Spared By The Adaptation / Film

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    Films — Animation 
  • Anastasia in Anastasia (if you consider reality to be the source material, since it's so historically inaccurate it may as well be an Alternate Universe). This is somewhat justified as during the time the film was produced however, this was long before her actual fate was discovered.
  • The Batman vs. Dracula took some influence from the Batman Vampire trilogy—but much like the series it's tied into, it's a movie aimed for kids, so no one outside of Dracula dies, Batman never becomes a vampire, and he even manages to cure the Joker. Additionally, Commissioner Gordon, Catwoman, Tanya, the Riddler, Two-Face, and many others were Adapted Out.
  • Grendel's Mother in the 2007 Beowulf movie.
  • DC Universe Animated Original Movies:
    • Ms. Li in Batman: Under the Red Hood. Mr. Li, her Spear Counterpart from the original comic, is killed by the titular Red Hood, while Ms. Li simply ends up Bound and Gagged by The Joker. Whether her survival is due to the plot changes or her being a girl is uncertain.
    • The Boyscouts in The Dark Knight Returns, in the original comic they were poisoned to death by the cotton candy The Joker gave them, in the film Batman is able to stop them from eating it, this was because the crew thought it would've been in bad taste because of the recent Sandy Hook school shooting.
    • In Superman vs. the Elite, the Elite are depowered and presumably jailed at the end, and that's the last we see of them. In the original comics, Black ended up lobotomizing Menagerie and, after a failed attempt to get revenge on Superman, committed suicide.
    • Superman Unbound doesn't see Jonathan Kent die, like he did in the Brainiac arc it's based on.
    • While it was published after The Killing Joke, The Long Halloween featured the death of Sal Maroni. Batman: The Killing Joke features Batman barging into a nightclub to talk to some people after the Joker cripples Barbara Gordon and kidnapped Commissioner Gordon. The guy he talks to is unmistakably voiced by Rick D Wasserman, who's credited in the role of "Maroni", suggesting Maroni's alive in the animated version and is the guy Batman talks to.
    • Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox has the "comes later" version: in the Flashpoint comic, Lex Luthor died when he was ten. In this version he's alive as an adult, but winds up getting killed anyway.
  • Several Disney Adaptations, via Disneyfication:
    • Bambi: Every major character dies in the novel except for Bambi, his fawns, and Faline (who features prominently in the sequel). Many of the non-deer central characters in the film don't actually appear in the book, and so are not affected by this trope either.
    • John Luther "Casey" Jones from The Brave Engineer. In real life, he actually died in the train crash.
    • Both The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Ballerina from Fantasia 2000. The main reason why they both lived in the Disney adaptation is because the writers of the film actually did not want to cause any Soundtrack Dissonance considering the fact that the musical piece accompanying this scene is an optimistic-sounding one.
    • And every single character in The Fox and the Hound. In Chief's case Not in the Disney books adapted from the film, though. Chief originally was going to die in the animated adaptation after being hit by the train, but someone in the Disney higher-ups wasn't willing to pull the trigger on a character who wasn't explicitly evil (this is before Mufasa's death convinced them it can be done effectively) - so he opens his eyes in what was meant to be his death scene, and ends up with only a broken leg for the rest of the film. This is definitely a case of it not being the best choice: killing him off would have explained Copper's ferocious grudge against Todd in the second half of the movie, while the final product makes him look a lot more spiteful (and it would have made their final reconciliation more potent).
    • Esmeralda, Quasimodo, Clopin... and pretty much all of the main cast except for Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The musical on the other hand...
    • Shere Khan from The Jungle Book. He retreats with a burning branch tied to his tail. Seconds after he's out of sight, it rains. In fact, he's still alive by the end of the sequel! Also the monkeys, who were eaten by Kaa originally.
    • Ariel in The Little Mermaid.
