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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

Columbia Pictures

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.

Columbia Pictures
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.

Columbia Pictures
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.

Columbia Pictures
"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.

Columbia Pictures
"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.

Columbia Pictures
"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

Warner Bros.

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.

Warner Bros.
"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.

Warner Bros.
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.

Warner Bros.
If only we could have gone back and prevented this sex scene.

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4
The Town -- Doug Is Killed By a Minor Character

Warner Bros.

At the end of The Town, a heist of Fenway Park goes about as well as a visit there while wearing a Yankees hat, and pretty much every major character gets killed by the police. But Ben "Douglas 'Doug' MacRay" Affleck manages to escape with some of the money, which he leaves for his girlfriend before starting a new life alone in Florida, safe from the clutches of FBI Agent Don Draper and his team of Mark Wahlberg impersonators.

Warner Bros.
"I'm going to Disney World! With no money or friends."

How It Was Supposed To End:

A movie where pretty much everyone gets killed is already dark, but half the body count is made up of unrepentant assholes, so the original ending makes it look like a horribly accented episode of My Little Pony by comparison. After leaving Fenway and heading to his car to drive off to William Wallace's favorite word, Doug is confronted by Alex Collazo. Does that name not ring any bells? He's a minor car thief whom Doug and a buddy beat up and shot in the leg much earlier in the film, and neither Doug nor the viewer expected to hear from him again. He gets more than even by shooting Doug dead, and the film ends with his girlfriend crying over the news report while his ex-girlfriend somehow comes across the money. It's a brutal scene, as Doug tries and fails to buy Alex off while Alex's friends egg him on like they're daring him to chug a bottle of hot sauce or something.

Warner Bros.
He was two minutes from retirement!

On one hand, the abrupt ending is a fitting message about how crime doesn't pay, and there's a great irony in Doug escaping from the police only for his past sins to catch up with him. On the other hand, it's kind of like if Emperor Palpatine was defeated by Biggs Darklighter's angry widow, or a piano fell on Keyser Soze's head after he walked out of the police station. Also, how exactly did Alex track Doug down?

Warner Bros.
"I knew I shouldn't have sent him that Facebook request."

3
Fatal Attraction -- Alex Kills Herself and Frames Dan

Paramount Pictures

Fatal Attraction is basically a two-hour 1980s PSA on why you should never stick your dick in crazy. Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) has a weekend affair with Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), who proceeds to obsess over Dan. She eventually plots to kill Dan's wife, Beth, so he'll have to be with her (Cracked Romance Tip #1: Eliminating a spouse to win your lover back rarely works). In a climatic fight in the bathroom, Beth shoots Alex to death, a scene that looks like the demo reel of a Saw movie. The movie ends with Dan and Beth embracing, because the couple that kills the husband's crazy partner in adultery together stays together.

Paramount Pictures
"Nice shot! So ... what's for dinner?"

How it Was Supposed to End:

Before this bloody brawl, there's a scene where Dan barges into Alex's apartment and nearly kills her, because polite requests to please stop stalking his family weren't working anymore. He relents when he remembers that murder is bad, and Alex responds by trying to stab him with a knife. How did these two even end up in bed together in the first place?

Paramount Pictures
"I broke up with my high school girlfriend this way, too."

Anyway, Dan disarms Alex and leaves, only for the knife to make a reappearance when Alex shows up to commit divorce with extreme prejudice. But in the original ending, Alex repurposed that knife for something very different -- she was going to slit her own throat (while listening to the Madame Butterfly, because there's no reason your suicide shouldn't be classy).

Since Dan's fingerprints were on the knife, the police arrest him for murder most foul, and Alex gets revenge from beyond the grave. However, Beth finds a cassette tape Alex sent to Dan in which she threatens to commit suicide (Cracked Romance Tip #2: Never record your elaborate romantic revenge schemes), and Dan is acquitted.

Glenn Close thought this was the logical self-destructive conclusion for a woman who was, as they said back in the '90s, "insane in the membrane." But it didn't go over well with test audiences, who apparently wanted more blood and gore, and to see the only innocent woman in the love triangle be forced to kill. This prompted a three-week reshoot, so that Alex now learns that suicide is never the answer, and how you should always keep moving towards your goal, even when things look their bleakest. It was a really inspirational change, if you think about it.

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2
Major League -- The Villain Was Behind the Victory All Along

Paramount Pictures

Major League is a baseball comedy about a former showgirl named Rachel Phelps who inherits the Cleveland Indians and decides to purposely make them the worst team in the league so she'll have an excuse to move them to Miami. She hires a bunch of incompetent rookies and washed up veterans that even Billy Beane would spit on, and they proceed to stink almost as badly as the real Cleveland Indians.

