13 Films That the Makers Envisaged With a Very Different Ending, and Now We Can’t Stop Thinking About It
The creative process is a delicate one, and sometimes filmmakers find it difficult to decide how they want their story to end. So it’s not uncommon for them to consider different options at different stages of production. And while audiences often can’t imagine that their favorite films could have ended any other way, many of them were actually envisaged with a very different outcome.
In an alternate ending, Brock and Rose’s granddaughter, Lizzy, see Rose on deck and decide that she is about to jump into the water. When they run closer, they realize she is holding the “Heart of the Ocean.” Rose explains that all these years she has repeatedly thought about selling the jewel but finally decided to “put it back where it belongs.”
And all this is accompanied by the characters’ reaction as if she’d held the necklace hostage. Such an overly sentimental and, frankly, ridiculous ending caused an uproar of emotions among social media users, making it clear that the filmmakers ultimately made the right choice in deciding against it.
According to the original script, the film should have ended completely differently. The ship malfunction, which the protagonists encounter, is fixed much more easily, but a system reboot prompts the computer to conclude that the ship is docked, causing ventilation to turn on in the cryo-capsules on board, and the 5,000 passengers are ejected into outer space.
As they are unable to rescue the captain, Jim and Aurora remain the only people on the ship. During their long space voyage, they have children, and in the final scenes, we don’t see the passengers who awoke right on time, but rather, the protagonists’ descendants, who land on the planet Homestead II.
We all remember the incredibly romantic and inspirational ending of the film, when Phil wakes up with Rita on February 3rd, followed by the supposed “and they lived happily ever after.” However, this is not the original version of the ending. According to screenwriter Danny Rubin’s idea, Phil really is supposed to wake up with Rita, but she soon rushes off as she, too, got caught in a time loop, only for her the day that endlessly repeats is not February 2nd but February 3rd.
“But the thing is it switches over to her story at the very end as we’re realizing that she’s been repeating that day over and over again, there’s a Rita voiceover. So the movie actually switches point of view from his voiceover to hers,” Rubin explained.
The DVD/Blu-ray of the film contains the subsequently deleted ending scene, in which Andrew asks his friend to send Maggie a message via the stewardess, played by Niecy Nash, while she prepares for the takeoff. The plane eventually returns to Sitka Airport, where the final dialogue between the protagonists takes place.
Originally, the 2018 film was supposed to end with a fight between Laurie and Michael Myers, in the course of which Laurie dies, and in future installments of the franchise, the protagonist’s cause was to be continued by her daughter and granddaughter.
Given that this film was presented as the final confrontation between the protagonist and the antagonist of the iconic story, this conclusion seems more like what viewers expected to see.
My Best Friend’s Wedding
In the original version of the ending, Julia Roberts’ character doesn’t dance with George (Rupert Everett), but rather, with a random wedding guest, played by John Corbett. Interestingly, the filmmakers had to rewrite the script after it became clear that the focus group at the test screening hated the conniving Julianne. “They just couldn’t understand her motives,” shared the film’s director P.J. Hogan.
The Bourne Identity
The alternative ending, which can be seen in the DVD version of the film, is shot in a typical tradition of Hollywood endings. It shows Jason looking down the hill at Marie’s rented scooter before walking down to it. Marie gets out, sees the protagonist and approaches him. They then embrace and kiss with the rays of sun shining down on them.
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
In the DVD version, the outcome of the film is quite different. Average Joe’s team loses the match and the announcer exclaims that the team is going home with nothing. Ironically, the alternative ending precisely captures the essence of the true underdog story. Nevertheless, it didn’t pass the focus group test.
The film ends with Chris running away from the Armitages’ house and confronting Rose, who keeps lying to the protagonist saying she still loves him. Just in time, a transport security vehicle appears with Chris’ friend Rod at the wheel, and they both drive off.
In the alternate version, however, it’s not Chris’s friend who arrives at the Armitages’ house, but the police, who arrest him. The film ends with a scene where Rod visits the protagonist in prison. “It was very clear that the ending needed to transform into something that gives us a hero, that gives us an escape, and gives us a positive feeling when we leave this movie. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the audience go crazy when Rod shows up,” director Jordan Peele explained his final decision.
Man of Steel
The filmmakers had different intentions for the ending of this movie from the start. The idea was that Superman would not kill General Zod but spare him and send him back into space. However, screenwriter David S. Goyer felt that this ending didn’t fit the overall tone of the film.
The filmmakers originally envisaged a slightly different outcome. They were going to have Alex frame the protagonist and get him arrested on suspicion of her murder. But the participants of the focus group disliked this version so much that the screenwriters had to make the final ending much more optimistic, in which Dan’s wife comes to his rescue.
50 Shades Of Grey
The theatrical version of the film contains scenes that show what happened after the elevator doors closed. The footage reveals Christian’s sentimental side and offers hope that the couple will get back together, but the film’s director, Sam Taylor-Johnson, decided to bank on a dramatic final chord instead.
A Star Is Born
The filmmakers considered several versions of the ending, and in each of them Jackson tragically dies: in one version, by swimming out to sea, and in another, while riding a motorbike. Some of them even carried on being discussed once the filming had already started. But at some point, Bradley Cooper, the director and lead actor, changed his mind and suggested the ending we eventually saw.
“I think he was right. When I watch the movie now, I can’t imagine it ending any other way,” shared producer and screenwriter Toby Emmerich.
Do you think these endings would have ruined the films in question, or would they have helped to create a better impression?