8 Alternate Endings That Will Blow Your Mind

When you’re making a box office smash or much-loved TV show, getting the ending right is everything – no pressure.
It’s no wonder directors always change their minds at the 11th hour! Here are a few alternate endings and fan theories that’ll make you go hmmm. Warning: spoilers abound!

True Detective: Rust and Marty disappear mysteriously.

True Detective
Source: [HBO]

As we all know, the pair (Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey) reunite at the end of the series after solving the case – but that almost didn’t happen! According to creator Nic Pizzolatto: “I had an idea where they vanished into the unknown – or it could’ve gone full-blown supernatural.” Eek.

Fatal Attraction: Alex tops herself and Dan goes down for murder.

Fatal Attraction
Source: [Paramount Pictures]

Who could forget the ending of this terrifying eighties thriller, in which scorned woman Alex (Glenn Close) is shot and drowned by Dan (Michael Douglas) and his wife Beth (Anne Archer)? Well, that’s not how director Adrian Lynne thought it would go down… you can watch the original ending with Alex slitting her own throat. Test audiences hated it, which is why the bathtub shooting got the green light.

Friends: It’s all in Phoebe’s head.

Source: [Warner Bros.]

The warm and fuzzy Ross’n’Rachel love story ending took a very dark turn when Twitter user @Strnks alternate ending idea went viral. He suggested Friends took place entirely inside Phoebe’s meth-addled brain; “All ten seasons were merely her fevered imagination, projecting herself into the lives of the other five. All she ever wanted was friends,”. In his ending, the show would conclude with a homeless Phoebe returning to the fountain to sleep on an old sofa. Okay, now we’re officially depressed.

Pretty In Pink: Andie and Duckie end up together.

Pretty In Pink
Source: [Paramount Pictures] 

Did you want Andie to wind up with devoted misfit Duckie instead of cool guy Blaine? Well, in the original ending of this John Hughes movie, that’s how it plays out – but test audiences weren’t keen. John Cryer, who played Duckie, says he, Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy were called back to re-shoot the ending: “Molly Ringwald was sick with gastro when we shot the original,” he told a panel, adding that it “didn’t quite work”. So Blaine got the girl!

Breaking Bad: Walt lives to see another bloodbath.

Breaking Bad
Source: [AMC]

In the ending we saw, Walt dies, Jesse escapes… and audiences felt satisfied with that after six seasons of meth-cooking, knuckle-biting intensity. But Vince Gilligan says they thought about a couple of alternate endings including one in which Walt storms the Albuquerque jail: “He was going to just shoot the s**t out of the jail with this M60 machine gun and rescue Jesse,” remembers Gilligan. Fan theories on Breaking Bad abound, too, with one suggesting Walt didn’t die from his wounds, so he’ll stand trial – on Better Call Saul!

Pretty Woman: Vivian ends up alone and back on the street.

Pretty Woman
Source: [Touchstone Pictures]

Even though the moment where Richard Gere climbs the fire escape to kiss Julia Roberts is one of the most awkward movie kisses in history, Pretty Woman just wouldn’t be the same without its lovey-dovey ending about a rich guy and a call-girl who live happily ever after. The alternate ending? Drug-addicted Vivian was simply paid off and ended up back on the streets; “[The original script] was just a grisly, ugly story,” Julia Roberts reportedly said. Thank goodness it never saw the light of day!

Dexter: Instead of sailing away, it’s death row for Dex.

Source: [Showtime]

He fakes his death and starts a whole new life… but many on the writing team of Dexter didn’t want TV’s favourite serial killer to totally get away with, uh, murder. The ending wanted by some of the show’s team involved Dexter getting a lethal injection and his life flashing before his eyes – complete with all the people he killed or those whose deaths he was responsible for, from the Trinity and Ice Truck Killers to Rita and Lila. Yep, we kind of agree.

Harry Potter: Harry marries Hermoine.

Harry Potter
Source: [Warner Brothers]

Not surprisingly, the J.K. Rowling franchise has spawned a heap of fan theories and alternate endings – some very different to the one we saw, in which Harry marries Ron’s sister Ginny, and, 19 years later, they gather at the train station to send their kids off to Hogwarts. But it could’ve been so different, admits Rowling, who told reporters she feels she made a mistake – and wishes she’d married Harry off to Hermione! Now that’s one way to break your fans hearts.

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