Could you imagine a world where Edward doesn’t climb up the tower and rescue Vivian? Well, that almost happened! In honor of the film’s 25th anniversary, screenwriter J.F. Lawton revealed in a brand new interview that the film was much more ‘gritty’ and had a ‘dark’ ending — and you’ll never believe what he had!
The cast of Pretty Woman aren’t the only ones reflecting on the epic film, which hit theaters 25 years ago. While Julia Roberts, Richard Gere and co. reunited on the Today show to talk about how they became Vivian and Edward, the screenwriter of the film, J.F. Lawton is telling a much different story, of how the film first was — and what its title was!
‘Pretty Woman’ Ending — 25 Years Later, Writer Reveals Not-So-Happy Ending
Pretty Woman was originally titled 3,000, about how money had destroyed America and the story of a “girl who wanted to change her life, and did, J.F. Lawton told Vanity Fair. The title was based on how much money Vivian would make.
“Wall Street had either come out or was coming out, I had heard about it and the whole issue about the financiers who were destroying companies,” he said. “I kind of thought about the idea that one of these people would met somebody who was affected by what they were doing.”
With that, he decided that his script should be a little less “dark and gritty”– since 3,000 ended with Vivian and Edward not being together. Yes, you read that right. Talk about what a huge mistake that would have been.
In the original, some things did stay the same — shopping, a fancy dinner with businessmen, an opera trip, and even Kit and Stuckey. However, it was the tone that was different. 3,000 didn’t end with Viv rescuing him right back — instead, Edward threw Vivian out of the car with her money, and Kit and Vivian headed on a bus to Disneyland (funded by the Edward Lewis scholarship fund). While Kit was excited, Vivian “stares out emptily ahead.” Credits roll.
How Did ‘3,000’ Become ‘Pretty Woman?’
After the film was bought by Disney, J.F. rewrote it for director Gary Marshall, but he was then told it lightened “too much” and it was too sappy!
“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,” he added, also saying that Marshall wanted “a combination of fairy tales. Julia [Roberts] was Rapunzel, Richard [Gere] was Prince Charming and Hector [Elizondo] was the fairy godmother.”
At the end of the day, Lawton was “thrilled” by the ending that was created by the team.
“I was a guy who was writing ninja movies and trying to get a job,” he said. “If you’re an architect and you design a cabin for the woods, and somebody says, ‘We want to make it into a skyscraper’ . . . the fact that Disney came in and wanted to do it as a big-budget movie with a major director was a great thing.”
Are you happy Pretty Woman ended up the way it did?
— Emily Longeretta