A lot of sci-fi movies have iconic endings, but things could have been different. Very different. Here’s a look into some alternate universes where some of the most famous endings of the most famous sci-fi movies were completely different (spoilers, obviously).
Ah, yes, the Will Smith summer flick where he played an alcoholic superhero that we all forget about until someone says, “Hey, remember that Will Smith summer flick where he played an alcoholic superhero?” You’re welcome. If you caught Hancock in theaters or late one night on Netflix when you’ve exhausted all other options, you may remember that Charlize Theron’s character Mary is revealed to ALSO be a superbeing and if she and Will Smith stay in closer proximity to each other, their powers disappear (because duh?).
Well, the original ending is… uh… different. It involves Hancock sexually assaulting regular human Mary, decimating the entire police force that comes to stop him, and then attempting suicide. Keep in mind that Hancock is bulletproof, so he’s left with a bleak existence of self-loathing. Perfect summer flick, right?
2. Terminator 2
Imagine Sarah Connor happily playing with her grandchild while her son is off being a senator. Skynet is no longer a threat and everything is hunky-dory. Having trouble picturing it? Here, let me help you.
Yes, this was a real ending. It was filmed, edited, and mixed, but ultimately cut. Because with that ending, how would we get a multitude of sequels?
3. Terminator: Salvation
Really, what is it with the Terminator franchise and alternate endings? I feel like Terminator: Salvation was a widely discussed but mostly unseen movie. Every time it’s brought up at parties (which is more often than you might think), all anyone wants to talk about is the leaked audio of Christian Bale screaming at the sound guy. And that’s because no one saw Terminator: Salvation. But it did have an ending, and it involved half-human, half-machine enigma Marcus Wright giving up his heart to save John Connor after they’d spent the whole movie being war buddies (sort of).
But the original ending went a little less affectionate: it saw John Connor straight up die, and his wife go “Hey, Marcus why don’t you wear my husband’s skin and pretend to be him because the idea of John Connor must live” and Marcus be all like, “okay”. Then we have a machine leading the resistance. Apparently, it was supposed to go even further with Skynet activating Marcus as a sleeper agent and then killing all of the resistance higher-ups, including a young Kyle Reese, ultimately leading to an entire Marcus franchise.
You’ve probably heard this one, but it’s worth repeating. In Christopher Nolan’s space and time travel film, Cooper is able to save everything and everyone he loves by flying into a black hole to send data back in time to his daughter on Earth with the use of a 5th dimensional tesseract (who hasn’t been there?). Cooper is reunited with his daughter, who is now a super old lady that saved humanity and built cool rotating spaceships.
According to Nolan’s brother and writing partner Jonathan Nolan, that wasn’t the original ending. The movie was supposed to end with Cooper hurtling into the black hole with all sound and light fading as the wormhole collapsed. We didn’t get that ending but we did get pseudo-philosophical internet debates on how that would’ve been a truer ending.
Often hailed as one of the best and most realistic “superhero movies”, Chronicle is about Matt, Andrew, and Steve, three teenage boys who stumble upon a mysterious asteroid and develop powers with Andrew eventually going dark side. The movie ends with Matt on a snowy mountain promising to use his powers for good after battling with Andrew and ultimately killing him.
The original ending was much in line with the current superhero trend and featured a two year time jump. Matt finds himself in Asia saving the cheering population from a dam break while screaming, “F*CK YEAH KOREA!”
6. Return of the Jedi
Would it shock you to learn that Return of the Jedi was supposed to end with Han dying, Luke having an existential crisis, and Leia leading the tattered remains of the Rebel Alliance against the Empire? Would you believe me if I told you Lucas scrapped that ending because he was afraid it would impact toy sales? Google if you don’t believe me.
Which alternate ending do you think would’ve been better than the ending we got? Let me know on Twitter!