When he took over as the director of Justice League from Zack Snyder, Joss Whedon began to do massive re-shoots of the film and he allegedly even changed the ending of the film from Snyder’s original! The rumor is that Snyder originally had the film end on a cliffhanger, while Whedon wanted to give the film more of a finished feel. That’s really not that surprising for superhero movies, as the endings of these films tend to get changed a lot.
Sometimes the filmmakers decide to go in a different direction, thematically; sometimes the plot of the film is changed; and sometimes, scenes are just cut for time and/or budget reasons. Whatever the reason, here are 15 endings of superhero movies (most of which were actually filmed) that did not make it into the film that was actually released into theaters.
15. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 – SPIDER-MAN’S DAD IS ALIVE!
One of the odder plot points in Amazing Spider-Man 2 was that Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) found a hidden token in his seemingly dead father’s calculator and it led him to his father’s secret lab, where he found a video to Peter from his his father, Richard (Campbell Scott) telling Peter that Richard and Peter’s mother went on the run. OsCorp was hunting them due to some of their scientific discoveries, including the fact that they used Peter’s DNA for some of their experiments.
In an unused ending to the film, when Peter is at the grave of Gwen Stacy, his father surprises him by showing up alive! He even gets to give Peter the ol’ “With great power comes great responsibility” line to inspire Peter to go back to being Spider-Man in the third film (which never got made).
14. SUPERMAN II – MORE TIME TRAVEL!
One of the producing tricks that Ilya and Alexander Salkind used was filming a movie and its sequel simultaneously to save production costs. So Richard Donner was directing Superman and Superman II at the same time. Eventually, the filming was so difficult that they halted Superman II‘s production to concentrate on finishing Superman.
Later, the Salkinds fired Donner and had Richard Lester finish Superman II. Donner’s original ending for Superman II (where Superman went back in time to make sure that the Phantom Zone escapees would go back into the Phantom Zone and that Lois Lane would forget she knew Superman’s secret identity) was used by Donner to complete Superman when that film was short an ending (so Superman went back in time to save Lois Lane’s life). It is unlikely that Donner was ever going to use this ending once he used the same plot for Superman‘s finale.
13. AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON – QUICKSILVER LIVES!
When you’re making a movie featuring a company’s intellectual property, there is naturally going to be a hesitance on the part of the company to let you kill off of any of the characters, as that would be, in effect, “wasting” the intellectual property for future usage. In the case of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Disney actually had to work just to get the right to use Quicksilver in the film at all, as Fox had claimed the character for their X-Men movies. In the end, a deal was worked out where they both could use the character.
Joss Whedon, though, wanted to kill Quicksilver off in the big final battle of the film. However, he had to film an alternate ending where Quicksilver survived, just in case he lost his argument for letting Quicksilver die. He won the argument and Quicksilver stayed dead.
12. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – PETER’S GRANDFATHER
In Guardians of the Galaxy, young Peter Quill is kidnapped at the beginning of the film and he ends up becoming the famed mercenary Star-Lord before teaming up with a group of outcasts to become the heroic Guardians of the Galaxy. At the film’s end, Peter opens up a present from his mother that he had kept wrapped all of these years. It contained a cassette filled with cool music (coincidentally replacing a similar cassette from his mom that had just been destroyed). So the movie ended on a happy note.
Originally, though, the film was going to end with Peter’s grandfather on Earth still waiting to someday see his grandson again. Director James Gunn recalled, “It means that he must have seen Quill getting abducted at the end of that day and is still waiting for him to return, but it was freaking sad so we took it out.”
11. THE WOLVERINE – THE CLASSIC COSTUME DEBUTS
At the end of James Mangold’s film, The Wolverine, Logan (Hugh Jackman) and his new bodyguard, Yukio (Rila Fukushima) are together on an airplane, ready to fly to parts unknown. In the original ending, Yukio handed Wolverine a suitcase. When he opened it, he discovered that it contained a costume inside. The costume, of course, was the classic Wolverine gear that Hugh Jackman never actually got around to wearing in any of the films.
Mangold decided against keeping it in the film, though, as he felt it would be too much pressure on whomever took over the character next to use the costume and if they chose not to use it, they would be hounded by fans asking why they didn’t use the costume after it had been set up like this. Mangold didn’t want to put another director through that, so he just cut the scene.
10. IRON MAN 2 – PEPPER IS TAKEN HOSTAGE
At the end of Iron Man 2, Iron Man teams up with War Machine to fight Ivan Vanko and an army of destructive drones that Vanko had created with the help of evil industrialist, Justin Hammer. The whole barrage of armored drones vs. armored heroes went for a fine display of special effects and explosions (Vanko ultimately kills himself in an explosion).
However, the original ending was a bit more personal, as Vanko kidnapped Iron Man’s love interest, Pepper Potts, and held her hostage until Iron Man agreed to give himself up, and Tony Stark went out of his armor to appease Vanko. Naturally, he still had some tricks up his sleeve (plus War Machine to help out). Director Jon Favreau decided to go with the more spectacular ending.
9. BATMAN FOREVER – HOMAGE TO THE BURTON ENDINGS
At the end of the first Tim Burton Batman film, Vicki Vale is being driven by Alfred Pennyworth when the Bat Signal goes off and the film ends with Batman standing on a rooftop staring at the signal. In Batman Returns, it is now Bruce Wayne who is being driven by Alfred when the Bat Signal goes off. This time, the film ends with Catwoman staring at the signal.
Batman Forever was the first film in the series not directed by Tim Burton, but originally, the new director, Joel Schumacher, was going to continue with tradition and end the movie with Alfred driving Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman) and then the Bat Signal would come on and the camera would pan to Batman and Robin together. Instead, Schumacher dropped the car and Alfred altogether and just ended the film with Batman and Robin running, silhouetted by the Bat Signal’s light.
