17 Facts About Twists In Famous Stories
We've been looking at plot twists from famous stories. That meant looking at famous twists both ancient and modern. We examined some widely reviled twists (How I Met Your Mother, Twilight, Lost), sometimes joining in the hate and sometimes fighting it. Other acclaimed twists (Fight Club, Rosemary's Baby), we learned, received surprising amounts of pushback at the time, and still other movies changed their twists dramatically as the production went on—you've probably never heard about The Walking Dead's proposed twist or the best twist in Star Wars.
We'll avoid spoiling endings for you because spoilers are terrible despite what misleading pop science claims. That's why some productions and directors work hard to keep the plot a secret (though others give everything away in the trailer).
The links all lead to full articles with much more info, so do the unexpected thing and click every single one that interests you.
1. The Dark Knight Rises built a fake tombstone to obscure the ending
Many people speculated that a character would die in this movie. The film does include a tombstone, but they added the name using special effects—when shooting the scene, the stone showed someone's else's name.
2. Rosemary's Baby was rated C For Condemned by The Catholic Church.
The Pope asked Church leaders to rate films to guide the flock, and they came down hard against this one—but it looks like they didn't think their move through.
3. A widely shared study about the benefits of spoilers is bunk.
Everyone keeps sharing this study that you like stories more when you know the ending in advance, but when you look closer, the study is garbage.
4. The Walking Dead was sold on a fake plot twist.
The original comic book's author pitched the series by claiming aliens unleashed the zombies, and it would become a humans vs. aliens sci-fi story. Sadly, he never intended to really take the story that route.
5. Scott Pilgrim had a horrifying alternate ending.
The director planned to shoot one ending revealing that most of the movie was all in Scott's head—but Scott had killed people real, and was in an asylum for being a serial killer.
6. Spectre's twist is so dumb, Bond spoof Austin Powers jokingly ended its own franchise that way a decade earlier.
7. Final Fantasy VII Remake's Sephiroth plot twist changes everything we knew.
The game was originally sold as a straight remake, but it changes the plot in major ways.
5. Most people who worked on Fight Club thought the audience wouldn't buy the twist.
David Fincher trusted we would, but he did still make some other big changes from the book.
9. The Woman in the House was less weird and less funny than some straight mysteries.
It hits the sour spot of too silly to work as a legit story and not silly enough to work as a spoof.
10. The Us trailer gave away the twist.
Not only did it give away too much of the plot, it also spoiled a particularly weird surprise music choice.
11. How I Met Your Father tries to defend How I Met Your Mother's awful, trash finale.
The two shows really do share a universe, which gives them a chance to double down a choice everyone else agrees was a mistake.
12. You should have seen through the BS in the The Usual Suspects long before the final scene.
13. M. Night Shyamalan quit a film, to avoid spoiling the twist.
He was the first director picked for Life of Pi, but he figured he's so associated with twists, his name would ruin the surprise of the movie's ending.
14. The first cinematic twist ending is 102 years old.
If you're interested in the first twist ending of any kind, however, you'll have to go much further back in history. We've spotted a few candidates, spanning thousands of years.
15. Star Wars' best plot twist was Knights Of The Old Republic, not Empire Strikes Back.
Everyone knows Darth Vader is Luke's father, but here's a story twist you might never hear if you're not a gamer.
16. Howard Stark was supposed to be Iron Man's surprise villain.
This earlier version of the story would have forced a bunch of changes in later films.
17. A long-believed theory about Lost has been disproven.
Sure, the Island wasn't purgatory, but even knowing this, audiences theorized that the writers originally planned for the Island to be purgatory. Turns out early scripts actually mock this idea.
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Top image: 20th Century Studios