    • Captain Hook from Peter Pan. In the book, he is simply swallowed up by the crocodile, but in the movie, he immediately jumps out of the crocodile's mouth unharmed shortly after being swallowed up and later swimming away screaming for Smee with the crocodile still behind him. There's an interesting story behind this. Originally, Disney was going to make Hook an evil, intimidating character who would die like his literary counterpart. However, they discovered that the slapstick scenes with the crocodile effectively ruined any sense that he was a serious threat. Therefore, they went all out and played him as an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain. They kept him alive because they figured the audience wouldn't want to see such a humorous, non-threatening villain die.
    • If The Lion King, as it commonly is, is taken as an adaptation of Hamlet, then the equivalents of Hamlet himself (Simba), Ophelia (Nala), Gertrude (Sarabi), Polonius (Zazu), and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Timon and Pumbaa) all live. On the other hand, we get to watch King Hamlet (Mufasa) die, while in the play he was Dead to Begin With.
    • The Talking Cricket (renamed Jiminy Cricket) in Pinocchio. In the book he's killed early on and becomes a ghost, but eventually changes back into a living cricket. In the Disney version he lives from beginning to end.
    • Pocahontas in Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World. In real life, she died during her stay in England.
    • Arguably Robin Hood in Robin Hood, though the Robin Hood mythos is so vast that it's not ironclad that he dies at the end normally.
    • Maleficent in the Disney Theme Parks version of Sleeping Beauty, whose cackling can be heard at the very last part of the ride, implying that she had survived being stabbed by the Sword of Truth and falling off a cliff. However, this was eventually removed and replaced with a scene where the fairies are still bickering over what color Aurora's dress should be. There was also a sequel storybook which also had Maleficent survive the above and still cause trouble.
    • Mad Madam Mim from The Sword in the Stone. In the book, she was killed after Merlin became an infectious disease, but in the movie, she is merely bedridden, and Merlin actually had to use sunlight in order to cure her.
      Mim: "I hate sunshine! I HATE horrible wholesome sunshine!! I HATE! I HATE IT! I HATE HATE HATE HATE..."
    • Kala, Tarzan's adoptive ape mother in Tarzan.
  • In Gnomeo and Juliet, an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet with lawn gnomes, the only character to die is Tybalt—and somehow he gets reassembled for the Dance Party Ending! Of course, this wasn't a surprise. The trailer for the movie claimed, "The only tragedy... Would be missing it!" (Which was followed by a character's voice saying, "I don't get it...")
    • Lampshaded during Gnomeo's conversation with a Shakespeare statue, where he calls the original a "horrible ending."
    • Schlocky grindhouse adaptation Tromeo and Juliet spares the two as well.
  • Even compared to the below mentioned live-action version, Professor Bruttenholm gets this is the second Hellboy Animated movie, Blood and Iron, surviving the events of the movie.
  • In The True Meaning of Smekday has a century-long Time Skip at the end where Tip suddenly dies of old age during the unveiling of the time capsule. The film adaptation Home lacks the Time Skip ending whilst Tip is still a child.
  • The Giant from the Golden Films production of Jack and the Beanstalk most versions including the original story have the Giant fall to his death after Jack cuts down the beanstalk, in this version however just before he hits the ground he gets sealed inside the magic harp he had sealed Jack's father in years earlier along with his wife somehow, who did not accompany him in chasing Jack.
  • Soren's parents in Legend Of The Guardians The Owls Of Ga Hoole are shown to have made it to the great tree by the end of the movie. In the books, we never see them (alive) again after Soren is kidnapped, and it's very strongly implied that they were killed shortly after that.
  • In 9, everyone except 9 died in the original short; in the full-length movie he, 7, 3 and 4 all make it out alive.
  • Mondo TV (the same people who did The Legend of the Titanic) also did a version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where EVERYONE is spared by the adaptation (yes, even Frollo). note 
  • Herr Kleiser is killed and eaten by the Hulk in The Ultimates, but survives the events of both Ultimate Avengers films. However, Black Panther seals him inside Wakanda's Vibranium reserves for all eternity, making death look like a much kinder alternative.