8. THOR – JANE MAKES A BEACON FOR THOR
At the end of the first Thor film, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) had to leave his new love, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) to return to Asgard to take care of the rebellion his evil brother, Loki, had started in Thor’s absence. He promised to return to her, but in his defeat of Loki, he destroyed his only way of returning to Earth from Asgard (until one was conveniently discovered so that Thor could take part in The Avengers).
With Thor now stranded, Jane and her team of researchers tried to find a way to reach Asgard again. In the deleted original ending, Jane and her colleague, Darcy, leave out a beacon in the sky for Thor to see. Meanwhile, her other colleague, Dr. Erik Selvig, is trying to create a wormhole to get to Asgard and he mentions S.W.O.R.D., the alien-protection wing of S.H.I.E.L.D.
7. ANT-MAN – ANT-MAN STOPS THE HYDRA AGENT
When fans complain about plot holes in films, they have to understand that sometimes, filmmakers are not only aware of the plot hole, but sometimes they have even specifically addressed the issue, but had the scene that fixes the hole cut from the film. A situation like that occurred in Ant-Man.
At the end of the film, one of the people bidding on the Yellowjacket technology was a Hydra agent, who ran off with some Pym Particles. While it never was addressed in the rest of the film, it is not necessarily a plot hole, though it was still pretty strange to have that plot just go unresolved. As it turned out, they actually did film an ending where Ant-Man defeated the spy and got the Pym Particles back. However, it was then replaced by the teaser scene setting up Captain America: Civil War.
6. IRON MAN – STANE ESCAPED
A good deal of Iron Man is spent slowly building up Jeff Bridges’ Obadiah Stane from seemingly good-hearted father figure to Tony Stark to underhanded villainous snake. This culminates in the film with Stane building his own version of the Iron Man armor with the giant Iron Monger armor. He and Iron Man have an epic battle, but in the end, Stane falls into the exploding arc reactor and dies.
Originally, though, all of that work spent building up Stane would not end with just his death. No, originally Stane was going to survive his encounter with Iron Man and head off to plot against Iron Man in the future. It is unclear if he would have come back into the picture in the sequel or just be on the run as a possible future threat.
5. BLADE – DEACON FROST BECOMES A BLOOD TORNADO
A precursor to the modern age of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Blade showed the value of Marvel’s intellectual property, as even a relatively low level Marvel hero like the vampire hunting Blade could be turned into a successful movie franchise if handled well. However, while the first Blade turned out to be a hit, no one knew whether it would succeed before it came out, so the budget was not especially high.
This played a role in the end of the film. In the actual film, Blade injects a sort of vampire poison into the neck of the evil Deacon Frost to defeat him. It’s a nice, relatively low budget finale. Originally, though, they planned a more special effects heavy ending where Frost turns into, for a lack of a better term, a tornado of blood. Blade still eventually gets the poison into him.
4. X-MEN: THE LAST STAND – ROGUE AND WOLVERINE RETURN
X-Men: The Last Stand was intended as the final film in the original X-Men trilogy, so the ending of the film had a lot riding on it, as this was going to be the final time that we would see these characters. Obviously, it turned out that we would see them all again in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Therefore, they filmed a bunch of different endings to show what happened to a number of characters as it was all wrapped up.
There was one unused ending where Rogue returned to the school with her powers intact. There was one ending that showed Beast running the school with Storm. Finally, one ending showed Wolverine going back to the bar that he was found in in the first X-Men film, bringing things full circle.
3. BLADE: TRINITY – BLADE GOES BAD?
The main plot of the final film in the Blade trilogy, Blade: Trinity, revolved around Blade teaming up with the Nightstalkers to take down not only the original vampire, Dracula, but possibly destroy all vampires with a special virus. However, the virus could possibly prove to be deadly to Blade, as well. Before Blade ends up killing Dracula and unleashing the virus, Dracula warns that the virus will unleash the true vampire within Blade.
So the virus goes off, Blade goes into a coma but the film ends with Hannibal King telling us that Blade survived and is back to being his normal self, just roaming the world. However, the original ending showed Blade in FBI custody, where he escapes and kills his guards, leaving the movie on the open question, “Has the virus turned him evil?”
2. SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE – IT IS ALL “ONE WORLD”
One of the most disastrous superhero film productions was Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, which underwent dramatic financial problems while making the film, which led to huge chunks of the movie just not being filmed as they tried to save as much money as possible. So, things were just chopped up and put out of order to try to save as much of a story as possible.
In any event, one of the things that was lost in the editing was the original ending. Superman was originally driven to try to get rid of all nuclear weapons on Earth (the conflict which drives the film) by a letter by a little boy. In the original endings, Superman takes the little boy on a flight through space where he shows him that from space, Earth is just “one world.”
1. IRON MAN 3 – SLATTERY EXPLODES
One of the biggest recent twists in superhero film history was when Iron Man 3 revealed that the mysterious Mandarin (played by legendary Academy Award winning actor, Ben Kingsley) was actually just an actor playing the role of a mysterious terrorist and it was all a front for an operation by a rogue scientist. The actor, Trevor Slattery, became a key source of comic relief in the film.
In a deleted ending, Slattery ended up injecting himself with the “Extremis” virus from the film and the end result caused him to explode. It is unclear if this was intended as a humorous ending or not. Instead, Slattery survived and even later starred in a short film where he is broken out of prison by a subject of the real Mandarin, who wants to meet Slattery.
Which of these alternate endings are you the most upset didn’t make the actual finished film? Let us know in the comments section!
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