11 Famous Movies That Had To Scrap Their Original Ending, Then Came Up With Something Better

    For these movies, it all worked out in the end.

    1. Legally Blonde had to dump its original ending after a test screening went absolutely amazing...until the last five minutes.

    Elle Woods wears a pink dress in court as she cross examines a witness

    They soon gathered the cast for reshoots, and if you look closely at the new graduation ending and compare it to the rest of the film, you'll notice Witherspoon's hair is redder. This is because she was in the middle of shooting another film, The Importance of Being Earnest, when she did the reshoots.

    Witherspoon as Woods with blond hair and Witherspoon as Woods with red hair

    2. Get Out was originally intended to have a much bleaker ending where Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya) is arrested for the murders of the Armitage family. The final shot of the film would've been Chris wearing an orange jumpsuit behind bars, unlikely to ever see the outside world again.

    Chris from Get Out stares at the camera with tears in his eyes

    Peele filmed this darker ending (seen below), but it didn't go over well at test screenings. Producer Sean McKittrick told Vulture, "The audience was absolutely loving it, and then it was like we punched everybody in the gut. You could feel the air being sucked out of the room."

    View this video on YouTube

    Universal / Via youtube.com

    Peele and the other filmmakers realized this was no longer the perfect ending — especially as the country was having more realistic conversations about race in the wake of the murders of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. 

    Peele told BuzzFeed, "It was very clear that the ending needed to transform into something that gives us a hero, that gives us an escape, gives us a positive feeling when we leave this movie." 

    The filmmakers reassembled the cast and crew for reshoots and filmed a new ending that was a brilliant case of having your cake and eating it too. In it, police lights appear behind Chris as he chokes Allison Williams' Rose, and the audience has the thought that, the way racism is in this country, he's in a heap of trouble...but then there's the release of seeing the lights are coming from a TSA vehicle driven by Chris's friend, Rod.

    Peele said, "There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the audience go crazy when Rod shows up."

    3. Happy Death Day was originally supposed to end in a very different place — with Tree dying once more and seemingly remaining stuck in the time loop forever.

    Tree stands unaware the killer in a mask stands right behind her

    Landon tossed the hated ending and came up with what is seen in the movie where the audience briefly thinks Tree is still stuck in the time loop, then learns Lori is the killer...and the time loop is closed.

    A hand desperately grabs for a cupcake

    So how did Tree die in the original ending? She's killed in the hospital by the wife of Dr. Butler (the professor Tree is having an affair with). You can see it below:

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    Universal / Via youtube.com

    4. Speed was originally meant to fade to black almost immediately after Officer Jack Traven (played by Keanu Reeves) and Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock) got all the hostages safely off the bus — a good 20 minutes before the actual film ended.

    Reeves stands over Bullock as she drives the bus at high speed

    Interestingly, the production also intended to film the sequence where Keanu and Sandra get the hostages off the bus at Dodger Stadium, but had to relocate it to an airport runway after the Dodgers' ownership balked at the idea.

    Dodger Stadium and its parking lot

    5. When James Gunn was writing the ending for The Suicide Squad, he at first planned to have two different characters die — and the one who dies in the final film live.

    The whole suicide squad stands together

    Gunn revealed he initially didn't have Polka-Dot Man as the hero who dies at the end of the final battle. Instead, he wanted to kill off Ratcatcher 2.

    Ratcatcher 2 and her rat Sebastian

    6. The Lion King was originally planned to end in a fashion guaranteed to traumatize kids — with a final battle where Scar appears to toss Simba off Pride Rock to his death. Oh, and then Scar is overwhelmed by flames and burns to death while cackling about killing Simba, totally unhinged.

    Simba leaps and attacks Scar as fire burns around them

    This unsettling ending made it to the storyboard phase, but the filmmakers weren't satisfied and continued massaging the scene, which was common. Screenwriter Linda Woolverton told Forbes, "Things evolve with storyboards. … Then you go back in and you rewrite again or you actually rewrite again on the board itself. ... It starts to evolve from there."

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    Disney / Via youtube.com

    Eventually, it became the ending we know and love today...thrilling and dramatic, but not likely to cause a theater full of kids to collectively pee their pants.

    You can see the storyboarded scene above, or read a longer, more in-depth description of it here.

    7. Writer/director James Cameron's instincts were just about perfect when making the classic Titanic, but — how can I put this nicely? — his original planned ending was so bad it would have ruined the whole movie.

    DiCaprio and Winslet stand at the front of the boat, smiling

    Cameron, to his credit, quickly realized while editing the film that this ending didn't work, and he reworked it into the ending that helped Titanic win Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

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    Paramount/20th Century Fox / Via youtube.com

    You can watch the original ending in horror above.

    8. The original ending of Escape Room saw Zoey returning to her college dorm room and finding a clue in one of her puzzle books that suggested the games were about to start again. However, this smaller, more conventional ending bombed with test audiences.

    A man screams in agony

    What Robitel came up with was the pulse-pounding ending on a plane we think Zoey and Ben are on — only to discover they're not on the plane, it's just a test run of a game Minos intends to play on their actual flight.

    A flight attendant screams as a plane goes down

    9. Pretty in Pink was originally supposed to end with Molly Ringwald's Andie ending up with Jon Cryer's Duckie, but test audiences hated it so much they reshot the now-famous ending where she ends up with Andrew McCarthy's Blaine.

    The stars of the film

    The ending proved to be very popular with audiences — the movie was a hit — but Hughes wasn't so sure that what they came up with was, in fact, better than the original ending. Unhappy with the change, he essentially retold the same story with his next film, Some Kind of Wonderful. This time, though, the lead (played by Eric Stoltz) walked off into the sunset with his outcast friend, Watts, and not the rich kid, Amanda.

    The stars of Some Kind of Wonderful

    10. Deep Blue Sea had to reshoot their ending to fix one thing test audiences absolutely hated about it.

    A shark bites a scientists arm

    The audience wanting Burrows' character dead shocked director Renny Harlin, who told Crave Online, "In our minds, she was the heroine and we thought saving her was the key.”

    Burrows stands on a plank above shark-infested water

    11. Fatal Attraction originally had a much darker and low-key ending, which test audiences found utterly unsatisfying...and sent the filmmakers scrambling to come up with something better.

    Close attacks Douglas with a knife in the film's climax

    Screenwriter James Dearden and director Adrian Lyne soon hatched the now-famous ending where Alex sneaks into Dan's home and the two have a knock-down, drag-out fight before Dan's wife (played by Anne Archer) shoots her dead. However, before they could do the reshoots, they ran into a problem: Glenn Close didn't want to do it.

    View this video on YouTube

    Paramount / Via youtube.com

    Close told the New York Times, "I fought it for two weeks. It was going to make a character I loved into a murdering psychopath. I was in a meeting with Michael, Stanley, and Adrian. I was furious! I said to Michael, 'How would you feel if it were your character?' He said, 'Babe, I’m a whore.'”

    Eventually, Close agreed to do the reshoots, and came to understand (if not love) the need for them. She told the Oxford Union, "I don’t think it would have become the phenomenon it became if they hadn’t changed the ending, if they hadn’t given the audience with the shedding of Alex’s blood a sense of catharsis, a hope that somehow the family unit would survive the nightmare." 

    Close, however, still holds reservations about the ending, saying that while the film became a hit, it also "heightened the stigma and fear around mental disorders."

    Many critics agreed with Close about what it was saying about mental health, but screenwriter Dearden disagreed, telling the New York Times, "The critics decided we were saying, 'Well done, you put another crazy bitch out of her misery.' That was absurd. But that ending probably put another $100 million into the box office."