Taylor Swift’s All Too Well Almost Didn’t Make It Into The Final Cut Of The Fall Guy, And I Kind Of Wish It Hadn’t

 Ryan Gosling in The Fall Guy.
Ryan Gosling in The Fall Guy.

Warning: slight spoilers for The Fall Guy, and its soundtrack, are in play. If you haven’t caught the film yet, you’ve been warned. 

A soundtrack can make or break a movie in an instant, especially when it comes to building song choices into a movie like The Fall Guy. The 2024 movie has already been marketing itself as an all out spectacular with a bit of a soft side, thanks to advertising the use of a gag involving a Taylor Swift song. But believe it or not, Fall Guy writer Drew Pierce admitted that  “All The Well” almost didn’t make it into Ryan Gosling’s truck in a really fun music based gag.

And to be completely honest, after learning this news, I kind of wish it hadn’t. Prepare to hear me out on this one though, as we’ve got the story about the journey to using that song as well. You fans anticipating any upcoming Taylor Swift content might be pleasantly surprised with my alternatives, as I’m not making this case inspired by any sort of grudge against Ms. Taylor.

Ryan Gosling gets up close with Emily Blunt as she sits on the back of a truck in The Fall Guy.
Ryan Gosling gets up close with Emily Blunt as she sits on the back of a truck in The Fall Guy.

The Fall Guy’s Taylor Swift Moment

So here’s a quick rundown of the Taylor Swift moment in The Fall Guy, which includes some details not in the trailer. A slight spoiler warning is in effect here, so you can always jump to the next paragraph for safety. But basically, stunt performer Colt (Ryan Gosling) has a moment where “All Too Well” is playing on the radio, reminding him of his failed relationship with director Jody (Emily Blunt).

I’m talking full on, semi-Notebook stuff here, with memories of karaoke, rock paper scissor games, and doing donuts on the beach in a truck. It doesn’t last too long, as Jody catches Colt having his cry sesh in the truck, which leads to a funny moment in The Fall Guy’s rom-com DNA.

Emily Blunt points a fake knife at a smiling Ryan Gosling during a break in The Fall Guy.
Emily Blunt points a fake knife at a smiling Ryan Gosling during a break in The Fall Guy.

How All Too Well Made It Into The Fall Guy

It’s not hard to think that this scene was crafted with this particular song in mind. Ask any Edgar Wright fan, and they’ll tell you the story about how Baby Driver’s soundtrack was cleared at the script phase; because the man needed the tracks he had in mind while writing.

That sort of intent matters in a thrill ride such as The Fall Guy, but apparently this wasn’t a case where a bespoke soundtrack was lined up from day one. Speaking with CinemaBlend, writer Drew Pierce admitted as much, as he shared the following remarks about the moment’s eventual genesis:

I mean, I wish I could say to you it was there from day one. That we had it cleared, and it was good. No, there were a million alts, and there were lots of different (songs) tried. Don't get me wrong, I'm very glad that we came out where we came. But no, you can't lock yourself in. It's the same with the karaoke scenes. It seems crazy to imagine there would be other versions of the songs. But you just don't … honestly, it's not even just clearance. You just don't know what's going [to] work for the rhythm of the film until you're in the edit.

Finding the gag in the edit is just as valid as planning things out from the script level. So hearing that The Fall Guy eventually landed on “All Too Well” in this manner totally justifies including this Taylor Swift song. Even if hearing about the possibility of “a million alts” has me thinking of at least two songs that would have made more sense.

Emily Blunt sings her heart out at karaoke while bathed in purple light in The Fall Guy.
Emily Blunt sings her heart out at karaoke while bathed in purple light in The Fall Guy.

The Two Songs The Fall Guy Could Have Used Instead Of All Too Well

As I was able to see The Fall Guy at an early access screening this week, reading this story inspired my own inner music supervisor to come up with some alts. And the first one is a song that’s already in the movie during a pivotal karaoke scene, in which Emily Blunt thinks she’s been stood up by Ryan Gosling.

Seeing as she uses Phil Collins’ title track to the film Against All Odds to sing her heart out, that song is my first alternative suggestion, as having that song present in an earlier scene would have only tied these moments together more strongly. Also, if you’re trying to go for heart wrenching disappointment over a love gone wrong, that Collins song is one of the all-timers.

However, Taylor Swift is popular, and having a gag where a stunt performer happens to be a Swiftie does play. Which is the spirit that inspired my other alternative choice: “Wildest Dreams.” For someone who isn’t a huge Taylor Swift fan, that’s one of the songs I actually like of hers. It’s buried in the soft focus/romance novel cover romance she loves to paint in her songs, done so well with a sort of retro ‘80s/’90s flair to it.

That’s the sort of heightened reality The Fall Guy eats up with a spoon, as it’s ultimately a movie dedicated to showing off over the top stunts. It also would have made up for the Spirit Unleashed trailer’s weird usage. So using this 1989 track, in Ryan Gosling’s truck cabin breakdown, would have only made for a greater laugh.

Ultimately I’m not complaining that the “wrong choice” was made here, as it’s a very subjective scenario. But after having seen the movie, and seeing this moment in hindsight, my honest opinion is that I wouldn’t have missed “All Too Well” all that much. Which means it’s your turn to challenge my notions, as you head out to see The Fall Guy; which hits theaters this weekend. Now who do I have to talk to about an Emily Blunt cover of this tune; because she totally rocked “Against All Odds.”