9 Comic Book Movies That Almost Had Way Better Endings

Alternate romance, resurrections and villains who should have perished.

When it comes to their endings, comic books movies have typically been something of a mixed bag. Notable examples of brilliance in the genre are few and far between, and it almost feels like a cliche now to say that it's more likely their full-stops will be disappointing (even with franchise longevity resting on them). Sometimes it's a case of safeness: studios often shoot multiple alternate endings to decide (usually with audience tests) which "works better", or which is most financially intelligent. Or which doesn't rock too many boats. Where they might have been bold and memorable in their choice of finale, the studio lost their nerve, overlooking the more interesting and fundamentally braver alternatives. And audiences simply don't like that. That means there are some abandoned comic book movie endings that were braver, bigger and bolder, and which fundamentally would have improved their respective films, and which stand as monuments to poor decision making. But at least we know they existed, right?

9. The Return Of Richard Parker - The Amazing Spider-Man 2

One of the most frustrating things about the rebooted Amazing Spider-Man series was the fact that it never properly resolved the mysterious storyline about Peter Parker's parents. Whilst the first movie just totally avoided the mystery, the second film revealed that Peter's parents disappeared when Norman Osborn tried to force them into creating dangerous bio-weapons. Or something. It wasn't all that clear, to be honest, and by the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 the whole scenario still felt fuzzy around the edges. Which is why this alternate ending, shot but never used, would have been a lot more interesting than the one we got, which saw Spider-Man quitting his life as Spider-Man after Gwen Stacy's death, only to take up the mantle as a superhero again five minutes later. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpC0z2P1uaY The alternate ending would have been seriously mind-blowing, though, given that it saw Peter's dad, Richard, turning up at Gwen Stacy's graveside. There, he explains he disappeared to keep Peter safe, and the two share an emotional reunion. It would have also made for an interesting spin on the mythology (Richard even says: "With great power, comes great responsibility," suggesting that Peter continue his duties as Spider-Man). Not only would this scene have given weight to all the side-stepping the movies had done trying to avoid explaining the whole Peter's parents thing, but it would have made for a major cliffhanger to keep fans speculating (had they, you know, kept the franchise alive).

Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.