Clark Collis
August 14, 2017 AT 10:30 AM EDT

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Josh Brolin has roles in several upcoming major films, including the firemen drama Only the Brave (out Oct. 20), Avengers: Infinity War (May 4, 2018), and Deadpool 2 (June 1, 2018). But one movie from which the Sicario star will be absent is director George Clooney’s Suburbicon (out Oct. 27), despite widespread media reports that Brolin would be appearing in the ’50s-set drama. So, what gives, Mr Clooney?

“We shot a couple of scenes with Josh [playing] a baseball coach that are really really funny,” says the director, who appeared alongside Brolin in the Coen brothers’ 2016 Hail, Caesar! “But after we did our first screening, the one thing that became really clear to me was that [the scenes] let the air out of the balloon, in terms of the tension in the film. I had to write him this awful note where I just said, ‘You’re not going to believe it. but these scenes really don’t work any more.’ He felt bad, and he thought maybe something went wrong, and I said, ‘I’m sending you the scenes, so you can see, they’re actually the two funniest scenes in the movie.’ I remember sitting there with the editor going, ‘F——-ck! I can’t believe this!’ But I’ve sort of been in the same situation. I did a bunch of scenes in Thin Red Line and then got a call from Terry [Malick], saying, ‘We’re cutting out everything except the very last scene.’ I was like, ‘Please cut me completely out of the movie! Don’t leave me in one scene!’ But, [on Suburbicon], it is one of those where we were just, like, ‘There was no option.’ He was so great in the film. I never like talking about those kind of things because it can be really unfair to an actor, except to say he was just absolutely great in the movie.”

In Suburbicon, Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, and Noah Jupe (The Night Manager) play a family who are the victims of a home invasion, while Oscar Isaac portrays a suspicious investigator.

Watch the trailer for Suburbicon above.

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