    • Also Black Widow and Edwin Jarvis both survive the events of the films despite being killed in The Ultimates 2.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Alive, a portrayal of the crash and aftermath of Uruguayan Flight 571, the character Hugo Diaz survives the avalanche and lives to be rescued, making for 17 survivors instead of the factually accurate 16. Diego Storm, the person from the real incident he was based off of, died in the avalanche.
  • Instead of following the ending to the novel, the English language film versions of And Then There Were None followed either the ending to Agatha Christie's theatrical adaptation (sparing Lombard and Vera), or a slightly altered version in which Lombard is really Charles Morley, the real Lombard having died already (thus sparing only Vera.)
  • The fourth kidnapped cardinal in Angels & Demons.
  • Apt Pupil: The film adaptation spares the lives of both Todd himself and his guidance counsellor. In the novella, Todd kills him before going on a shooting spree that ultimately ends with Todd being taken down by the police.
  • Both Nancy and Harry survive in the 1993 remake of Attack Of The Fifty Foot Woman. (Although Harry's not exactly better off. Nancy and two other giant women are keeping him and two other abusive husbands in a jar and forcing them to take endless "sensitivity classes" as they fly off in a spaceship.)
  • In the 1956 movie version of The Bad Seed, Christine is Driven to Suicide but survives. Rhoda, the title character, goes the other way.
  • Cee Cee Bloom's mother survives much longer in Beaches. In the original novel, Leona dies of a heart attack while her daughter is in her late teens. The film changes this to Leona moving away to Florida, and brings her back for a later scene where she calls her daughter out on her selfish personality.
  • In Blue Is the Warmest Color Adèle lives unlike Clémentine in the comicbook.
  • King Pellinore is a supporting character throughout the musical Camelot, and is with Arthur in the final scene. In T. H. White's The Once and Future King, upon which the musical is based, he gets a bridge dropped on him half-way through the third book.
  • The 1962 version of Cape Fear ends with Sam Bowden arresting Max Cady. Both the original novel, The Executioners, and 1991 remake, end with Bowden killing Cady instead.
  • In the 2002 remake of Carrie, the title character survives and goes into hiding in Florida. This, incidentally, was because they were planning on the film (which was made-for-TV) being a Pilot Movie, leading into a TV series about Carrie going on the run and helping other troubled teens with powers like hers. It never happened.
  • The 1930s adaptation of The Children's Hour, These Three, doesn't have Martha kill herself. This combined with censoring the lesbian plot completely changes the plays meaning.
  • Judy in the 2010 remake of The Crazies.
  • Tad dies of dehydration in the novel Cujo, but is rescued in time by Donna in the film.
  • Zig Zagged Trope with both 1951 and 2008 film adaptations of The Day the Earth Stood Still: while on the original story ("Farewell To The Master") Klaatu only gets as far as introducing himself and Gort/Gnut before he's blown away by a crazy trigger-happy human, both films have him survive getting shot by the trigger-happy humans (nervous soldiers instead of the fanatical civilian of the story) at the beginning, only to die at the end.
  • Death Hunt: The real Albert Johnson was killed by the Mounties after a months-long manhunt. In the film, the corpse of a local killer who was actually stealing gold teeth is made up to look like him, while Johnson escapes into Alaska.
  • Misa Amane is heavily implied to have committed suicide at the end of Death Note and its anime adaptation, but survives the live-action movies. She does die ten years later in the sequel movie, Death Note: Light Up the New World, which barely escapes this trope by virtue of being an original film not adapted from any previous work.
    • Ukita also survives the film, Mogi dying in his place, as does Soichiro Yagami. The tradeoff for Soichiro, though, is that he knows just what kind of monster Light is.
  • In Dick Tracy, 88 Keyes the piano player is arrested during the raid on the Club Ritz. His comic strip counterpart was eventually gunned down by Tracy.
