A films ending can make or break it. Its the bit that stays with you when youre walking out of the cinema, after all. But directors dont always get it right the first time. Lots of films, including several classics, had their endings changed before they were released (or even, in some cases, had their endings changed years later). Here are 20 films that could have ended on a very different note...
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
How it might've ended: In the original ending, the Average Joes lost.
Why it was changed: It might've been a more realistic ending, but it wasn't a happy one, and test audiences hated it. So it was replaced with a much cheerier ending that sees everyone except the baddie celebrating.
Scream 2 (1997)
How it might've ended: Kevin Williamsons original script had four different killers including Sidneys (Neve Campbell) best friend Hallie (Elise Neal) and boyfriend Derek (Jerry OConnell).
Why it was changed: Before the movie went into production, the script was leaked onto the internet, and the whole thing had to be rewritten. Director Wes Craven reckons that added an extra two months onto the films schedule.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
How it mightve ended: There are two alternate endings here: one, the original ending, sees Katie (Katie Featherstone) shot dead by police; another has her slit her throat in front of the camera.
Why it was changed: Someone at Paramount didn't like the original ending, so when the studio acquired Paranormal Activity, it was scrapped and two more were shot. Both were tested, and the most ambiguous became the accepted ending.
Little Shop Of Horrors (1986)
How it might've ended: The original ending was pretty bleak: Audrey II (Levi Stubbs) mortally wounds Audrey (Ellen Greene) before chowing down on Seymour (Rick Moranis). And then Audrey II and his buds take over the world, destroying everything and everyone in their path.
Why it was changed: Little Shop Of Horrors started out as a cheap horror comedy in 1960, and got turned into a musical stage show before heading back to the big screen in 1986, so itd already mutated quite a bit. But the dark ending was nixed after feedback from test audiences. Thats going to be a recurring theme
First Blood (1982)
How it mightve ended: Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) kills himself with Colonel Trautmans (Richard Crenna) gun.
Why it was changed: David Morrells novel has Rambo kill himself at the end, and director Ted Kotcheff did film that ending, but he and Stallone decided audiences would have come to sympathise with the character by then and would want him to survive.
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi (1983)
How it might've ended: According to Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz, the ending in the original script was kind of sad: Han Solo (Harrison Ford) dies, and Luke (Mark Hamill) and Leia (Carrie Fisher) go their separate ways.
Why it was changed: George Lucas wanted a more triumphant end to the trilogy and, again according to Kurtz, didn't want to harm toy sales by killing off one of the main characters. So we got an Ewok party instead.
How it might've ended: Happily with Sam (Jonathan Pryce) flying away into his daydream world.
Why it was changed: The bleak ending the film was eventually released with was the original ending, but Universal felt it was too dark, so after test screenings, the film was re-edited to give it a cheerier ending. Director Terry Gilliam protested, even taking out an advert in Variety begging the studio to reconsider. Eventually, Universal relented and released the film as Gilliam intended.
Pretty In Pink (1986)
How it might've ended: Andie (Molly Ringwald) chooses to stay with Duckie (Jon Cryer) instead of ending up with Blane (Andrew McCarthy).
Why it was changed: Test audiences booed when Andie and Duckie danced together at the prom, so the cast were brought back for reshoots.
How it might've ended: A number of different endings for Suspicion were mooted. The original one, taken from the novel the film is based on, would have had Johnnie (Cary Grant) killing his wife, Lina (Joan Fontaine), with a glass of poisoned milk.
Why it was changed: According to Hitchcock, RKO didn't want to tarnish Grants heroic reputation, and so insisted on a happier ending.
How it might've ended: Lizzy (Suzy Amis) and Lovett (Bill Paxton) catch Rose (Gloria Stuart) before she has a chance to drop the Heart of the Ocean into the sea but she lectures them on materialism and the meaning of life and then flings it into the water anyway.
Why it was changed: James Cameron decided that after spending nearly three hours watching the Titanic sink, audiences weren't that bothered about the treasure hunters story, and lopped out the scene where he gets closure.
How it might've ended: As Dante (Brian OHalloran) cashes up the till, another customer comes in and, after being told the shops closed, shoots Dante dead and steals the money.
Why it was changed: After the film screened at the Independent Feature Film Market, producer John Pierson recommended trimming that scene off the end of the movie to give it a more palatable ending. Since Kevin Smith wasn't all that attached to it, he agreed.
Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969)
How it might've ended: Originally, the final scene was just a bit longer long enough for Butch (Paul Newman) and the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) to meet their fate at the hands of the Bolivian army.
Why it was changed: The filmmakers decided it was better to end on a more ambiguous note, with the pair left, guns blazing, in a freeze-framed moment just before they inevitably get shot to death.
True Romance (1993)
How it might've ended: In yet another instance of an altered ending saving a characters life, True Romances other ending has Clarence (Christian Slater) die in the shoot-out, leaving Alabama (Patricia Arquette) to hitchhike to Mexico alone.
Why it was changed: The sadder ending was Tarantinos preferred version, but director Tony Scott decided hed rather let the couple have their happily ever after.
Wallace And Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit (2005)
How it might've ended: Two different endings were considered, and in one of them, Lady Tottington ends up getting married to PC Macintosh (Peter Kay).
Why it was changed: Test audiences again having Lady Tottington marry someone else made people feel too sorry for Wallace.
How it might've ended: Clue was released with three different endings, each one shown in different cinemas, but there a fourth ending was also filmed. This time, it turns out Wadsworth (Tim Curry) is the murderer and he even poisoned the champagne, to ensure thered be no witnesses.
Why it was changed: Director Jonathan Lynn didn't think the fourth ending was very good, so he got rid of it.
Fatal Attraction (1987)
How it might've ended: Alex (Glenn Close) commits suicide by slitting her own throat and incriminating Dan (Michael Douglas) in the process.
Why it was changed: Although Dan would have been acquitted after Alexs blackmailing cassette tape was found, test audiences still thought this ending was too dark. So after three weeks of reshoots, the filmmakers came up with a more action-packed finale.
Blade Runner (1982)
How it might've ended: That depends on which cut of the movie youre familiar with. Nowadays, the Directors Cut is better known, and that ends with Deckard (Harrison Ford) and Rachael (Sean Young) walking out into an unknown future. But the original theatrical version had a studio-mandated extra bit tacked on, with a dodgy voiceover promising a happy ending.
Why it was changed: Initially, because the studio said so; it was later changed back when a workprint of the real original ending was unearthed, and Ridley Scott was given the chance to sort out a proper Directors Cut.
28 Days Later (2002)
How it might've ended: There were a couple of alternative endings considered for this movie, with one main thing in common: Jim (Cillian Murphy) dies.
Why it was changed: Audiences just thought it was too bleak, though director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland both preferred the more downbeat ending.
Pretty Woman (1990)
How it might've ended: The original script was much darker; Vivian (Julia Roberts) ended up back on the streets, after a mostly unpleasant experience with a wealthy businessman. The whole thing was intended as a barbed criticism of bankers and people who got rich at other peoples expense.
Why it was changed: Touchstone Pictures started developing the script and when they cast Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, it became clear the movie wasn't going to work as originally written. Several rewrites later, the gritty drama became a rom-com.
Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1963)
How it might've ended: With a slapsticky pie fight, just before the world ends. Yup, Kubrick went so far as to shoot the scene in which the Soviet Ambassador de Sadeski (Peter Bull) threw a custard pie at the US representatives, and a full-on gloopy food fight ensued.
Why it was changed: The studio was nervous about the scene. Eventually Kubrick agreed with them, deciding it was too silly and chopping it from the final cut of the film.