes. Everything directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert even thought about including Quan’s iconic Short Round character from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in the movie, but it didn’t work.
The Daniels give an audio commentary along with the film on the DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K UHD edition of Everything Everywhere All at Once. Here’s why they couldn’t make Short Round work, and another multiverse that didn’t make the cut.
Where young Ke Huy Quan would have appeared in ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’
Quan plays Waymond Wang, the husband of Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) who explains the multiverse to her. In a flashback montage, the Everything Everywhere All At Once viewer sees a montage of how the characters met as children and fell in love.
“This sequence was a fun revelation,” Kwan said. “Basically we could take a sci-fi conceit which is someone scanning someone’s brain for their life memories and in the same motion, you’re also getting their full life story. So it’s like a little bit of sci-fi stuffed in with a little bit of character backstory.
Scheinarts added that astute viewers will notice all the details that pay off later in Everything Everywhere All at Once.
“It was a real ah-ha moment when we came up with this scene,” Scheinert said. “Oh wow, now we can tease everything that’s going to come later, all of Michelle’s character’s regrets, and all the relationships.”
Why Short Round didn’t fit into ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’
Daniels wanted to try to put young Quan in the montage, but could not achieve the de-aging effect that Marvel has used in several movies.
“Right there for young Waymond, we spent a while being like can we somehow motion track Key Quan’s childhood face onto that actor and make it look like Short Round?” Scheinert said. “Did not work. It was too much work and wasn’t worth it.”
The one multiverse they didn’t visit
Everything Everywhere All At Once goes to many different universes, including the one where Michelle Yeoh is a movie star, one where everyone has hot dogs for fingers, and one where everyone is rocks. There was one they had to cut though.
“Originally there was going to be a spaghetti universe,” Kwan said while they watched a scene of Evelyn cooking noodles. “And that’s why this was in here. In a lot of ways, this whole opening is sort of like the opening of Home Alone. That opening of Home Alone is such a fun introduction of everything that is going to come back in the movie.”
Scheinert added that Home Alone sets up every booby trap Kevin McCallister lays in the opening family dinner sequence.
“If you’ve watched Home Alone 10 times like we have, then you just start to be like oh my gosh, we go to every room,” Scheinert said. “We set up every prop, every gag. That’s the window they’re going to fall out of. That’s the staircase they’re going to fall down.”