Many a time fans have been elated by a movie ending, to the point of incessantly spamming their mates, the forums and just about anyone who will listen about said movie and said ending, in some cases committing even that most grievous sin among movie aficionados, namely the unpardonable Mega-Spoiler (“Yeah, so you wouldn’t expect this, but it ends with him having been dead all along, yo… ” “Nooooooo! you insensitive, egocentric, can’t-stop-my-mouth bastard!”).
However, just as frequently, a movie comes along the ending of which leaves us feeling like we’ve just witnessed our air bed expiring with a ridiculous wheeze, just as the attractive friend we had over was comfortably ready for some naughty endeavors, in other words, feeling like we’ve just witnessed a major anti-climax.
Probably after this happened a few times in the history of movies and mobs of raging fans came out with pitchforks at the headquarters of the studios who let them down, some producers decided that every now and then, it might be a good idea to think of the possibility that the ending they chose to screen to audiences might not be a full-proof safe bet.
As a result, you can find below 5 alternative movie endings filmed in the event that the official movie ending got the producers in trouble.
1. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Let’s start with a classic. As I’m sure you know, Terminator 2 ends without a clear answer whether Judgment Day ever took place or not and whether humanity was saved or not. Which obviously left room for the sequels which are considered by many fans to be horrible attempts to drag on a series, only succeeding in creating some really unjustifiable temporal issues and essentially ruining the franchise.
But, surprise surprise, initially (probably before the studio realized that it IS money-hungry), Terminator 2 had an alternate ending, in which humanity really is saved and we see a John Connor as a senator in 2027, living happily with his mother and daughter alive and well. If only they would have used this ending instead…
2. Independence Day
Another legendary sci-fi movie, the producers toyed with the idea of giving a different ending. Namely Russell Case, the hero that flew his plane into the alien mothership’s laser as the only way to neutralize it and save the day was supposed to do the same thing, only NOT as a US Airforce pilot, but rather with his bi-plane. You see, in this ending, he gets refused by the army recruiters in the scene where they’re looking for pilots, because of his drinking problem. So he takes matters into his own hands and later shows up by himself, in his raggedy bi-plane, with a missile tied to it, to save the day.
The reason this ending wasn’t used, despite adding a great comedic element as well as making the choice of sacrifice entirely Russell’s own (as opposed to the suicide mission he knows he’s accepting in the official ending), was that the producers felt that they would lose a great deal of realism by using the bi-plane in the final battle, amid all the F-18s.
3. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
This movie ends with Peter Parker never quite getting the confirmation that his parents really died in an assassination attempt years ago, despite him finding out a lot of information about them during the course of the two movies. But at the end of the second one, it appears, for all intents and purposes, that they are dead.
Queue in the reversal, as there was an alternative ending shot in which his father comes out and contacts Peter as he visits Gwen Stacy’s grave.
4. First Blood
Rambo… dies in this first of the series movie?! You betcha. The ending was supposed to be with Rambo NOT being able to cope with his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder breakdown that we see him having in the official version as well. So, instead of recovering (and giving rise to the other two sequels), Rambo can’t go on living and asks the only person who understood him Col. Trautman to kill him.
As the colonel refuses, Rambo takes his own life. The end.
5. I Am Legend
Happy ending, anyone? Instead of having our hero tragically die surrounded by Darkseekers led by the alpha male with them, in order to save the others, there was an alternative ending shot. In this one, surprisingly enough, the alpha Darkseeker comes forward and scratches a butterfly on the bulletproof glass that Neville is hiding behind.
Eeeexactly. Like the butterfly tattoo that the female Darkseeker had and that the alpha apparently wants returned to him. So Neville agrees to the trade and the alpha Darkseeker leaves, with all of his minions in tow, allowing Neville, Anna and Ethan to go free and get to a survivor camp in Vermont.