Are you ready to dive into your favorite film’s alternate endings? Then, we’ve got you covered. These popular films have endings that change the stories, and some people prefer them to their originals. Do you?
1. The Butterfly Effect
The Butterfly Effect, starring Ashton Kutcher, explores the concept of time travel and its consequences. In one alternate ending, Evan (Kutcher) is unable to save his friends, leading to a darker conclusion where he ends up in a mental institution, forever tormented by his time-traveling abilities. In another, he goes back and strangles himself in the womb.
2. Blade Runner
Ridley Scott’s iconic sci-fi film Blade Runner initially featured a more ambiguous ending. Instead of the uplifting conclusion, where Deckard and Rachael escape together, the original ending left viewers questioning whether Deckard himself might be a replicant.
3. National Lampoon’s Vacation
The Griswold family’s vacation went through several endings. In one version, they discover the theme park is closed and go on a violent rampage. Thankfully, the final cut is a happier one, with the Griswolds enjoying their time at Walley World.
4. Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
George Lucas contemplated a somber ending where Luke Skywalker succumbs to the dark side and joins Darth Vader. Fortunately, the film ends on a more hopeful note, with Vader’s redemption and the defeat of the Emperor.
George Lucas also planned on killing off Han Solo, making Boba Fett a much more prominent character, before ending the film with a confrontation between Luke and his father, Darth Vader, without the Emperor around. What an ending that would have been.
Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending sci-fi epic, Interstellar had an alternate ending where Dr. Mann’s deception leads to catastrophic consequences for humanity. The final cut opted for a more optimistic resolution.
6. The Birds
Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds had an ending that revealed the avian attacks would continue indefinitely. However, the eerie suspense of uncertainty in the original ending was replaced with a more traditional resolution.
7. Pretty Woman
Originally, Pretty Woman had a darker ending where Edward leaves Vivian at the end of their week together. They fight, and he pushes her out of his car, pulls out an envelope with the $3000 and tells her to take it, throws it at her before she refuses it, and tells him to leave. Fortunately, the audience was treated to the fairy tale ending we all know and love.
8. Little Shop of Horrors
This cult musical comedy had an original ending where the man-eating plant, Audrey II, takes over the world. In the final cut, Seymour and Audrey get a happier, if somewhat surreal, resolution.
9. The Shining
Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, The Shining, initially featured a more explicit ending that showed the Overlook Hotel destroyed by an explosion. The enigmatic final cut, with Jack Torrance’s mysterious photograph, leaves much to the imagination.
10. Get Out
Jordan Peele’s thought-provoking horror film Get Out had an alternate ending where Chris is arrested by the police and sent to jail. The final version, with Chris’s narrow escape, leaves a lingering sense of unease.
Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror classic Alien almost had an ending where Ripley doesn’t survive. The decision to keep her alive led to a franchise that has endured for decades.
12. I Am Legend
The original ending of I Am Legend was bleaker, with Robert Neville sacrificing himself. The alternate ending, where he finds a cure and survives, offers a more hopeful outlook.
13. The Terminator
James Cameron’s sci-fi classic had an alternate ending where Sarah Connor records a message for her unborn son. This ending was ultimately replaced with the iconic shot of Sarah driving off into an uncertain future.
14. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day considered an ending where the Terminator would remain conscious, setting up a potential sequel. The chosen ending, with the Terminator’s sacrifice, remains one of cinema’s most emotional moments. That thumbs-up gets me every time.
15. 28 Days Later
Danny Boyle’s zombie thriller 28 Days Later had an alternate ending where Jim dies from his wounds. The final version, with a more hopeful outcome, resonated better with audiences.
16. Die Hard With a Vengeance
The third installment of the Die Hard series originally concluded with Simon getting away with the gold until McClane tracks him down in Hungary. McClane lets Simon know his comrades are dead and sets a Chinese rocket launcher on the table to play his own game of Simon says. The game ends with him blowing a rocket into Simon’s chest.
17. First Blood
First Blood considered an alternate ending where John Rambo dies at the hands of Colonel Trautman. The chosen ending allowed the character to live on in subsequent films.
Ronin contemplated a different ending where Deirdre is revealed as a traitor. The chosen resolution, with the ambiguity surrounding her character, adds depth to the story.
19. The Descent
In the original ending of The Descent, Sarah hallucinates her escape and remains trapped in the cave. The alternate ending, with a more realistic outcome, intensifies the horror.
20. Fatal Attraction
Fatal Attraction had an alternate ending where Alex Forrest successfully ends her life. The final cut, with her violent confrontation with Dan Gallagher, provides a more thrilling conclusion.
Clue famously featured three different endings in theaters, leaving viewers guessing which one they would see. Each ending revealed a different murderer, adding a unique twist to the whodunit.
James Cameron considered a different ending for Titanic, where Rose’s granddaughter Lizzy and Brock see her on deck and think she’s about to end her life by jumping overboard. They confront her and discover she has the necklace. She lets Brock touch it and understand that he’s never going to own it before she tosses it into the water.
25. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The original ending of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid showed the titular outlaws getting gunned down. The alternate ending, where their fate is left more ambiguous, resonated better with audiences.
26. Thelma & Louise
Thelma & Louise originally had an ending where the duo’s car plummets to the canyon floor in slow motion in a fiery crash. The final cut’s abrupt conclusion remains a powerful statement.
27. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
Steven Spielberg’s heartwarming film, E.T., considered an alternate ending where E.T. dies. The beloved final version, with E.T. returning home, continues to touch hearts around the world.
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