7 Movies With Alternate Endings So Crazy, You Won't Believe They Almost Happened
If there's one thing cinema has taught me during my 28 years on this planet, it is to fear outer space. It's the great unknown. It's the deepest, darkest reaches of everything we know and everything we will never know. It is slowly destroying us even as it gives us life. Space is terrifying, okay? If its vastness doesn't make you feel insignificant, then all of the films that show outer space for the merciless, cold, and unforgiving place it truly is will certainly make you glad your feet are firmly planted on the ground. Gravity, Contact, Star Wars — man, even Wall-E — will give you the feeling that there's something out there and beyond us that is slowly and surely going to kill us all some day. One of the most recent critically-acclaimed films to venture into outer space, Interstellar, proves this: Even moreso now that it's the latest movie to have a newly-revealed alternate ending that's both terrifying and unsettling. I'm telling you: SPACE IS SCARY AND CANNOT BE TRUSTED.
I will warn you, there are many SPOILERS AHEAD (space being terrifying isn't one of them, though, because everyone should know that by now).
So, what goes down in the actual ending of the film? At the end of Interstellar, Matthew McConaughey's character, Cooper, goes into a black hole in order to transmit information back to Earth and save mankind. During the journey, though, he gets caught in a wormhole, which grants him the opportunity to travel through time in order to communicate with his daughter when she's a little girl. (Science, amiright?) Then, he wakes up in a space station with his elderly daughter, who managed to save the human race.
Apparently, however, there was an ending to Interstellar that was not only more scientifically possible... it was a lot darker. According to Nerdist, Jonathan Nolan explained at a press event for the release of the film to Blu-ray that the script, “had the Einstein-Rosen bridge [colloquially, a wormhole] collapse when Cooper tries to send the data back.” Therefore, Cooper gets lost and likely dies in outer space, leaving humanity's ultimate fate looking... well, pretty bleak. Apparently, the filmmakers chose Interstellar's current ending because the former was, "too much science for the public to digest at once.”
Honestly, I disagree — personally, I thought there was something a little too convenient about the ending Interstellar went with. But, alas, the more scientifically-accurate ending the film could have gone with was not meant to be.
Interstellar isn't the only film to go another direction than anticipated for its ending. Here are other famous films with alternate endings, many of which are a lot less scary than outer space. Enjoy!
Yep, in Titanic's original ending, Bill Paxton and company catch Rose in the act of tossing the Heart of the Ocean overboard, and they try to stop her — BUT SHE'S TOO FAST. As the necklace hits the Atlantic, Bill screams into the heavens and the movie ends. That's even worse than the moment when the Titanic hits the iceberg, Jack turns to Rose and says, "This is bad."
Thelma & Louise
The extended ending of Thelma & Louise shows a much more, shall we say, "detailed" finale. While the original just shows Thelma and Louise's car cresting over the canyon, this extended ending shows the car tossing and turning, giving viewers a clear picture of their deaths. Then, we see the look of satisfaction on Harvey Keitel's face, and it sort of takes the power away from our heroes. The filmmakers chose the right ending on this one.
Your all-time favorite romantic comedy, Pretty Woman, was almost never romantic or a comedy. According to Julia Roberts, the original idea for the film (originally called 3000) was:
A really dark and depressing, horrible, terrible story about two horrible people and my character was this drug addict, a bad-tempered, foulmouthed, ill-humored, poorly educated hooker who had this weeklong experience with a foulmouthed, ill-tempered, bad-humored, very wealthy, handsome but horrible man and it was just a grisly, ugly story about these two people.
The writer of 3000, J.F. Lawton also revealed that, "the original story of 3000 was basically like the movie Pretty Woman except for the ending - he didn't fall in love with her in the original script, and she does end up back on the street."
Bummer. I'm sure glad they stuck with the love story.
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Gary Kurtz, who helped George Lucas create the first two Star Wars film had a very different idea in mind for the ending of the third and — at the time — final installment of the saga: Han Solo dies. According to the LA Times , Kurtz said:
Instead of bittersweet and poignant [George Lucas] wanted a euphoric ending with everybody happy. The original idea was that they would recover [the kidnapped] Han Solo in the early part of the story and that he would then die in the middle part of the film in a raid on an Imperial base. George then decided he didn’t want any of the principals killed. By that time there were really big toy sales and that was a reason.
Pretty in Pink
If there's any one director who knew how to break my teenage heart better than any other, it was the wonderful John Hughes. In Pretty in Pink, Andie (Molly Ringwald), the "uncool girl" (hah!) falls for the hot rich guy Blaine (Andrew McCarthy). However, according to CBR, the original script actually called for Andie to end up with her best friend Duckie (Jon Cryer). Despite the fact that Duckie was the guy we were all rooting for, for some reason this ending just didn't test well with audiences.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
In the original ending for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Ramona leaves without Scott! Cold — Ice. Cold.
And I thought the original ending to Donnie Darko was dark enough... sheesh! The extended/uncut ending shows Donnie's whole, grisly end. Thanks, but no thanks.
Images: Paramount Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Lucasfilm