Alejandro González’s “Birdman” may seem like a movie for Michael Keaton to poke fun at his Batman persona, the plot actually pokes fun at Hollywood and its franchise obsession. In fact, it may also be poking fun at Johnny Depp’s pirate persona in the “Pirates of the Carribean” franchise.
That’s because “Birdman” co-writer Alexander Dinelaris revealed that the movie initially had a different ending that would have featured Johnny Depp as himself.
“Birdman” is a dark comedy that tells the story of Riggan Thomson (played by Michael Keaton), a washed-up superhero actor who struggles to mount a Broadway play. It features a stellar cast that includes Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts.
As seen in the trailer, Keaton’s character is haunted by the voice of his superhero alter-ago, Birdman, a role that he played years ago.
In one scene when Keaton’s character was sitting in his dressing room and looking into the mirror, he talks to his alter-ego through a framed poster of “Birdman” in the back. Little did we know, this is an iconic scene that both the director and the writer initially planned to use again for the ending.
During an interview with The Q&A Podcast, Dinelaris and González previously planned to end the movie with an endless loop of that iconic scene, featuring Johnny Depp as himself. He described that the movie would cut to a scene with Keaton’s character Riggan Thomson being interviewed on a talk show about his play before it moves on to the alternate ending.
The camera prowled like it did the whole film, [and] went backstage 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 [Depp would say], ‘What the f*** are we doing here, mate?’ It was going to be the satire of the endless loop of that.
Sure, a satire sounds like a great idea but both of them chose to alter the ending.
We can see why they decided to drop the idea because Johnny Depp is still very much relevant in the film industry even though his recent movies such as “Mortdecai” and “Transcendence” are tanking at the box office. Second of all, the actor will reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the 5th installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, hence this ending would suggest that he is currently going through the same situation as Keaton’s character in the movie.
Perhaps it’s just not fair to put him through this. Johnny Depp will be seen next as Mad Hatter in an upcoming “Alice in Wonderland” film.
What do you think about the original ending? Do you think it’ll be better? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.