Ever since the late 1880s, films have given people a reason to laugh, think, and cry in movie theaters around the world. Just like television, directors will occasionally leave parts of the film on the cutting room floor due to time restraints or simply because they didn’t fit in. There are some times when a film’s ending gets changed because of a negative response from test audiences or internal issues. Here are 12 films that might’ve left a different impression on the general public if the original ending or pivotal scene wasn’t removed before its release.
12. Little Shop of Horrors
The original ending of Little Shop of Horrors had Seymour Krelborn attempting to kill Audrey II after the plant murders Audrey. Things didn’t go so well as the plant devoured Seymour and spit out his glasses. This ending, which was taken from the musical, cost the studio $5 million to create. Audiences at preview screenings hated the conclusion, which forced the studio to give the film a happier send-off.
The original ending of Clerks featured Dante being killed by a robber. After a screening at the Independent Feature Film Market, director Kevin Smith was advised to cut that part of the ending out of the final product. Smith has stated that if he kept the ending, his production company View Askew Productions would have ended.
Can you image the iconic Alien franchise not existing past the first film? Well, that was set to happen as director Ridley Scott wanted hero Ellen Ripley to die by having her head bitten off by the Alien at the end of the movie. Luckily, the producers of the film turned down the idea.
9. Natural Born Killers
The original ending of Natural Born Killers would’ve been a very appropriate way to conclude a flick based on violence. In the scrapped ending, prisoner Owen Traft escapes along with Mickey and Mallory Knox. While driving away from the madness, Traft winds up killing them both with a shotgun.
Cary Grant was one of the most beloved actors in the 1940s, and many fans didn’t want to see him as the bad guy in Suspicion. Alfred Hitchcock was forced to change the ending due to test audiences. In the original ending, his character Johnnie kills his wife with a poisoned drink.
7. Dr. Strangelove
The original ending of Dr. Strangelove had everyone engaging in an epic pie fight. Iconic director Stanley Kubrick decided to cut the scene from the film because it wasn’t satirical enough. While shooting the scene, everyone in the room lost control of where to throw due to the intensity of the situation.
6. True Romance
While Clarence and Alabama drive off into the sunset at the end of True Romance, the original ending was a bit more dramatic. In the last scene, Alabama drove away from the shootout, which left Clarence dead instead of just wounded. Writer Quentin Tarantino wasn’t fond of the sudden change, but it grew on him.
5. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1
Since the first Harry Potter film in 2001, Dudley Dursley and the title character have never seen eye to eye on anything. In a deleted scene from the 2010 film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, both young men simply let bygones be bygones and went their separate ways.
4. The Lion King
In the original ending for The Lion King, Scar laughs hysterically while he gets killed by the massive fire surrounding Pride Rock. This was only in the storyboards and was never animated. Having the villain get eaten by the same hyenas he betrayed had a much stronger impact to the movie.
3. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
In a deleted scene from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker gets confronted by his father Richard, who admits to following him the entire time since leaving him with Aunt May. Since Spider-Man is now a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this storyline between father and son will go absolutely nowhere.
2. First Blood
Unlike the novel it’s based on, First Blood allowed John Rambo to live in the end and spawned a massive franchise in the process. The studio did film an ending where the lead character commits suicide, but test audiences thought that having a veteran kill himself after coming home from duty was depressing.
1. I Am Legend
The original ending for the 2007 film I Am Legend, which is based on the Richard Matheson novel of the same name, finds Robert Neville simply handing over an infected female to the Darkseekers instead of engaging in his final battle. The final shot has him driving to the survivors’ camp with the cure in hand. It’s actually a better ending to the movie than the theatrical one, and resolves a crucial plothole left in the film – whether or not the Darkseekers are intelligent.
Luckily for movie lovers, many of these deleted scenes have been thrown onto DVD releases over the years. With the hectic movie industry nowadays, even more scenes will be cut, including Jared Leto’s role as The Joker in Suicide Squad. Some won’t even get the chance to make it on DVD or even thrown on Youtube. The only way you’ll be able to hear about some of these scenes will be through interviews with the cast and director. In fact, many of these older films still have unearthed scenes locked up somewhere, and the public will probably never get to see them.