Paramount Pictures
She wears black, because symbolism.

When the players find out that they're being used as part of a diabolical plan to escape Cleveland, they decide to pull together and win the pennant just to make Phelps angry. With the assistance of montages, a seductive cardboard cutout, and some new glasses for Charlie Sheen, they inexplicably become awesome. They win their division, Phelps can't move the team, everyone is forced to stay in Cleveland, and somehow this is considered a victory. There's nothing more refreshing than watching a group of men tear down a single woman's hopes and dreams, eh Hollywood?

How it Was Supposed to End:

According to screenwriter David S. Ward, Phelps used the idea of moving the team to motivate them. Because the Indians were on the verge of bankruptcy, she personally scouted cheap players whom she thought could win, then made up a story about firing them the moment the team moved to Miami to inspire them through spite. It's like how we know our parents love us, even though they keep telling us we should get out of Internet comedy and settle down already. To ensure victory, Phelps was pulling the strings in a bluff worthy of Ozymandias ...

Paramount Pictures
She also contributed an erotic cutout of herself, apparently.

... and test audiences hated it. A late scene in which Phelps reveals the whole scheme to the team's manager, including ingenious touches like disguising the fact that they couldn't afford a team plane by pretending to get rid of it out of sheer hatred for the players, didn't go over well with viewers, who wanted a comedy about baseball to have a villain worthy of an action movie. So now Phelps just comes across as a cold-hearted bitch who wanted to move the team for the sake of conflict, even though a playoff run would probably make her a ton of money.

That changed Phelps from the smartest character in the movie to a generic dumb villain, although maybe that was the final step in her plan. Hang on, we need to sit down.

Paramount Pictures
"I won the pennant 35 minutes ago."

1
Heathers -- Westerburg High Is Blown to Bits, Everyone Dies

New World Pictures

Heathers is like Mean Girls as written by Quentin Tarantino. A self-loathing high school student named Veronica (Winona Ryder) falls in love with J.D., a dark and mysterious outsider played by Christian Slater doing a Jack Nicholson impression. Right away, you can tell the whole thing is pre-Columbine by the fact that J.D. gets away with bringing a real gun to school and playing a wacky prank with it by "shooting" two fellow students with blanks.

New World Pictures
In the '80s, teachers thought this shit was hilarious.

Together, Veronica and J.D. conspire against their school's popular bullies. Oh, and by "conspire against," we mean "flat-out murder" -- they kill three students and set the deaths up to look like suicides. But at the end of this anti-John-Hughes flick, it's revealed that the rebellious J.D. is actually just plain crazy. He first attempts to murder Veronica, and then tries to blow the school sky high. Veronica foils J.D.'s plan, leaving the maniac the only victim of his bombs (not counting the custodian who has to clean the mess up).

How It Was Supposed To End:

Not one, not two, but three alternate endings were considered, all of which cross the line from "dark comedy" into "bleak nihilism."

In one ending, Veronica would shoot J.D., then strap a bomb to herself, walk outside, give a stirring speech, and blow herself up. In another variant, a lot of the school would have gone with her, because nothing says laugh-fest like a bunch of murdered teenagers. Shockingly, the studio had a problem with the main character of a comedy suicide bombing among a bunch of minors, which is why Airplane! didn't end with the plane crashing into an orphanage and Superbad didn't end with a sexually frustrated Jonah Hill committing a triple homicide.

In a third alternate ending, the movie would have proceeded the way we all know and love. The crazy guy dies, the school is freed of the influence of the bullies, and Veronica would invite the fat, unpopular Martha to watch a movie with her. Except that would prompt Martha to call Veronica "Heather" and stab her in the stomach, to which Veronica would respond "My name's not Heather, you bitch!" before bleeding to death.

New World Pictures
"There's no way in hell I'm watching The Amazing Spider-Man 2."

Jesus. We guess that last one is supposed to be ironic, in that Veronica became what she hated and is punished accordingly, but it comes across as "Fat, unpopular kids are shunned for a reason! KEEP YOUR DISTANCE!"

You can follow Brendan on Twitter if that will make you happy and tell him if these endings would have better if they weren't cut. Also if you're on a clicking spree, he has a Youtube Channel.

For more questionable editing, check out 7 Famous Movie Flaws That Were Explained in Deleted Scenes and 21 Real Deleted Scenes That Completely Change Famous Movies.

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