“Pretty Woman” was one of the biggest hits of the 1990s and an era-defining rom-com, but the former head of the studio that produced the film reveals that the original script was far darker than the feel-good love story.
“I can’t tell you how much time was spent debating,” former Disney studio chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg said during a Q&A at Hearst Tower in New York City, reports the New York Post‘s “Page Six” column.
“As a script, ‘Pretty Woman’ was an R-rated movie about a hooker on Hollywood Boulevard,” said Katzenberg.
“By the way, in the original version — it’s pretty dark — I think she died of an overdose. So convincing [people] that we should make that at the Walt Disney Co., and that it’s a fairy tale and a princess movie, a lot of people had a hard time seeing it. But, as they say, the rest is history.”
With Gary Marshall directing, “Pretty Woman” became far less dark and went on to become a massive hit. To this day, the film remains Disney’s highest-grossing R-rated movie.