What Was the Original Ending to “Birdman”?
According to Birdman screenwriter Alex Dinelaris, conceptually the original ending of Birdman would have looped the film back to the beginning.
Following the climactic scene where Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) shoots himself and the audience erupts in thunderous applause, we’d move forward in time and see Thomson and either James Lipton or Charlie Rose on stage, discussing the ecstatic review Tabitha Dickinson (Lindsay Duncan) had written for that performance.
The camera then would continue to move backstage, eventually landing back at the dressing room where Johnny Depp would be sitting in front of the mirror and putting on the same curly wig that Thomson had worn earlier. A poster of Pirates of the Caribbean 5 would be visible in the background, and over the soundtrack, we’d hear Depp’s inner thoughts, speaking in Jack Sparrow’s voice, “What the fuck are we doing here, mate?”
This ending was never shot because Depp wouldn’t agree to it and because Disney wouldn’t clear usage of their film’s poster.