Some movies are best known for their iconic endings; mind fucks that appear to be well thought out (at least, the first time you watch them). But as we've told you before, Hollywood usually doesn't know what the hell they're doing when it comes to ending films. Multiple endings are often written (and even shot) before they decide what direction take, meaning there's a whole alternate history of Hollywood lying on the cutting room floor.
As for the following examples, well, we'll let you decide whether they'd have been improvements over what we got:
6 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 -- Peter's Dead Dad Isn't Dead
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the sequel to the reboot that no one asked for and which was only slightly different from the original trilogy. You could ask four different people what this movie was about and get four different responses, but the key thing to know is that Spider-Man battles like eight villains, and one of them kills his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. Peter Parker is so traumatized that he quits Spider-Manning and mourns Gwen, but he's inspired to get back to wearing the spandex when he conveniently discovers a video of Gwen's inspirational graduation speech. Cue another sequel and a dozen spin-offs.
Yeah, that's pretty much our face too.
Still, there are certain things these movies aren't allowed to fuck with: Peter Parker always gets bitten by a spider, he always shoots webs from his wrists, and he's always an orphan. He was raised by his aunt and uncle, according to that rule that says no superheroes can have living parents (hell, the comics went decades without even saying what happened to his folks). In the first Amazing Spider-Man movie, it's revealed they died in a plane crash, and Peter spends the bulk of the sequel following up on his deceased father's work. Again: where you find a superhero, you find daddy issues. Which is what makes the almost-ending so bizarre ...How it Was Supposed to End:
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 introduced approximately 700 subplots to set up future movies, so it's shocking to learn that they actually cut one. The original ending features Peter being visited at the cemetery by a bearded man. This mysterious, mourning-interrupting fellow is revealed to be none other than Richard Parker, aka Spider-Dad.
You can tell he's older now because they gave him a beard.
This raises a lot of questions, chief of which is how Richard could have possibly survived the plane crash in the flashback that kicks off the movie. He kind of glazes over that and mumbles about how he needed to disappear to keep Peter safe from the villainous Oscorp. Peter gets angry at his father, then hugs him, which makes us wonder if this scene was cut because too many fathers and sons who went to the movies for some light male bonding would have been forced to uncomfortably examine their own relationships.
"You think Peter's dad is proud of him? Then why did he never get him the Tonka Truck he wanted?"
Richard then reveals the reason he came back -- he promised Peter's mother that, if the time ever came when Peter needed him more than anyone else, he would be there for him. Aw, well that's a touching example of fatherly love that ... wait a second, what?
Now's the time that Peter needs him? Not when Richard's own experiments were putting Peter's body through insane modifications? Not when Peter was fighting a scientist from Oscorp who turned into an evil, superpowered lizard-beast (also thanks to Richard's research)? Not when he battled another Oscorp employee turned evil by electric eels, or the son of the CEO who armed himself to the teeth with futuristic weapons? Dude, if your disappearance was intended to protect Peter from Oscorp, then you did a pretty shitty job.
"AND THEN THAT GUY STARTED ATTACKING ME WITH BOLTS OF DUBSTEP!"
It comes across less as an amazing revelation and more as another forced plot twist in a movie that's already jam-packed with them. But at least Richard was able to deliver a certain famous line that they were apparently too afraid to use in the first movie.
"With the great idea to abandon your son comes a great deal of money saved on college tuition."
5 Watchmen -- Doctor Manhattan Goes Back In Time To Stop His Own Creation
Watchmen is about superheroes living in an alternate 1980s in which bad synth music has been replaced with existential despair. And because it's from Visionary Director Zack Snyder, it's like eight hours long and happens entirely in slow motion. The villainous Ozymandias attempts to avert a nuclear war between the US and the USSR by blowing up cities around the world and blaming it on the superpowered Doctor Manhattan, giving the foes a common enemy. This, he figures, will achieve world peace.
"It will be just like how they fought the Nazis together and then got along great after."
Doctor Manhattan leaves Earth, which has indeed achieved peace, though at a terrible cost. That ending differs in some important ways from the graphic novel, but if you were upset about that, wait until you see what another director originally cooked up ...How It Was Supposed To End:
Terry Gilliam, the mastermind behind Brazil, Time Bandits, and every other movie your dad loves, was once attached to Watchmen, and he created an ending so confusing that Ozymandias and Doctor Manhattan would probably have been the only people who understood it. In his version, Ozy convinces Dr. M to go back in time and prevent the accident that gave him superpowers.
But wait, if he doesn't get superpowers, then how does he travel back in time to stop himself from getting superpowers?
Ozymandias wants to get rid of Dr. Manhattan because the living god's existence has a negative impact on everything, from the economy to international politics. But in Visionary Director Zach Snyder's ending, Ozymandias kills millions and still leaves the world in kind of a crappy state, whereas Gilliam's ending would create a new and better alternate timeline -- our timeline. The other characters would go from superheroes to regular civilians, while their heroic personas would suddenly appear in comic books. Gilliam wanted the movie to end in Times Square, with a kid reading a comic book commenting that the everyday dude standing next to him looks like one of the heroes.
Tristan Fewings/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"The fans will shout to me, 'Explain your ending!' And I'll whisper, 'No.'"
We're honestly not sure if that's brilliant or terrible, but either way, you have to admit that it's one of the most original and thought-provoking endings ever involving grown adults in spandex. But it was a little too nuanced for Visionary Director Zach Snyder, who once put Superman next to an actual picture of Jesus.
If only we could have gone back and prevented this sex scene.