We really enjoyed Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman, and the ending certainly left us with a lot of questions. However, the original ending would have been a bit more finite and even furthered one of the themes of Hollywood's obsession with ego and fame. Oh, and it would have featured Johnny Depp.
Over on the Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith (a very clever podcast that speaks with all sort of screenwriters and filmmakers) the Oscar-nominated, co-writer for Birdman Alex Dinelaris, revealed an entirely different ending for Birdman. And it's a completely brilliant and very satirical look at the never-ending quest for the right kind of fame. Spoiler talk ahead.
Here's the how the other ending wrapped:
"[Michael Keaton] shoots himself on the stage. The camera comes around to the audience and their standing ovation — all the way around, like Chivo [Emmanuel Lubezki] and Alejandro [González Iñárritu] did the whole time. And the segue was back on to the stage and on the stage was like James Lipton or Charlie Rose and Michael was sitting across from him and he's sort of reading the review. He's saying, 'Oh my God, you got this tremendous review' and Michael is like, 'Yeah... Then the camera prowled like it did the whole film, went back stage through the halls we've seen the whole time and we'd get to the dressing room where literally Johnny Depp would be sitting looking in the mirror and putting on his Riggan Thomson wig and then the poster of Pirates of the Caribbean 5 would be in the back. In Jack Sparrow's voice [the inner monologue would say], 'What the fuck are we doing here, mate?' It was going to be the satire of the endless loop of that."
"We couldn't get Johnny Depp or even the poster."
Love it! It's not super surprising that Disney didn't allow Birdman to lob a softball at their cash goblin of a franchise Pirates of the Caribbean. And even though Depp does always seem to be in on the joke about the career choices he made, I don't know if he would be ready to make fun of the franchise that helped by him his 3 island (or whatever). Or maybe he would? Either way this ending is great (and we kind of like it better than the first).
[Spotted original at The Film Stage]