9. World War Z
Changing the ending of a movie is not uncommon in Hollywood. Many classic films, such as Clerks, Rogue One, and Little Shop of Horrors overhauled the final scene during post-production.
But World War Z takes this practice to a whole new level. This zombie adaptation of Max Brooks' novel was supposed to conclude with Brad Pitt's character, Gerry, battling zombies in Moscow with the Russian army.
After second-unit director, Simon Crane, watched 12 minutes of this footage, he realised the climax didn't work, since the generic action jarred with the movie's serious tone. After much discussion, the director and screenwriters decided to drum up a whole new ending.
But they didn't just redo a scene or two. This new third act required 60 pages of rewrites and an extra $20 million!!
The rewrite may have been a risky move but it totally paid off. Although the added scenes were far smaller in scale, the focus on the emotion rather than the action made it work.
World War Z may be flawed but it turned out way better than anyone expected. Not only did it receive positive reviews, it became the most successful movie of Brad Pitt's career.