11th September 2019

5 Iconic Movies That Almost Ended Completely Differently

WARNING: *contains spoilers*… obviously.

In the wise words of Orson Welles, “if you want a happy ending, that depends of course, when you stop your story”.

And Phoebe from Friends was clearly channeling this energy when she binned off Old Yeller before the sad bits, and avoided watching Bambi so she didn’t have to go through the trauma of the mum dying.

However, sometimes it’s not up to us.

Writers have some tricky decisions when making movies, and our entertainment fate is very much in their hands.

And it turns out, some of our favourite films could have turned out very different.

Here are a few examples of movie endings that could have been.

For the most part, the director made the right call, however there’s a few in here begging to be remade….

Hannibal (2001)

Instead of the decidedly creepy ending, which sees Hannibal escape on a plane and feed a little boy part of a cooked brain, there could have been a very different end scene.

In the place of this gory finale, Claire and Hannibal were apparently meant to share a kiss.

I don’t know which is more disturbing?

However, both of these endings are actually different to that of the book.

The original story ends with Hannibal drugging Clarice and running off with her.

This was scrapped, as director, Ridley Scott, didn’t find this believable of Clarice’s character.

The final lines read:

“We’ll withdraw now, while they are dancing on the terrace the wise Barney has already left town and we must follow his example. For either of them to discover us would be fatal.”

If you’re asking me, he chose the right ending.

Rocky (1976)

The original script apparently included Rocky throwing the fight against Apollo Creed for money.

Rocky then uses the money to help his paramour Adrian open up a pet store.

Not exactly the loving ending between the two that sets up the franchise nicely.

I am Legend (2007)

The ending of this film has always been frustrating.

Dr. Neville gives Anna and Ethan the cure and then blows himself up.

Apart from the fact that there was more than enough room in the explosive proof cubbies that Anna and Ethan disappeared into, the whole film was unfair as zombies just shouldn’t be able to move that fast.

However, the alternative ending is a little more satisfactory.

Instead of dying Dr. Neville just returns the female zombie that he’s been experimenting on to find the cure. The zombies then leave him alone.

Apart from not killing off the main character, this ending allows for a little reflection on the motivation/psyche of the zombies.

Seven (1995)

This iconic thriller shows off Brad Pitt’s more morbid side.

“What’ in the box!?”

Well, apparently the studio executives played around with the idea of having Mills’ family pet in there, rather than his wife’s head.

However, apparently Pitt insisted on the gory twist, and thanks to him we get to watch his haunting performance in that final scene.

The Lion King (1994)

While still technically ending the same, with Scar vanquished and Simba taking his rightful place, Disney’s alternative ending  gave a stronger nod to its source material.

The narrative closely resembles that of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and the writers were close to giving the animal tale the same ending as the classic tragedy.

In the alternative version, the final fight sequence between the two lions, Scar throws Simba off a cliff stating: “Goodnight, sweet prince”

A line directly taken from Shakespeare’s play.

However, after this dramatic line, Simba’s fall would have been broken by a tree, saving him, whilst Scar is engulfed in flames.


So what do you think, should we be asking for a remake?

By Erin Cobby