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20+ Movies That Were Originally Supposed To Be Much Darker

Everybody loves a dark, heart-dropping ending. But finding out that the upbeat, positive movies you've already grown attached to were originally meant to be a lot grimmer, can be a bit of a shock.

It's hard to come to grips with the fact that the lighthearted movie endings you're familiar with, were once something completely different.

"The Mask".

This may be hard to believe, but The Mask was originally going to be a horror movie.

Stanley was going to be more of the Freddy-Krueger-type and start murdering people. But the director pushed for it to be a comedy instead, to avoid there being any comparison to it and Nightmare On Elm Street.

"Pretty Woman".

The original ending to Pretty Woman, according to a former Disney studio head, was supposed to be a lot less butterflies and rainbows than what we remember.

In the original, Vivian was supposed to die of a drug overdose — but they decided to lighten things up a bit.

"The Santa Claus".

YouTube | Movieclips Classic Trailers

This festive Christmas classic was originally going to be a lot edgier than what we know and love.

Originally, the movie was going to start with Tim Allen's character accidentally shooting and killing the real Santa Clause after mistaking him for a burglar.

"Get Out".

YouTube | Movieclips Trailers

The original ending was going to show the main character, Chris, ending up in jail — to portray a flawed judicial system.

"when I realized the original, downer ending wasn’t working, I didn’t freak out. I looked at it as an opportunity to come up with a better ending," the creator of the film said.

"The Butterfly Effect".

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The alternate ending of The Butterfly Effect is a very dark ending, to an already dark movie.

Evan realizes that the only way to undo the damage he's caused, and ensure everyone he cares about gets the best possible outcome, is to never even be born.

He teleports back into his mother's womb and strangles himself with the umbilical cord.


One of the writers of the film revealed that Bradley Cooper's character was never meant to return home, but rather, sacrifice his life to be forever stuck in a black hole.


YouTube | YouTube Movies

The movie script was originally bought out by Richard Kelly, who had a very different plan for the movie. He pictured it being a dystopian, post-apocalyptic themed movie, instead of what Disney ended up releasing.


Initially, this movie was meant to be more of a horror flick.

Billy's mother was going to be decapitated — the movie would have shown a scene of her head rolling down the stairs in their home.

Their family dog was also going to be eaten.

"Avengers: Infinity War".

YouTube | Marvel Entertainment

Obviously Avengers: Infinity War is a dark movie as is — but they removed an earlier detail that would have made it even eerier.

In the original ending, Thanos is seen walking towards a young Gamora, through a river of his victims' blood.

"Halloween (2018)".

YouTube | Movieclips Trailers

Halloween is already a pretty dark and twisted movie — but apparently, it was originally going to be even darker.

Laurie Strode was going to be killed by Michael Myers, leaving her children behind to carry on the Halloween franchise.

"Deadpool 2".

YouTube | 20th Century Fox

If you're the type of person in a movie theater who gets up and leaves the very second the credits start rolling, then you've probably missed this post-credits scene

Vanessa comes back to life after being shot.

The decision to bring her back was actually a last minute decision. Her death was originally supposed to be permanent.


Lydia was originally supposed to die in a fire, trying to save Barbara and Adam in the afterlife.

But it was later decided that Lydia's death needed to be portrayed in a more positive light.

"Terminator Salvation".

YouTube | Movieclips Classic Trailers

In the original ending, John was going to get very badly wounded, with no chance of survival. But his wife comes up with a solution that will keep his heart alive.

He was going to be, basically, transplanted into another corpse, and then go on to lead the Resistance with nobody the wiser.


Youtube | Zoo Zone

Zootopia couldn't possibly have a dark side, right?


In a deleted scene, it shows a "coming of age" party, where the bear is given a shock collar that he must wear. After receiving his first shock, the bear starts to realize what the party is actually about...

"Return of the Jedi".

YouTube | Star Wars

According to the producer of the movie, the first draft included Han Solo dying while trying to destroy the sheil generator, the death star was also going to be destroyed, and Luke was going to be deeply traumatized by his last encounter with Darth Vader — causing him to venture off on his own leaving Princess Leia behind.


Rocky would not have been as nearly as epic if he didn't rise to every occasion, triumphantly.

But in the original version, Rocky was going to throw the final fight — losing on purpose.


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In the version we've seen, Hancock has a bit of an abrasive personality, but it just adds to his charm.

In the original version, he's a lot more emotionally damaged. Rather than just being jerk for no reason, he suffers from severe PTSD.

"Groundhog Day".

YouTube | Movieclips Classic Trailers

At the end of Groundhog Day, the original plan was for Rita to reject Phil after he declared her love for her, and then get stuck in her own time loop.

"American Sniper".

According to the screenplay writer, Jason Hall, viewers were actually supposed to see the murder for Chris Kyle in the original version.

But this film was based on a true story, and the real-life widow of Chris Kyle requested that — since this is how her husband is likely going to be remembered, she wanted them to tread with discretion.

Ultimately, to be safe and considerate, they left that part out.

"Cloverfield Lane".

YouTube | Movieclips Trailers

In the original ending, Michelle shoots Howard in the knees and makes a break for it — stealing her captors parked truck, and driving to Chicago in search of her family. But when she arrives, she finds the city has been destroyed.

The film ends there, with no further explanation.

"Guardians Of The Galaxy".

Guardians Of The Galaxy was relatively upbeat, and left us all on a positive note.

But in the original ending Star-Lord solemnly remembers his late mother — leaving the movie off on a bit of a sadder vibe.

"Little Shop Of Horrors".

YouTube | YouTube Movies

In the original ending, Seymour and Audrey are both killed by the evil plant, that eventually grows to tower over the city, murdering civilians.