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Pretty Woman’s original ending would have been a big mistake

The 1990 film Pretty Woman was meant to be a whole lot darker says the film's original screenwriter.

She was a prostitute who wore thigh high boots and hung out on street corners until she met a man who sent her shopping on Rodeo Drive and took her off into the sunset – but Pretty Woman wasn’t always meant to end like a fairy tale.

The 1990 film, which is set in Los Angeles and opened with Julia Roberts as down-on-her-luck lady of the night Vivian Ward, was actually meant to be a whole lot darker.

American screenwriter J.F. Lawton, who penned the original script, which was called $3000 (a nod to the amount of money Edward paid Vivian for a week of her company), previously told Vanity Fair that, ‘The tone and ending are completely different.’

“I was a screenwriter who was trying to get a job, I was unemployed and I was working in post-production and I was trying to sell scripts, and I had been writing all of these ninja scripts and comedies, and I just couldn’t get any attention,” Lawton told Vanity Fair.

“I suddenly said, ‘Well, maybe I need to do something more serious and dramatic’.”

So he wrote a script where Vivian was a drug addict and on the movie’s 25th anniversary reunion last year Roberts told NBC’s Matt Lauer that she’d signed on thinking the movie was going to be a whole different thing.

“At the end of the original script, Richard’s character threw my character out of the car, threw the money on top of her and drove away and the credits rolled,” she said.

As well as that, Vivian’s best Kit was supposed to die – can you imagine the movie ending that way?

Well thankfully, the film’s director Gary Marshall couldn’t either. After several rewrites the notion of the film being a cautionary tale about drug abuse was filtered away and turned into something with romance and comedy.

“My vision was a combination of fairy tales – Julia was Rapunzel, Richard was Prince Charming and Hector [Elizondo] was the fairy godmother,” Marshall told Vanity Fair.

“It didn’t seem like a vision everybody would have, but I did.”

Video: Kiefer Sutherland on dating Julia Roberts

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