Pretty Woman originally ended tragically

Music 07/03/2017

Beloved romantic comedy Pretty Woman was originally intended to be a much darker affair, ending with the titular character dying from an overdose.

The film is a story of love between a street prostitute and a ruthless businessman, played by Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, respectively.

Directed by Garry Marshall, Pretty Woman was the third-highest grossing film of 1990 at the worldwide box office and earned Roberts a Golden Globe award for Best Actress.

But the sweet, feel-good modern classic was almost something very different.

"As a script, Pretty Woman was an R-rated movie about a hooker on Hollywood Boulevard," says former Disney boss Jeffrey Katzenberg.

"By the way, in the original version - it's pretty dark - I think she died of an overdose."

Katzenberg reportedly made the comments at a Q&A session at Hearst Tower in New York City.

They add to previous statements made by Pretty Woman writer Jonathan Lawton, who told Vanity Fair in 2015 that Disney turned his original idea into a "fairy tale".

"I think it got produced because the original script had gone to Sundance, it was prestigious, it was viewed as serious art, so it was allowed to touch into this area of sexuality and money and prostitution and all of that," says Lawton.

"It gave Hollywood permission to do it, and then Garry [Marshall] was smart enough, because he's got incredible pop instincts, to say, 'OK, this is what people want to see, they want to see the fairy tale'."