  • An odd case is used for the Die Hard films, which were initially based off a novel entitled Nothing Lasts Forever. In it, the character Joseph Leland, whom John McClane was based on, has to save his daughter on Christmas Eve... and ultimately he fails, as after sending on the antagonist out a window he manages to grab his daughter and take her with him. In the films, McClane's character was made younger and the hostage was changed to his wife instead of his daughter (the wife was a Posthumous Character in the book). Antagonist Hans Gruber attempts to do the same thing, but this time John successfully saves her. In the fourth film in the series, McClane's now grown-up daughter actually does get taken hostage by the film's Big Bad, but she is also saved by the end of the film.
    • Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson is a much more standard use of the trope. In the novel, when Karl returns at the very end he attempts to shoot Joe but Al Powell proceeds to push Robinson into the way of the bullets before killing Karl himself. In the film, Powell just up and shoots Karl on the spot before he can fire his gun, and Robinson, who is still a Jerkass but greatly toned down from his novel counterpart, lives.
  • In Divergent, many Dauntless initiates miss the jump from the train and fall to their deaths. In the film adaptation, everyone makes the jump.
  • Dr. Who and the Daleks replaces the death of Antodus, who falls down a chasm in the TV Doctor Who story "The Daleks", with a Disney Death where he lands safely on an unexpected ledge.
  • Thufir Hawat is shown in the crowd watching Paul's duel with Feyd-Rautha at the end of Dune. His death scene just before that duel was filmed, but was cut.
  • Uncle Bene in Escape to Witch Mountain comes back to welcome Tia and Tony. In the book, he died trying to get them to America.
  • In the Edgar Allan Poe short story "The Fall of the House of Usher", Roderick and Madeline fall over dead right before their house collapses around them. In the French film The Fall of the House of Usher, they both escape the house alive.
  • The originally filmed ending to First Blood was much closer to the novel by David Morrell, which had John Rambo forcing Trautman to kill him. However, due to Rambo's more sympathetic portrayal in the film, a new ending was filmed which had Rambo being arrested instead, making the sequels possible. Due to the relative obscurity of the novel, not many are aware that Rambo was supposed to die in the first film. Ironically, Morrell adapted the film's sequels into novels; as such, he took note of the Canon Discontinuity in the first sequel, throwing said discontinuity out the window just as quickly.
    • Rambo also kills his pursuers in the novel, including Teasle. In the film, the only death that Rambo causes (Galt) is an Accidental Murder. Teasle and everyone else make it out alive.
  • The Godfather. Both of Michael’s Sicilian bodyguards, Fabrizio and Calo, die in the novel but survive in the movie adaptation, only to die in the sequels. Fabrizio sets a car bomb for Michael but kills Michael’s wife Apollonia instead. In the novel, Fabrizio is killed in the climactic massacre montage, but in the movie he is not seen again. A deleted scene in Godfather II reveals that Michael has him killed years later ... in a car bombing. In the novel Calo is killed in the car blast with Apollonia, but like Fabrizio his fate is unrevealed in the movie until Godfather III, where he is killed while taking part in that film’s climactic massacre montage.
  • Although not quite the same character, Serizawa’s previous incarnation in the Godzilla series died preventing Godzilla from wreaking more havoc. While in Godzilla (2014) Serizawa is trying to convince the military the importance of Godzilla and comes out of the film with very little scrapes and bruises.
  • Two characters in The Golden Compass: Tony Makarios, whose daemon is severed from him, and Roger. In the book, both are killed. There may have been plans for Roger to die in the following movie (though his death was in the end of the first volume of the book series, not the second,) but since that movie will apparently not be made, as it actually stands Roger survived in the film. The script did, in fact, include Roger's death and that scene was filmed before being removed.
