As many movie fans know, the first draft of a film’s screenplay typically is not the only version that exists. The filmmakers will go through an assortment of ideas as they attempt to craft the perfect story for the project they’re trying to make. This means that more often than not, lines of dialogue, certain scenes, or even entire sequences will be retooled or cut before the film reaches theaters.
Things get interesting once the final product is released, and the alternate versions that were toyed with become public knowledge. Hollywood is a fascinating place full of intriguing “what ifs,” and in an alternate universe, your favorite movies play out a little differently. In a sequel to an earlier video, here are 10 Amazing Movie Twists You’ve Never Seen (Part 2).
Like most installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man sets up the future of the franchise by showing undercover Hydra agent Mitchell Carson steal some Pym particles for an unknown purpose. Knowing Marvel, they most definitely have some ideas for where they want that narrative to go down the road, but originally things were not so open-ended.
The initial conclusion saw Scott Lang take on Carson in a fight and take the particles back. This would have been a nice way to tie up loose ends, but it’s understandable why the studio went in a different direction. Not only is there a dangling thread to explore in another film, it can be argued that a Lang vs. Carson fight would have been somewhat anti-climactic after Ant-Man defeated Yellowjacket in the previous action sequence. Having Scott’s friend Luis ramble on about the Avengers searching for Lang was a more amusing way to end the film.
In Zack Snyder’s graphic novel adaptation, the villainous Ozymandias blows up Russian and U.S. cities, blaming the destruction on Dr. Manhattan so the two nations have a common enemy. This is Ozymandias’ twisted way of trying to achieve world peace, and he actually accomplishes that goal when Manhattan leaves Earth. But during Watchmen‘s troubled road to the big screen, the evildoer had a completely different plan that would have been mind-bending to say the least.
When Terry Gilliam was attached to the project, the plot involved Ozymandias convincing Dr. Manhattan to go back in time and prevent the accident that gave the Watchmen their powers. The very existence of a being like Manhattan (who is essentially a god) has a negative impact on everything that happens in the world, and it would perhaps be a better place without the superheroes. Manhattan reversing events creates a better timeline in the end, where the Watchmen’s hero personas are only present in comic books that people read. It would have been a thought-provoking conclusion, for sure.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Fans of Edgar Wright’s quirky and charming Scott Pilgrim got to see the hero earn what he wanted all along: Ramona’s love. After Scott makes his way through Ramona’s evil exes, the two can move forward as a romantic couple. But Wright had another ending planned, which saw Scott leave Ramona behind to reunite with his real true love, Knives. That’s an interesting plot twist, but in a way it undermines the narrative viewers just watched unfold. After seeing Scott go through so much, audiences deserved to see the two of them together.
Wright ended up shooting his first alternate ending, but there was another one that never made it past the concept stage. Once Scott completes his mission and defeats those seven evil exes, there would have been a news report detailing the horrible actions of a serial killer that murdered a bunch of people, claiming that he was in a video game. It’s too bad that never made it to the final cut (even as a post-credits scene). It would have been an amusing bit of commentary on the film’s unique visual style.
E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial
Steven Spielberg’s beloved sci-fi film ends in a way that only the master himself could pull off: Elliott watching in amazement as E.T.’s ship leaves Earth and goes back home. Accompanied by John Williams’ rousing musical score, it’s one of the director’s most awe-inspiring and magical moments. At the same time, it’s uncertain what will happen to Elliott now that his friend is gone. The camera cuts on a closeup of the boy’s face, leaving the viewer to imagine what would happen next. But Spielberg was initially going to go with something that tied up the loose ends.
The original version of E.T. saw Elliott reciting a somewhat downbeat monologue about the need to search for experience, and how if humanity “don’t got any,” they won’t be able to survive in the world. A following scene features Elliott playing with other children, showing that he did indeed move on from his short time with E.T., giving his journey a bit more closure. However, it takes away from the sheer wonder of the ending we got, and it didn’t serve that much of a purpose. It feels a bit tacked on.
This horror franchise is known for sequels of diminishing returns, but the filmmakers could have been saved from that if they had gone with one of their alternate endings. In the theatrical cut, Katie murders Micah downstairs before returning to her room to make a demon face at the camera. But originally, Katie was meant to die. After killing Micah, she slits her throat for the audience to see, a much more horrifying and grim conclusion.
