While there are plenty of aspects that go into making a good movie, the overall “tone” is certainly one of the most important. This goes beyond the overall genre of a film — for example, a romance movie can be playful or serious, while a comedy can be silly or rife with cynicism. Therefore, any type of film can be classified as “dark” — and the term can mean several different things.

A dark horror movie may be particularly violent, a dark comedy may be tinged with morbidity, and a dark drama may be bleak and tragic. No matter how you slice it, a dark movie can basically be chalked up as the opposite of a “feel-good” movie. But did you know that some of your favorite movies — including campy cult classics and lighthearted comedies — were once envisioned as being much darker?

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Oftentimes, a production team will start out with one concept for a movie, only to see that concept morph as the script is rewritten, roles are cast, and filming commences. Changes continue throughout the production process all the way down to the final edit, which can be heavily influenced by test audiences and studio executives. It’s not uncommon for a finished product to look totally different than its initial script. In the cases of these movies, that meant cutting back on violence, gore, and other dark themes to appeal to a wider audience demographic.

If their success is any indicator, it’s safe to say that these popular movies ended up becoming exactly what they needed to be — even though some of these original visions sound pretty cool. Here are ten films that were supposed to be way darker, but were toned down before being released in theaters.

Popular Movies That Were Supposed To Be Way Darker

Things might have turned out differently for these hit films if they’d stuck with their original (darker) scripts.

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