1.When Oscar Isaac learned that his character, Poe Dameron, got killed in the opening sequence of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he asked director JJ Abrams to spare Poe's life for a very simple reason: Isaac kept making movies where he died early on, and he was sick of it.
2.Harrison Ford pushed for the death of Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy, and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan agreed, since the death of a main character in Return of the Jedi would "give some stakes to this thing." But George Lucas didn't want to kill Han, so he survived...the first three movies.
3.Vince Gilligan planned on Aaron Paul's character, Jesse Pinkman, getting murdered by a drug dealer during the first season of Breaking Bad. As disturbing as that would have been, his plan for Walt's reaction to his partner's death was...more so.
4.In the same podcast, Gilligan revealed that he and his writing staff also considered killing off Walt's wife, Skyler (portrayed by Anna Gunn). They debated whether she should die by suicide around the Season 5 episode "Granite State."
5.When the Duffer Brothers thought that Stranger Things would only last a single season, they planned on killing off Eleven, who would "sacrifice herself to save the day." But she was granted a reprieve when they realized that there could be more episodes.
6.The jock with a heart of gold, Steve Harrington, was also supposed to perish in the first season of Stranger Things, because he was originally intended to be "this giant douchebag" without the redemptive qualities that ultimately made him a fan favorite.
7.In an episode of the Office Ladies podcast, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey revealed that creator Greg Daniels and writer Justin Spitzer pitched the idea that Michael would accidentally hit Meredith Palmer (Kate Flannery) with his car and kill her. The idea was ultimately rejected for being too grim.
8.When Roald Dahl's personal papers were sorted through following his death, it was discovered that in the early drafts of Matilda, the book-loving heroine was "a terribly unruly girl" who died at the end.
9.Misha Collins was hired to play Castiel for a few episodes on Season 4 of Supernatural before the character was killed off. Another angel, Anna, was supposed to be Dean's companion "through the oncoming apocalypse," but Cas's popularity ensured both his survival and more prominent role in the series.
10.Bill Hader revealed in a Vulture interview that NoHo Hank, the Chechen gangster played by Anthony Carrigan, was supposed to die in the first episode of Barry, but Carrigan's performance was so great that they couldn't go through with it.
11.While writing Misery, Stephen King thought he was working toward an ending where Paul Sheldon would finish the book Annie Wilkes forced him to write, only for her to kill him, feed his body to a pig, and bind the manuscript in his skin. But the character surprised King by being "a good deal more resourceful than I initially thought," and so he was spared this gruesome fate.
12.The writers of Lost wanted to "pull the rug out from under the audience" by killing protagonist Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) midway through the first episode, but studio head Steve McPherson convinced them to keep Jack alive by arguing that the death would "teach viewers not to trust the show."
13.Jin-Soo Kwon (Daniel Dae Kim) was another Lost character who almost didn't make it past the first season, since he was "not...very sympathetic" in the beginning. But he ultimately lasted all six seasons, in part because of a writer named Monica Macer, who pushed for the character's survival.
14.Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) was supposed to die at the end of Homeland's first season. But Lewis's compelling performance resulted in his storyline "arc[ing] out over three seasons instead of just one."
15.Audiences loved Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis) on True Blood, leading creator Alan Ball to save the character from the early death he suffers in the books.
16.Midway through writing the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling wasn't in a "very happy place," and as a result she considered killing off Ron Weasley "out of sheer spite."
17.Rowling told Today that she also planned to kill Arthur Weasley up until she wrote the fifth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. But she couldn't, because "if there's one character I couldn't bear to part with, it's Arthur Weasley." She explained his survival by noting that he was one of the only (if not the only) good father in the series.
18.Had Sex and the City 3 been made, the movie would've kicked off with the death of Mr. Big, who was going to have a heart attack in the shower.
19.Some early storyboards for Iron Man 3 revealed a death scene for Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), who would've died in a massive explosion at the Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.
20.The original ending of Rambo: First Blood had Sylvester Stallone's character dying by suicide, but after they shot the scene, Stallone pulled director Ted Kotcheff aside and pointed out that after all the suffering they put him through, killing Rambo wouldn't make for a satisfying ending. Kotcheff agreed, and they shot the alternative ending right then and there.
21.In Season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angelus murders Jenny Calendar, a "technopagan" and Giles' love interest. But another character very nearly ended up at the center of the brutally upsetting sequence: Daniel "Oz" Osbourne, Willow's deadpan werewolf boyfriend.
22.In an interview with TooFab for Buffy's 20th anniversary, James Marsters said that his character, Spike, was only supposed to stick around for five episodes before being murdered by — who else? — Angelus.
23.South Park's Kenny McCormick is an expert in dying (he's done it 126 times, apparently), but his death in the Season 5 episode "Kenny Dies" was, for once, intended to be permanent. However, Trey Parker and Matt Stone missed having him around, so Kenny "just reappeared like nothing happened in the last scene of Season 6."
24.The opening of Halloween (2018) almost killed off a character who had survived Halloween (1978). In this version of the script, the final scene of Halloween (1978) was re-created at the beginning of the film, with one key difference: Dr. Loomis (played by Donald Pleasence in the original film) got killed by Michael Myers.
25.And finally, John Green considered killing off Hazel Lancaster and Peter van Houten at the end of The Fault in Our Stars, which isn't too surprising. What is unexpected, however, is the manner in which he planned to do it: "a hail of bullets" fired by a drug lord's security team.