There was also another finale, where after killing Micah, Katie returns to the room and sits alone for days on end, rocking herself on the floor. Her sister comes to investigate and finds Micah’s corpse. Naturally, the sister calls the police, and authorities take a knife-wielding Katie out, ending the series before it even gets started. Hindsight is 20/20, but Paranormal Activity could have gone down as one of the greats had either of these harrowing endings stuck.
Looking to subvert the typical “underdog” movie formula, the first ending of Dodgeball saw the villainous Globo Gym emerge victorious in the climactic match. Defeated, our heroes sulk off into the sunset while Ben Stiller’s White Goodman celebrates. However, test audiences did not approve of this conclusion. After investing so much time in the Average Joes’ quest, viewers wanted to see Vince Vaughn’s lovable losers come out on top in a more traditional happy ending.
As a result, the filmmakers inserted a new conclusion where that does indeed happen. Embracing the genre clichés, the plucky, overmatched longshots succeed against all odds and come out on top. But the filmmakers used this opportunity to throw in one final gag. A button sequence showcases a morbidly obese Goodman munching on food, poking fun at the audience for getting what they wanted and seeing the good guys win. So while the initial conclusion certainly would have been different, it’s safe to say that it all worked out in the end.
Moviegoers got thrown for a loop when they saw the end of Donnie Darko. The title character realized that he had to die in order to correct the timeline and save his loved ones. It’s a haunting moment for viewers to take in, but at the same time touching and poignant. It even leaves a few things unanswered, fueling an endless wave of theories fans have about the movie. But at first, the filmmakers were going to show us a little more to close the book on certain aspects.
Many just assumed that Donnie died when the plane crashed through his room, and they’d be right. However, an alternate ending takes things a step further by panning around the wreckage to show Donnie’s twitching body with a pole impaled through his chest. The main character realizing he needs to end his life for others is dark enough, viewers certainly didn’t need to see this added imagery in order to gain further insight on its themes.
Army of Darkness
American audiences see Army of Darkness play out with Ash defeating the Deadites in Medieval times, and then using the Necronomicon to return home. In the present day, he kills another possessed demon and then the movie ends. But international viewers got an entirely different version, one that puts a rather bleak endpoint on the movie’s events and sees Ash never get back to the home that he loves.
In this alternate cut, Ash still beats the Deadites in the past, but afterwards receives a potion that allows him to sleep one century for every drop he drinks. As fans might expect, Ash misuses the concoction, and ends up transporting himself into a post-apocalyptic wasteland of a future overrun by possessed creatures. That’s an interesting way to end the story, but it doesn’t really mesh with the film’s comedic tone, giving our hero a nightmare of a finale that’s too disturbing to laugh at.
In Ben Affleck’s Boston set crime drama, his Doug McCray finally leaves Beantown behind to start life anew. The final scene of the movie shows the character settling down in Florida, trying to stay hidden from authorities. It’s a satisfying conclusion for his character arc and shows change in the man, but at one point Doug was going to join his friends in the afterlife instead of getting away from it all.
An alternate ending of The Town has Doug encounter Alex Collazo in the city streets. Alex shoots Doug down and leaves him to die. Does that name sound familiar? Even the biggest fans of the movie may only remember Alex as the small-time thief Doug and his friend James Coughlin beat up and threaten earlier in the film. Nobody – including the main characters – expected Alex to return, so his sudden reappearance is just jarring. True, this alternate ending gives The Town an ironic edge on how crime never pays, but it’s a little anticlimactic, abrupt, and even a little confusing. Affleck made the right call going with his theatrical cut.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Peter Parker is mortified when his girlfriend Gwen Stacey dies at the hands of the Green Goblin – and he stops being Spider-Man as a result. After some time, he watches Gwen’s high school graduation speech and gets the motivation he needs to resume his activities as New York’s famous wall crawler. With a renewed sense of purpose, he swings back into action to protect the city he loves. Initially, director Mark Webb had a different idea for what gave Peter that push to get him back in action.
Audiences – and Peter – assume that Spidey’s parents are dead, but The Amazing Spider-Man 2 tosses in a last-minute twist showing Richard Parker visiting his son at the cemetery. After his justifiably shock and outburst, Peter learns that his dad has been in hiding for years in order to protect him. After a heart-to-heart conversation, father encourages son to do what is right and Peter becomes Spider-Man again. It’s easy to see what the filmmakers were going for here, but Richard’s cameo comes out of left field and raises even more questions about the sequel’s messy narrative. The film was disjointed enough, this was the last thing it needed.
Those are our picks for another round of movie twists you’ve never seen. What do you think of our list? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below and be sure to subscribe to our channel for more fun videos like this one!