Pretty Woman Was Almost A Tragedy

Photo: Touchstone Pictures/REX/Shutterstock.
Garry Marshall's 1990 classic Pretty Woman is a heartwarming comedy that happens to be ridiculously quotable. But what if the film had a more tragic ending — one that wasn't funny at all? It's hard to imagine now, but the iconic movie almost went down that route.
Advertisement
Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was Disney's studio chief when Pretty Woman was made, told Page Six on Thursday that producers considered a much darker ending to the film.
"I can’t tell you how much time was spent debating," Katzenberg told the news outlet. "As a script, Pretty Woman was an R-rated movie about a hooker on Hollywood Boulevard. By the way, 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. But, as they say, the rest is history."
History, indeed. It's impossible for us to imagine Pretty Woman not having a happy ending — especially ending with a death! But as Vogue points out, we've been privy to alternate endings for the movie in the past. In 2015, J.F. Lawton, who wrote the movie, told Vanity Fair that the original script was "dark" and "gritty."
At the time, Lawton noted that other celebrities including Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino had auditioned for the film — and if they'd been cast, it might not have ended on such an upbeat note. "But the chemistry between Julia and Gere, it is palpable on the screen, it was palpable in auditions," Lawton told Vanity Fair in 2015. "You can't really see how it could end any other way, because they just light up with each other."
It sounds like there was definitely a combination of factors that led to the final version of Pretty Woman we all know and love. And as much as we love dark films, we're thrilled that this is the ending we got.
Advertisement