Released in 1986, David Cronenberg's The Fly stars Jeff Goldblum as the unfortunate Seth Brundle, a brilliant scientist who accidentally merges with—you guessed it—a fly. After this experiment-gone-wrong, Brundle begins acting erratically, losing body parts, and finding new ways to eat his meals. But while Brundle is in deep trouble, it's Veronica Quaife who needs to be very afraid.
Played by Geena Davis, Veronica is a journalist who's fallen hard for the bug-eyed inventor. In fact, she's pregnant with his child. Of course, this is less-than-joyous news, as she realizes her kid is probably part insect. As a result, Veronica worries her child will resemble its dear old dad, so she decides to undergo an abortion. However, Brundle quickly kidnaps his old flame with the intent of fusing himself to Veronica and her fetus. But after a grisly showdown, the inventor dies when his girlfriend finally puts him out of his misery.
It's a gut-punch of an ending, especially as the film cuts to black with Veronica crying her eyes out. However, Cronenberg actually considered going with several other endings that would've left audiences feeling a little less icky. For example, the director shot a scene where Veronica is in bed with her ex-lover, Stathis Borans (John Getz), who implies she's no longer pregnant with Brundle's baby. Instead, she's now carrying Stathis's child. Not worried anymore about giving birth to a maggot monster, Veronica drifts off to sleep and dreams that her future child will hatch from a chrysalis and fly away with butterfly wings.
Sure, it's sweet…and that's the problem. Cronenberg realized that after Veronica's gruesome showdown with the Brundlefly, audiences weren't going to buy an uplifting ending. After all, they'd just had their hearts ripped out of their chests and locked away in glass jars. People were going to be too devastated by all the carnage and misery, and this cheery ending simply wasn't going to, ahem, fly.