Original Ending of 'Birdman' Would Have Featured Johnny Depp
by Ethan Anderton
February 10, 2015
On the awards circuit, Birdman has been cleaning up, grabbing the awards from the Directors Guild, Producers Guild and the Screen Actors Guild. That makes it a frontrunner for the 87th Academy Awards, even though Boyhood and Richard Linklater took the top prizes at the BAFTAs last weekend. But besides the awards buzz, there's been a lot of discussion about the ending of Birdman and just what it all means. However, rather than examine the end of the final film, we want to call your attention to the original ending of the movie, which would have had a cameo from Johnny Depp, and would have been pretty interesting.
“The other ending was that Riggan Thompson [Michael Keaton's character] shoots himself on the stage. The camera comes around to the audience and their standing ovation … and the segue was back on to the stage with James Lipton or Charlie Rose and Michael [Keaton] 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 [it would say], ‘What the f*** are we doing here, mate?’ It was going to be the satire of the endless loop of that.”
That does sound like a fun ending, but it does seem a little obvious. The more ambiguous ending works better in the final cut. However, it would have been rather amazing to see Johnny Depp do this cameo, and it would have made a bold poke at the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, not to mention Depp as an actor. But then people would clamor for a Sparrowman sequel, and we don't need that. Plus, to leave Riggan Thompson with that ending and move on to a real-life actor, instead of concluding with what we saw just wouldn't have been as powerful. The better idea won out, but it would have been cool to see. Thoughts?