    • Tony is an odd case, as in the movie his character is merged with Billy Costa - Billy loses his daemon the way Tony did in the book (and she has the same name as Tony's did), but the reference to the severing of daemons unavoidably killing their human counterparts, if they're just a child (all children who lose them in the novels are stated to die later on) is removed, and Lyra in the film's last scene comments on the need to help the kids who lost their daemons. Executive Meddling actually forced the writers to Never Say "Die" in the movie adaptation - a minor character mentions that several children separated from their daemons escaped, but were found dead later on (with the character simply falling silent after being outright asked if they were alive) - which is also the reason that 30-minutes were chopped off the end of the movie (and one sequence was moved into an earlier point of the story). If the film had gotten sequels, their adaptation of The Subtle Knife would have reputedly opened with these deleted scenes.
      • Roger's death is also critical to the plot, as it highlights the lengths to which Lord Asriel is willing to go in order to free the multiverse from the Authority (and create the contrast with Lyra), so the delaying measure of removing these scenes only served to weaken the movie (and might have saved it from becoming a Stillborn Franchise - giving the movie better earlier reviews and potentially drawing more viewers into theatres).
  • The Guns of Navarone. Stevens shatters his leg, contracts gangrene, and pins down a German assault single-handedly to buy time for his teammates to escape and continue their mission in the book. Major Franklin is captured, and though there's no hint of when or whether he'll be repatriated, he's at least shown alive and knows that the team's mission was a success.
    • Ditto the sadistic Nazi officer Skoda. He's shot in the book for torturing Stevens. In the movie, he's renamed Sessler and is simply tied up. In the film, Sessler is not a sadistic Nazi but a professional Wermacht officer. He assures Mallory that Franklin will receive proper medical care. At the end, Franklin is seen in a hospital bed and smiles as he hears the explosion marking the mission's success. His fate isn't stated, but would likely be held as POW for the rest of the war.
  • Clarice doesn't truly die - at least not physically - in the original version of Hannibal, but many would say that being corrupted and turned to the dark side by the title character is much worse. She avoids this grim fate in the film version.
  • In the original Halloween (1978), Annie Brackett is the first of Laurie's friends to get killed by Michael. In Halloween (2007), while she is still attacked by Michael, Annie manages to survive, with Laurie finding her and calling 911. However, she was brought back for Halloween II (2009), where Michael did actually kill her for real.
  • Harry Potter
    • Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In the book, he got Dementor's Kiss. The movies state that he will be send back to Azkaban. He also suffers from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome as in later movies, all the Death Eaters are freed but he never appears alongside them. Some people simply assume that he did get a Dementor's Kiss and that filmmakers simply counted on that anyone who watched the movies simply read the books. Alternatively, he could be in the crowd of Death Eaters and simply not shown.
    • Possibly Wormtail, who's book death is replaced by a Tap on the Head. It's not clear if this was supposed to kill him or not, as it's presented somewhat comedically and that trope is (at least in fiction) usually not fatal, but he doesn't appear again after this scene. His original death was filmed, but had to be cut as the sequence was deemed too dark and would have bumped up the film's rating. Some have also argued Voldemort might have killed him during his rampage at Gringotts, or just for failing him one too many times.
    • Grindelwald doesn't seemingly die either, since he actually cooperates with Voldemort in the film.
    • Colin Creevey, sort of. He appears sporadically throughout the books and dies in Deathly Hallows, but disappears after the second movie. A Canon Foreigner named Nigel Wolpert acts as a Composite Character for both Colin and his brother Dennis, and he dies in Colin's place in the final film.
    • Something similar happened with Crabbe, who was written out of the films without explanation after his actor suffered a Role-Ending Misdemeanor. His book death was given to Goyle, and it's never revealed what happened to Crabbe in the film continuity.
    • Subverted with Hedwig. In the book, Harry takes her with him when he leaves the Dursleys and she's killed in the following chase scene. In the film, he lets her go before the chase scene, only for her to return and die taking a spell for him.
