If you haven't seen Birdman yet, you may want to skip over some of this story, as we'll be talking about the ending of the movie. It could contain some mild spoilers. Those that have seen the Oscar-nominated drama already know that this tale of a washed-up actor attempting to reestablish himself with a stage show features a conclusion that is as exciting as it is ambiguous. It even feels as though there was another ending planned altogether. It turns out, that notion is true. And Collider has discovered exactly what that original ending entailed. Turns out, it would have featured Johnny Depp talking to himself in character as one of his most iconic roles, the pirate Captain Jack Sparrow.
In other recent interviews, star Michael Keaton and director Alejandro González Iñárritu have hinted that during the production, the film's climax was dramatically altered. Speaking with co-writer of the movie, Alexander Dinelaris explained to Collider how the movie was initially supposed to bring everything to a close. He reveals:
"So we had one other ending that was satirical. The other ending was that he 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 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 [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.'"
It's here that Johnny Depp's big Pirates of The Caribbean cameo would have been revealed, which ties into the theme of the movie. As you may know, Michael Keaton is playing a riff on his time spent as Batman. Here, we see his character interacting with his big screen alter ego, a superhero known as Birdman. Depp would have been seen engaged in similar discussions with Capt. Jack Sparrow:
"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 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."
That would have been a pretty big get for the movie, but at least we can all envision that ending in our heads now. There are plenty of other big stars that could have appeared, talking to their more famous big screen alter egos. But for this time period, Depp and Capt. Jack would have had the biggest impact on the audience. What do you think? Are you sad that this ending never came to pass?