The fickle nature of the movie industry means that what a screenwriter or director thinks best suits a film might not sit quite as well with audiences (as we often learn to our cost). As such, when movies are screened for test crowds, often viewers will take exception to a character being killed - or as is sometimes the case, a character surviving - and fill that in on their feedback sheet at the conclusion of the screening. Enough repeat utterances of this complaint will result in the studio approaching the director to change said character's fate, which obviously involves re-scripting and re-shoots, something which isn't taken on lightly in Hollywood. Sometimes, filmmakers will be smart enough to shoot an alternate ending as a safety in case they change their mind, but whatever the circumstances, the result is the same; in these 10 movies, these 13 characters had their fates changed at the 11th hour...
10. Francine & Peter - Dawn of the Dead
The original screenplay for George A. Romero's iconic zombie classic had the movie's protagonists, Francine and Peter, commit suicide at the conclusion of the film, a final, definitively bleak statement not dissimilar from the end of the director's previous zombie outing, Night of the Living Dead. Peter was to shoot himself, while Fran would make the more drastic statement of shoving her head into the spinning helicopter blades above her. Most disturbingly, Romero planned for the rotating blades to spin over the end credits, eventually stopping, suggesting that had Fran and Peter decided to fly away, their copter would have crashed soon after take-off anyway. During filming, the decision was made to change this ending, yet with the prop for Fran's suicide already fully made, Romero decided to re-incorporate it into the infamous shotgun scene near the start of the movie. Many hints to the ending, however, do remain in the final film, such as Peter putting a gun to his head.
Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.