Dwayne Johnson’s Rampage originally had a far grimmer alternate ending until he forced it to be changed.
The action movie based on the classic video game sees Johnson’s Davis Okoye team up with an albino silverback gorilla called George to save the day, after George is transformed into a 40-foot gorilla.
But originally, it did not end well for George. “So the script comes in, and I’m reading it,” Johnson told Rolling Stone. “And at the end of it – George dies! I’m like, ‘No. Did I miss something? George can’t be dead’. But I go back, and yeah.”
He added that this bleak ending became “the number-one topic of discussion” between himself, director Peyton Reed, the producers and the studio, who tried to tell him the ending worked as it would have seen George sacrifice himself to save the world.
“I don’t like a sad ending. Life brings that shit – I don’t want it in my movies. When the credits roll, I want to feel great,” Johnson explained. “George sacrifices himself like a brave soldier. OK. But this is a movie! There’s a crocodile the size of a football stadium – we’re not making Saving Private Ryan.”
Johnson noted that his determination on this changed ending was just as much about the relationship he’s built up with his fans.
“I’ve built a trust with them that they’re gonna come to my movies and feel good. So every once in a while, you have to drop this card, which is: You’re gonna have to find another actor. We need to figure something out,” he outlined.
And given the monster success of Jumanji recently and the strong start for Rampage, it’s clear that Johnson knows what he’s talking about.
We won’t spoil what ending proved to be OK with Johnson, but we have been catching up with the director Peyton Reed to find out the movie’s Easter eggs and the inspiration behind George.
Rampage is in cinemas now.
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