It is very common in the film industry to create more than one ending. Whether the final cut is a result of a director’s change of heart, suggested studio tweaks, or unsuccessful test screenings, today we’ll look at 21 alternative endings of famous movies that never made it to theaters.
#21. Pretty Woman
Photo: Courtesy of Stern
This beloved movie was initially meant to be a dark tale about Hollywood sex workers. Edward (Richard Gere) was supposed to kick Vivian (Julia Roberts) out of his car, sending her back to working the streets. When Disney acquired the prototype, it decided to turn it into a romantic comedy with a happy ending.
#20. Get Out
Photo: Courtesy of Vox
In the alternative ending of Get Out, the main character is arrested by white policemen, he can’t remember what happened at his girlfriend’s house, and there is no evidence to acquit him of the murders, so he goes to jail. This ending was just too dark, so it didn’t make the final cut. Check out the next slide to see what could’ve happened in one of the most famous dramatic movies.
#19. Fatal Attraction
Photo: Courtesy of Glamour
In the originally-planned ending, Alex commits suicide with a kitchen knife that had Dan’s prints on it to make it seem like he murdered her, so Dan is sent to prison. The ending was changed because audiences wanted a more cathartic ending. Next, a famous Ben Stiller comedy is coming up.
Photo: Courtesy of Gamer Radar
The DVD release of Dodgeball revealed that the film was originally not going to have a happy ending. The team was going to lose, to turn the cliché of the underdogs winning on its head. A cult horror movie is next on our list.
#17. Nightmare on Elm Street
Photo: Courtesy of Microsoft
Nightmare on Elm Street was supposed to be a stand-alone film. Nancy was going to defeat Freddy Kruger, realize it had all been a dream, and go back to her normal life. But the studio saw the potential of the movie to become a franchise, and thus gave it an open ending.
#16. Pretty in Pink
Photo: Courtesy of Biography
In an early cut, Duckie, Andie’s quirky BFF, was supposed to win her heart and take her to prom. But test audiences preferred Andrew McCarthy, who played Blaine, over Jon Cryer, who played Duckie, and thus, Blaine got the girl in the end. Check out the next slide to see what alternative ending a famous zombie thriller had.
#15. 28 Days
Photo: Courtesy of ICF Center
28 Days had a whopping three alternative endings on the DVD. In one of them, Jim the protagonist, is infected and dies. That was the director’s favorite ending, but test audiences didn’t like it, so the movie ended on a happier note. Next, an adorkable superhero movie‘s alternative ending.
#14. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Photo: Courtesy of The New York Times
The director originally intended for Scott Pilgrim to end up with an underage love interest named Knives Chau instead of his main love interest, Ramona. Test audiences weren’t happy, especially because the original graphic novels ended with Scott and Ramona together, so the ending was changed. The sequel of one of the most famous action movies of all time is coming up next.
#13. Die Hard with a Vengeance
Photo: Courtesy of Collider
In an alternate ending of the Die Hard sequel, the villain, Simon Gruber, actually gets away after their big fight. Later, McClane tracks him down as has one last face-to-face encounter with him and kills him with a rocket launcher. A beloved Disney movie is next on our list.
#12. Lilo & Stitch
Photo: Courtesy of Polygon
In the original ending, the climax of the film took place in a densely populated city escape, where Stitch commanded an airplane, destroying buildings in an effort to save Lilo. The movie was in production when the horrific events of 9/11 took place, so Disney changed it. Slide to the next page to see what could’ve happened in a famous stoner comedy.
#11. Pineapple Express
Photo: Courtesy of E! Online
The DVD release included an alternative that was more likely a fake finale, in which the main characters are shot by police and die holding hands during their last breath. That last bit of an act of bromance is the biggest clue that this scenario was likely fake.
#10. Starship Troopers
Photo: Courtesy of The Verge
The sci-fi satire was supposed to end with Carmen breaking it off with Johnny and hooking up with Zander, her superior. The movie got very bad reviews from test audiences, so the director decided to scale back on the romance angle and cut a Carmen-Johnny kiss at the end after Barcalow’s death. People were shocked to find out Rambo‘s alternative ending up next.
#9. Rambo: First Blood
Photo: Courtesy of Slash Films
Rambo was based on David Morrell‘s 1972 novel, in which Rambo and Will Tesle, the sheriff, both die after much bloodshed. Director Ted Kotcheff, however, decided to give the film adaptation an ending where both the sheriff and Stallone walk away alive, thus spawning four sequels.
#8. Little Shop of Horrors
Photo: Courtesy of Slash Films
The movie, which is based on a musical, was going to stick to the original story and have both protagonists die. Two separate test audiences hated the ending so much, that the movie got a 13% recommendation, when a movie must have at least 55% to be released.
Photo: Courtesy of EW
During the script stages, Hancock was far bleaker than the final version. The original character was a suicidal alcoholic that murdered police officers, raped a fellow mythical being, and tried to end it all by committing suicide.
Photo: Courtesy of IMDB
According to Rolling Stone, the movie almost ended tragically, with Dante, played by Brian O’Halloran, being shot and killed during a robbery of the convenience store. O’Halloran hated it, and convinced director Kevin Smith to change it.
#5. Sunset Boulevard
Photo: Courtesy of Letterboxd
Unlike the other films on the list, Sunset Boulevard had an alternative beginning. In an original screening, the audience laughed so hard at the beginning that the director had to leave the room. Afterwards, the audience started leaving, and one woman told the director: “I never saw such a pile of sh*t in all my life.” This prompted him to change it. A very famous drama based on a Stephen King’s novel is next on our list.
#4. The Shawshank Redemption
Photo: Courtesy of American Cinematographist
Originally, the movie ended with Red (Morgan Freeman) getting paroled after 40 years, and didn’t show him reuniting with Andy (Tim Robbins), who had escaped earlier. Audiences didn’t like this, so the ending was changed to have both characters reunited. The alternative ending of the next Disney classic would’ve been awesome!
#3. The Jungle Book
Photo: Courtesy of junglebook.wikia.com
The Disney classic ends with Mowgli leaving the jungle and joining a village to adapt to human life. However, the movie was originally going to end with Mowgli returning to the wolf pack and living among animals. Click on the next slide to see how a Martin Scorsese movie almost ended differently.
#2. The Departed
Photo: Courtesy of Brokelyn
The final version of The Departed certainly departed from the original idea. In it, the mole in the department avoids detection, and Matt Damon‘s character doesn’t kill the undercover agent in the elevator.
Photo: Courtesy of Popsugar Australia
The iconic James Cameron movie originally featured an extended final scene. In both the final and alternate versions, the old version of Rose throws the diamond into the ocean. However, in the extended version, Paxton, the treasure hunter, tries to stop her, to which she replies: “you don’t know what to really value in life,” teaching him a valuable lesson.