Movie Endings: The Writer’s Achilles’ Heel?

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    Movie Endings: The Writer’s Achilles’ Heel?

    In the Charlie Kaufman movie Adaptation, Robert McKee famously (and somewhat facetiously) says if you wow your audience in the 3rd act, you can basically get away with anything before that. We all know this isn’t true, but what makes for a great movie ending? And why are writers so often forced to change their endings? Sherry Lansing, Glenn Close and director Adrian Lyne famously hated the ending of Fatal Attraction where Glenn Close’s character was shot and killed by the wife (read about it HERE). So why did they change it? Studio politics and test screenings. In other words, the artists involved with the movie had to change their vision and the story, because, as studio exec Ted Nanen explained, the audience “wanted us to terminate the bitch with extreme prejudice.” 

    In this amazingly informative and educational session, learn how some of your favorite movie endings differed from what the writers wrote and why, and how production companies, movie studios and test audiences can influence and impact your movie’s ending. 

     For Fun: Watch the originally shot ending of Fatal Attraction along with Director Adrian Lyne’s take on it.