Richard Gere on Pretty Woman’s Original Ending: ‘It Was a Dark Movie’

So much for that! Richard Gere opened up about the original ending of his classic 1990 film Pretty Woman in a new interview.

Richard Gere Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

“It does exist, but I’ve never seen it,” the actor, 67, told Variety on Monday, April 10, while discussing the original script, in which his character, womanizing businessman Edward Lewis, and Julia Roberts‘ character, charming prostitute Vivian Ward, don’t fall in love at the end of the movie. Instead, she dies of an overdose.

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman Touchstone Pictures/Silver Screen Partners IV/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

“It was a dark movie,” Gere said. “But I think [former Walt Disney Studios president] Jeff Katzenberg saw something in it and didn’t want to make that movie, but he saw this other movie in it.”

Pretty Woman was originally titled 3,000, after the amount Roberts’ character is paid each week as a prostitute. The Garry Marshall–directed film was intended to be a cautionary tale about social division and sex work in Los Angeles. Katzenberg insisted the plot be rewritten as a romantic comedy.

“You think a movie like that is fun and breezy, someone writes a script, you make the movie,” the Norman actor told Variety. “We were continually rewriting and adding stuff and rethinking. We were all working hard to make it feel as breezy as it was, but still have some kind of mysterious undertow to it that would give it weight and longevity.”

Longevity, indeed. Pretty Woman went on to become one of the most beloved movies of all time and earned Roberts a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nomination, both for best actress — officially launching her as one of the most sought-after and highest-paid women in Hollywood.

Gere also opened up about Pretty Woman during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday, April 11, in which he revealed that he hasn’t seen the rom-com since it first came out 27 years ago.

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