  • The entire population of planet Earth in the film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  • In the film adaptation of The Hobbit, Azog The Defiler survives the Battle of Azanulbizar by getting his arm cut off and being presumed dead, instead of getting his head cut off like in the book. He finally dies during the Battle of the Five Armies when Thorin stabs him through the chest.
  • Esmeralda in the Lon Chaney, Charles Laughton, and most other versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
  • The Hunger Games: Peeta's leg remains intact at the end of the film.
  • Lt. Kamarov in The Hunt for Red October. Borodin dies in his place.
  • In the Heart of the Sea, a film portrayal of the Essex whaleship disaster, has William Bond, the black steward, survive the disaster, probably because the filmmakers feared being accused of racism if none of the black crewmembers survived, never mind history. The film, in fact, does him a bigger disservice by taking a heroic feat he committed in reality (diving into the flooding ship to retrieve the navigational equipment, which undoubtedly saved the lives of the crew) and giving it to first mate Owen Chase instead.
  • Rapunzel in the film version of Into the Woods.
  • Matt Hooper from Jaws; granted in the film he is a much more likeable character.
    • This was actually an accidental case; Hooper was going to die, but before that scene could be filmed a real shark got tangled in the ropes and destroyed the prop cage while it was empty. The crew thought that the footage was too good to waste that they rewrote Hooper's fate to get it into the movie.
  • Cantor Rabinowitz in The Jazz Singer. In the 1927 original he passed away after listening to his son Jack sing the Kol Nidre so beautifully and telling his wife Sara, "we have our son again" (his ghost is then shown at Jack's side in the synagogue). In the 1980 Neil Diamond remake, however, when Cantor Rabinowitz sees his son Jess sing the Kol Nidre in his father's place (since said father can't sing due to high blood pressure), he becomes surprised, and after some conversation, the father forgives his son and gives a heartwarming embrace. He even hears the performance of Diamond's "America" at the end.
  • In the Lighter and Softer Disney adaptation of Johnny Tremain, Rab doesn't die.
  • John Hammond in Jurassic Park. Ian Malcolm as well, which may have led Micael Crichton to make him Not Quite Dead in the book sequel, though it's clearly implied that he dies in the first one.
    • It's actually an inversion (not counting the Malcom issue): In the book, Gennaro and Muldoon survive with Grant, Sattler, and the kids while Hammond and Malcolm are killed; in the film, Muldoon and Gennaro are eaten by rampaging dinosaurs and the survivors are Hammond and Malcolm.
    • Dodgson is eaten in the second book, but in the second movie, a different character plays his role (although it could be argued that after Nedry doesn't return, Dodgson tries to get the embryos himself...)
    • The 1993 movie does spare a lot of background employees by having them board a ship to the continent before the hurricane hits the island. Among the saved is chief geneticist Henry Wu, who is killed by raptors in the novel, but is still alive in the 2015 sequel Jurassic World.
  • Oscar de Jarjayes lives through the Storming of the Bastille in Lady Oscar, whereas in Rose of Versailles she's killed in the siege.
  • The 2006 remake of Last Holiday has the main character (portrayed by Alec Guinness in the original and Queen Latifah in the remake) survive, whereas the original film ended with the main character's vehicular demise.
  • Mari and Justin in the 2009 remake of The Last House on the Left.
  • Charlie's brother in Lemonade Mouth. In the movie he's older, away at college until he returns near the climax. In the book, he's Charlie's twin and was stillborn.
  • Many English film adaptations of Les Misérables don't include Jean Valjean's death. Thanks to Les Misérables (1998), Chronically Killed Actor Liam Neeson happens to be one of the surviving Valjeans in that respect. Other adaptations spare other characters: La Thénardier in the musical, Gavroche and Javert in the 2007 anime version, et cetera.
  • A Little Princess has had two movie adaptations, one in 1939 with Shirley Temple, and one in 1995. In both of these, Sara's father does not die as he does in the novel of Brain Fever, he is merely injured in war and either too traumatized (1939) or amnesiac (1995). Either way, she gets a happy ending, as the novel ends with her being adopted by a family friend.
