Pretty Woman was an enormous box office hit when it came out in 1990, and Julia Roberts deservedly won a Golden Globe Award for her pitch-perfect performance.
As you'll recall, she stars as Vivian Ward, a vulnerable but formidable sex worker whose business relationship with Richard Gere's corporate playboy soon blossoms into something more.
Nearly three decades later, the movie is regularly hailed as one of the greatest rom-coms ever, and cited as a source of serious summer style inspo.
Revisiting the movie for Refinery29 last year, Anne Cohen acknowledged that its depiction of sex work is at times "woefully limited", but added: "While Pretty Woman now holds rom-com emeritus status, the film, nearly 30 years later, deserves a second look as a legitimate work of cinema with serious concerns about women, men, sex, class and power, among other things."
Now, Roberts has revealed that the movie originally had a different, much darker ending. During a Variety 'Actors on Actors' conversation with fellow actress Patricia Arquette, Arquette said that she auditioned for Pretty Woman when it was called 3,000, and "read more like a gritty art movie".
When Arquette recalled that the original ending was "really heavy", Roberts added: "[He] threw her out of the car, threw the money on top of her, as memory serves, and just drove away, leaving her in some dirty alley."
Roberts then explained that when the "small movie company" that wanted to make 3,000 folded, the project was picked up by Disney and reimagined as Pretty Woman, the movie we know and love today. Though Roberts thought she'd "lost her job" on the movie, she was persuaded to return by the new script and director Garry Marshall.
"There was one producer that stayed with the script, and it went to Disney," Roberts told Arquette. "I thought, 'Went to Disney? Are they going to animate it?' Garry Marshall came on, and because he’s a great human being, he felt it would only be fair to meet me, since I had this job for three days and lost it. And they changed the whole thing. And it became more something that is in my wheelhouse."
And the rest, as we know, became Hollywood history.