Whether because of meddling producers, disagreeable test audiences, or apprehensive directors with second thoughts, many movies get tweaked before we ever get a chance to see them, especially in the final act.
In fact, some of our favorite Hollywood endings could have gone in very different directions if they had followed their original trajectories.
In an alternate universe, this is how some of your favorite movies would end.
[Spoilers ahead, obviously.]
"Pineapple Express" (2008)
How it ends: Seth Rogen and James Franco survive the big shootout and recall the whole thing over breakfast.
How it was supposed to end: Rogen and Franco stay in the warehouse to get high and end up getting shot by a "bad guy" they forgot about.
"I Am Legend" (2007)
How it ends: Will Smith's Neville blows himself and a bunch of Darkseekers up to protect his new friends and the antidote.
How it was supposed to end: Neville discovers the Darkseekers are more than just murderous zombies. They are capable of love and compassion and just want to rescue one of their own who has become Neville's test subject. Test audiences were left unsatisfied with the humanization of the "bad guys" so they went with the "blow everything up" ending.
"The Break-Up" (2006)
How it ends: With Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston randomly meeting on the street months after breaking up.
How it was supposed to end: Originally, they were just going to split and be done with it, but the movie happened to coincide with Aniston's real-life breakup with Brad Pitt after he left her for Angelina Jolie. Producers didn't want her character to get jilted on the big screen too, so they re-shot the ending to include a more ambiguous finale that suggested there was hope for reconciliation.
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