Julia Roberts Reveals That The Original ‘Pretty Woman’ Ending Was Disturbingly Dark

Julia Roberts speaks onstage during the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Denzel Washington at Dolby Theatre on June 06, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
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The 1990 romantic comedy Pretty Woman left audiences feeling good after the prostitute with a heart of gold ended up with the guy and the fairy tale ending. But Julia Roberts says that the show didn’t always end that way. In fact, the original ending was incredibly bleak.

According to a recent interview that Roberts did with Patricia Arquette for Variety, the film was originally much darker.

“That movie was really dark and the ending was really heavy,” Arquette, who also tried out for the lead role, pointed out. “It really read like a dark gritty art movie.”

Roberts agreed, saying that her character Vivian Ward was tossed out of a car by Richard Gere’s character Edward Lewis, who “threw the money on top of her, as memory serves, and just drove away leaving her in some dirty alley.”

The film was originally titled 3,000 and was written by screenwriter J.F. Lawton, who also wrote Under Siege, Blankman, The Hunted, and Chain Reaction.

The 51-year-old actress who found fame after playing the iconic role said that she knew she “had no business being in a movie like that.” Ultimately, it turned out, she wasn’t. The original movie company went under, leaving the show adrift and Roberts out of a job until Disney came along and resuscitated it.

“There was one producer that stayed with the script and then it went to Disney,” Roberts recalled. “And I went, ‘went to Disney? Are they gonna animate it? How does this become a Disney movie?'”

Garry Marshall took over the film and ultimately decided to meet with Roberts to check her out for the role once again.

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“I think because he’s a great human being, he met with me because I had once had the job and he felt it would only be fair to at least meet me since I had this job for three days and then lost it,” she said.

At that point, that’s when the film was changed up from the dark vision it started out as to the lighthearted romance that audiences are familiar with.

Arquette told Roberts that she tries to imagine how the movie would have played out if Roberts had ended up playing the original role, but Roberts says that she “couldn’t do it” and said she was glad that it ended up in the form that it ultimately took.

J.F. Lawton told Variety that he originally envisioned the film with Vivian and her best friend headed on a bus bound for Disneyland.