5 Alternative Endings of Iconic Movies That Would've Ruined Everything
Some of the greatest movies ever narrowly avoided being ruined by terrible alternative endings that were discussed but thankfully, never made it to the final cut.
5. Rose Going Karen Mode in Titanic ( 1997)
James Cameron ’s most iconic movie, Titanic tells the story of a young couple whose happily ever after was taken from them by the world-famous tragedy. But really, it’s Rose herself sharing her and Jack’s story with a group of treasure hunters who are there in the hopes of finding the Heart of the Ocean, an invaluable lost necklace.
In the final cut, the treasure hunters leave the scene after Rose’s story and she silently drops the necklace into the water. But an alternative cut shows Rose lecturing the treasure hunters about morale and yeeting the Heart of the Ocean into the sea as they watch her in horror. What a mood-breaker that finale would’ve been!
4. Xenomorph Speaking English in Alien (1979)
Ridley Scott’s Alien is the staple of the sci-fi horror genre for all the right reasons — but the original movie was this close to becoming a laughing stock, instead. Do you remember the finale where Ripley blasts the despicable Xenomorpth into deep space and wins the terrifying battle with the unknown? Well, it almost didn’t happen.
An alternative ending for Alien saw a different outcome of Ripley’s face-off with the Xenomorph. The beast decapitates Ripley as she tries in vain to harpoon it and then — out of nowhere — speaks on the radio in perfect English, mimicking Dallas. It’s safe to say that there would’ve been no Alien franchise if this was the final cut.
3. Vivian Stuck with The Mouse in Pretty Woman (1990)
Pretty Woman definitely makes the Top 5 of the most famous romantic comedies of all time, and it’s a great movie. A love story about a rich corpo suit who hired an escort and fell in love with her sounds original even now, let alone in 1990 — and the fact that they became a proper couple, in the end, made it all the more compelling.
But the titular pretty woman narrowly avoided a very different fate. In the initial version of the finale, the couple broke up and Julia Roberts’s Vivian was left alone with a bunch of cash and no Richard Gere. Instead, she was having an absolute blast in Disneyland with her friend. Not quite the rom-com ending we know, right?
2. Forrest Remaining Alone in Forrest Gump (1994)
For all its immense comedic and dramatic worth, Forrest Gump is not exactly a compelling love story — thanks to Jenny, that is. Though Forrest loved her, he was the happiest in the finale where after Jenny’s untimely death, he had their son to take care of. Though a sad ending, it saw Forrest finally have someone who loved him.
But the Jenny shenanigans were even more devastating for Forrest in one of the movie’s alternative endings. In that version of Forrest Gump, not only did Jenny survive but she also married another man and took their son. And once again, Forrest was left alone. That would have been a terrible, terrible finale for the man.
1. Thelma Surviving in Thelma & Louise (1991)
Another Ridley Scott movie that barely escaped an underwhelming finale, Thelma & Louise is an amazing story of a female couple on the run from the law. After having committed a handful of various crimes, Thelma and Louise die off-screen running from the police: the last we see of them is them driving off the cliff as they kiss.
But imagine if one of them survived? Apparently, director Scott’s first idea was to have Louise push Thelma out of the car just before the crash, saving her life. That ending would have been really confusing: instead of a tragic love story, it would’ve been an incoherent “one dies, one goes to jail” scenario we would’ve all hated.