  • In the musical film version of Little Shop of Horrors, Seymour and Audrey both escape their fate of being eaten by the plant, which is killed. Partly subverted in that, in the stage musical, Audrey was a victim of Death by Adaptation, having survived in the original film, while the plant, who died in the original film, ends up surviving.
    • In the Director's Cut, Audrey and Seymour die, and the plant lives.
  • Saruman and Wormtongue in the theatrical versions of The Lord of the Rings movies. Not so much in the Extended Editions (which explains why the palantír is in the water when Pippin picks it up).
    • Additionally, in the books the Isengarders set one of the Ents ablaze and it's implied he burned to death. In the film, the Ent survives long enough to douse himself in the monstrous flood, turning an off-screen moment of villainy into a Funny Background Event.
  • In the play Mädchen in Uniform is inspired by Manuela succeeded in her suicide. In the film it was an Interrupted Suicide.
  • In The Magical Legend Of The Leprechauns, a Lighter and Softer version of Romeo and Juliet, all of the dead characters are brought back and it ends with Mickey and Jessica and Jack and Kathleen's weddings.
  • The Village Elder in The Magnificent Seven. Chico is a partial example, as he's a composite of two of the main characters of Seven Samurai: Kikuchiyo, who dies, and Katsushiro, who does not.
  • In Maleficent, the titular character and her Dragon Diaval both survive thanks to Love Redeems, whereas in Sleeping Beauty Maleficent was killed by Prince Phillip and Diaval was Taken for Granite by the fairy godmothers.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Ultimate Marvel universe, Hawkeye had a wife named Laura and three kids, all of whom were killed by Black Widow during The Ultimates 2. Laura and the kids appear alive and well in Avengers: Age of Ultron, with Black Widow (who isn't a traitor in this continuity) serving as the children's Honorary Aunt.
    • Black Panther's father T'Chaka is still alive in Captain America: Civil War, until the end of Act 1. This is in contrast to the comics and most other adaptations, where T'Chaka was murdered long before T'Challa ever became the Black Panther.
    • Happy Hogan in Iron Man 3, who was mercy killed in the comics after going into a braindead coma but survives in this movie until the very end after experiencing the impact of an Extremis soldier exploding and awakening from his coma.
  • In the first issue of The Mask, Stanley Ipkiss dies at the end. In the movie (which is a lot more Lighter and Softer) he survives.
  • Higgins in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, since the subplot that killed him didn't make the movie, though early versions of the screenplay killed him in the final battle.
  • Nicole Horne becomes a Karma Houdini in Max Payne. The stinger sequence suggests that Max doesn't intend to let them stay that way.
  • The Mist has Jim Grondin still alive at the supermarket when David and his group make their escape. In the book, he was killed during the pharmacy expedition.
    • The unnamed mother who left the store early in the film is revealed to have been rescued, along with her children, in the climax. Her fate was left unknown in the book, but she was generally presumed to have been killed like nearly everyone else who left the store.
  • Mister Arrow in Muppet Treasure Island. Instead of giving him alcohol that causes Arrow to get drunk and fall overboard, Long John Silver tricks him into inspecting one of the lifeboats and drops it off the ship. We're left to assume Arrow was lost as sea anyway, but then he washes up on Treasure Island later. This was averted with Billy Bones, which is significant because he was the only character ever to die in a Muppet movie. Billy Connolly (who portrayed Bones) is quite proud of that fact.
  • In the film version of My Sister's Keeper, Kate dies and Anna lives. In the book, Anna sues her parents for medical emancipation so she won't have to give her kidney to Kate, who has leukemia. Then, she is hit by a car and her kidney is given anyway. In the movie, Kate agrees with the lawsuit, knowing that she will die.
