6 films that almost turned out completely different

You won’t believe how many films you love almost went in an entirely different direction.
Sometimes, when a movie is an instant classic, we assume it was smooth sailing. What if we told you that sometimes films you grew up loving almost went completely off the rails? Whether due to studio interference, casting issues or scripting snafus, all of these films were almost something else.

Pretty Woman

We all know and love Pretty Woman, the classic rom-com in which Richard Gere and Julia Roberts totally make us swoon. But what if we told you that in the original script for Pretty Woman, Vivian died of an overdose? If you watch the film back, you can still see some traces of this gritty original version hanging around (heck, it begins with cops investigating the murder of a sex worker right near where Vivian works)!

Return of the Jedi

This one is crazy. Return of the Jedi originally had a way darker spin at the end – Han Solo died, and Luke and Leia went their separate ways. George Lucas apparently didn’t want to dent his merchandising profits from toys and such, so he whacked in the Ewok party jams. Spoiler alert! Han would later pass away on camera in The Force Awakens, and Harrison Ford apparently liked the idea of his hero getting killed off. Guess he finally got his wish!

The Butterfly Effect

Ashton Kutcher sort of punk’d us all with The Butterfly Effect, a grim flick in which he plays a guy who can mess with time and jump forward to see what effects his changes made. In the cinematic version, he realises that his presence in Amy Smart’s life always ruins things for her, so he decides to make sure they never meet. They walk past each other in the street, and both seem happy. The original ending, though, is so dark: he zips back to when he’s in the womb and – are you sitting down? – strangles himself with the umbilical cord. Probably chose the right ending there, guys.

Terminator 2

James Cameron’s epic sequel to The Terminator is pretty much universally loved, but it led to some less than popular sequels. Originally, though, it had a more cheerful and more final ending, in which Linda Hamilton – in old lady prosthetics and makeup – watched John Connor playing with his kid in a park. She explains he’s a senator now, and basically, they saved the freaking day! This ending would have meant no more sequels to cash in on, though, so here we are.

Blade Runner

Blade Runner is kind of a weird twist for this list, in that the final version that made it cinemas was not what the director wanted, and is now regarded by fans of the film as being way worse than the eventual directors cut! The original version had a super tacky voice over jammed onto it, as well as a cheesy ending that re-used some footage from the opening of The Shining. If you’re gonna watch Blade Runner, make sure you watch the director’s cut!

Back to the Future

Back to the Future is straight up one of the greatest films ever made, but it could have been totally different! Robert Zemeckis and co. originally wanted Michael J. Fox to play Marty McFly, but Michael was busy, so they went with Stoltz, and in fact shot with him for several weeks! Then they had a massive freak-out because he wasn’t doing as well as they’d hoped, so they pulled some strings, fired him and sweet-talked Fox back into the saddle. Which is a good thing, too: Fox is McFly.

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