The 1990 classic Pretty Woman has the perfect romantic ending. Edward (Richard Gere) goes up the fire escape and "rescues" Vivian (Julia Roberts), and then she "rescues him right back" before the pair share a kiss. However, according to Disney's studio chairman, this wasn't always the case! During a Q&A about the film, Jeffrey Katzenberg opened up about the original ending and revealed that they had initially planned Vivian to have a much darker fate.
Julia's character was meant to have a much darker fate
"I can't tell you how much time we spent debating [that ending]," he said. "In the original version – it's pretty dark – I think she died of an overdose. So convincing [people] that we should make that at the Walt Disney Co., and that it's a fairy tale and a princess movie, a lot of people had a hard time seeing it. As a script, Pretty Woman was an R-rated movie about a hooker on Hollywood Boulevard. But, as they say, the rest is history."
He also revealed that Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer were once considered for the main roles, and the film would have been "a different movie" if they had been cast. He continued: "During this whole thing, there was all this whole debate about, 'How do we end it, how do we save her?' without it feeling like a cop-out. They had auditioned Al Pacino, they had auditioned Michelle Pfeiffer, and it would definitely have been a different movie if had it been Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer. It might have been closer to the original script and maybe not have had a happy ending." During an interview with the Today Show, Julia previously revealed that the Edward was originally meant to throw money "on top of her". She explained: "Richard’s character threw my character out of the car, threw the money on top of her and drove away and the credits rolled."