17 Famous Films That Nearly Had Different Endings

When a film is made, the director or the producer can sometimes decide to change the ending completely. In this post, we’ll look at 17 movies that could have ended up very differently if the film had stuck to the script.

Ghostbusters

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

Originally, Ghostbusters featured Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and Eddie Murphy in a future setting, battling ghosts across dimensions. After Belushi’s death, plans changed. The script, initially Ghost Smashers, evolved into the present-day storyline we recognize.

The Mask

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema

The Mask, adapted from a violent comic, originally had a darker plot involving face removal and zombies. Director Chuck Russell transformed it into a family-friendly comedy starring Jim Carrey, opting for a cartoonish approach, which was a huge contrast from the initial gruesome concept.

Pretty Woman

Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures

The film, initially titled 3,000, was a dark drama about a drug-addicted prostitute. The original story lacked a happy ending, focusing on the harsh realities of sex work. After several rewrites, Pretty Woman was transformed into the Cinderella story that made Julia Roberts a superstar.

Big Trouble in Little China

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

Big Trouble in Little China, starring Kurt Russell, began as an 1880s cowboy story but eventually became a 1980s mystical battle in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Originally penned by Gary Goldman and David Weinstein, script doctor W.D. Richter reshaped it into a cult classic, blending kung fu with a contemporary setting.

Con Air

Photo Credit: Touchstone

Con Air was originally a small-scale indie thriller but was transformed into an over-the-top action spectacle. They leveraged Bruckheimer’s influence to attract indie actors with higher pay. The movie, starring Nicolas Cage, became a summer blockbuster, grossing $224 million and becoming a quintessential 1990s action film.

Superman

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

1978’s Superman faced numerous challenges, including a campy script with bizarre elements. For example, Marlon Brando wanted his character Jor-El to appear as a bagel. Director Richard Donner opted for a reverent approach, turning it into a blockbuster hit. The film proved comic book movies could succeed, setting a new standard for the genre.

Scooby-Doo

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

The first live-action Scooby-Doo movie was initially envisioned as a teen comedy with adult jokes, but it was toned down to PG after concerns about its mocking tone. Director Raja Gosnell and screenwriter James Gunn had originally planned edgier humor, including a stoner portrayal of Shaggy.

Star Wars

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Before becoming a cinematic juggernaut, Star Wars faced challenges with low-budget effects and skeptical actors. In its early stages, Star Wars had humans as the villains and aliens as the heroes. Original plans included Luke battling miniature Wookiees, which would’ve still been better than the Christmas special.

The Lost Boys

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

Screenwriters Janice Fischer and James Jeremias initially created The Lost Boys with kids as the target audience. But when Joel Schumacher took over, he aged up the vampires, making the film darker and a lot more explicit. Thank you, Joel Schumacher.

Beverly Hills Cop

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Originally an action-comedy, Beverly Hills Cop almost turned into a serious shoot-’em-up under Sylvester Stallone’s influence. Stallone’s script changes led to budget concerns, causing him to leave the project. Eddie Murphy stepped in, restoring the comedy element through ad-libbing.

Beetlejuice

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

Beetlejuice’s original script was extremely dark, featuring gruesome scenes like Betelgeuse killing characters and wanting to harm Lydia. The initial plot was intense, with Betelgeuse portrayed as a menacing demon. Screenwriter Warren Skaaren toned down the horror, creating the blend of comedy and spookiness we know today.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Photo Credit: Amblin Entertainment

Steven Spielberg conceived the idea of a sci-horror movie called Night Skies. It was, however, reworked by Melissa Mathison, who recognized the potential of a touching story about an alien and a boy. She removed the horror idea and made it something much more family-friendly.

X-Men

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

X-Men’s Hollywood journey had twists. Carolco Pictures planned it in 1989, but details are scarce. Fox acquired rights in 1994. Initial drafts linked Magneto to the Chernobyl disaster. Earlier, in 1989, talks involved James Cameron producing and Kathryn Bigelow directing, with Bob Hoskins considered for Wolverine.

Frozen

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Originally, Elsa was supposed to be a villain in a Snow Queen adaptation. “Let It Go,” however, changed the narrative, focusing on Elsa’s struggle and acceptance. The songwriter’s perspective transformed Elsa into a complex character, shaping the film’s powerful message of self-discovery.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

Originally made to debunk UFO rumors, Spielberg faced challenges with Close Encounters’s script. Schrader’s version was rejected, leading to various rewrites, including one by Spielberg inspired by “When You Wish Upon a Star.”

Monsters, Inc.

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. had a drastically different original pitch, involving a man haunted by childhood fears. The entire monster world was absent. Later drafts focused on George Sanderson, a monster struggling to be scary. Elements of this character were retained in the final film, even as the story underwent a significant transformation.

Good Will Hunting

Photo Credit: Miramax Pictures

The initial drafts of this $138 million-grossing movie differed widely from the final version. For instance, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s characters were supposed to be killed as his way of getting out, but this was eventually struck out.

Up Next: 25 Iconic Movie Roles That Can Never Be Played by Another Actor

Photo Credit: Orion Pictures

When it comes to iconic movie roles, some performances are so legendary that it’s impossible to imagine anyone else in those shoes. Here are 25 movie characters whose casting was so spot-on that we can’t even fathom the thought of a different actor taking over the part.

25 ICONIC MOVIE ROLES THAT CAN NEVER BE PLAYED BY ANOTHER ACTOR

19 Ridiculous Movie Myths We All Believed as Kids

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

19 RIDICULOUS MOVIE MYTHS WE ALL BELIEVED AS KIDS

In Hollywood, movies often stretch the truth to serve up some heart-pounding tales. Through sheer imagination, they blend fiction with reality and some of these scenes are edged in our memory forever. In this post, I’ll debunk 19 ridiculous movie myths we all thought were true when we were kids.

19 Movies With Endings So Wild, We’re Still Arguing About Them

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

Movies are supposed to wrap things up nicely, giving us that satisfying end to the stories we’ve been glued to for a couple of hours. But then there are those movies that just love to mess with our heads, leaving us with more questions than answers as the credits roll. Let’s dive into 20 films that kept us up at night, debating their wild endings.

19 MOVIES WITH ENDINGS SO WILD, WE’RE STILL ARGUING ABOUT THEM

Part of this article was created with the help of AI – fully edited by humans