  • Atreyu's horse, Artax, in the movie adaption of The Neverending Story. While it does die by sinking in a swamp through despair just like in the book, it comes back to life at the end of the movie thanks to Bastian presumably wishing it back to life. And it appears in the second movie, still alive.
    • It's implied that in the film, the effects of the Nothing were completely reversed by Bastian saving Fantasia, so everyone who died as a consequence is alive (including the characters who survived the novel without ever dying); in the novel, they stay dead but Fantasia was recreated when Bastian saved it (with new areas and such being formed). Given that the realm is the manifestation of human wishes and dreams, taking on a physical form, this makes sense in context.
  • In the original Night of the Living Dead (1968), Barbra is dragged off and implied to be devoured by a horde of zombies (among which, her brother is included) during the film's final siege. In the 1990 remake, she becomes an Action Survivor.
  • In the Titanic docudrama film A Night to Remember, Irish passenger Martin Gallagher survives the sinking on the overturned lifeboat Collapsible B, though he died in real life.
  • Tigercub in the film version of Day Watch. However, this is only because the Mirror storyline was utterly absent in the adaptation. Instead, Kostya is killed prior to Twilight Watch... at least until the end of the film that rewinds the two films to the beginning.
  • The Renfield-type character in Nosferatu, both the original and in Werner Herzog's remake.
  • Nobody ever has the heart to kill off Fagin in Oliver Twist remakes anymore. Or sentence the Artful Dodger to transportation to Australia.
  • The film adaptation of Our Town has the female protagonist surviving. The third act of the play has her dying while giving birth to her child and takes place in the afterlife; in the film the afterlife portion is a dream she has.
  • Charles Cheswick in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Word of God states that Cheswick was spared in order to make Billy's death all the more shocking.
  • Norman Bates in the Psycho follow-up movies.
  • In La Reine Margot, Orthon, Henri's young page, survives; whereas in the book he is killed by Catherine for refusing to betray Henri to her.
  • In the original Red Dawn out of the Wolverines only Danny and Erica survive, in the remake only Jed and Darryl are killed.
  • Most movie adaptations of Romeo and Juliet leave out the deaths of Paris and Lady Montague, probably because both contribute little to the story and slow down the ending. Though this very often creates a plot hole when the prince says that he has lost "a brace of kinsmen" at the end. The movie makers obviously don't realize what "a brace" means; it means two: two kinsmen, namely Mercutio and Paris. Without Paris' death, the prince has only lost one kinsman! The Prince's comment is made even more confusing in the Leonardo DiCaprio version where Captain Prince and Mercutio are black and Paris is white. And there is no evidence of any of them being of mixed race.
  • In Film/Roxanne, a Setting Update of Cyrano de Bergerac, CD and Chris make it to the end, unlike Cyrano and Christian of the play.
  • In Ryan's Daughter, a Setting Update of Madame Bovary, Rosy and her husband Charles make it to the end, whereas their novel counterparts Emma and Charles Bovary do not.
  • The Searchers has a borderline example in Ethan Edwards. In the book, he dies, but he survives in the movie. However, there are hints that Edwards may not live for long after the movie's ending.
  • From The Shining, the Overlook Hotel itself is left intact, as opposed to the book which had it being blown off. Kubrick allegedly felt the destruction of the hotel brought too much of a happy ending to the story, so it became one of the many things he left out of his adaptation. This may also be due to Kubrick turning what originally was a story about ghosts into a film about madness, meaning that the hotel itself became less of an enemy to be eliminated, most of the horror now coming from the characters themselves and what they experience.
  • In Silent Hill 3 Harry's death is the sole reason Heather travels to Silent Hill to seek out revenge. In the film Silent Hill: Revelation 3D he survives; the one film Sean Bean is supposed to die in and he lives. Vincent also survives, but his character has also change completely.
  • The Dragon, Mr. Cooger, in Something Wicked This Way Comes. His fate of being aged to death by the evil carnival's age-changing carousel is transferred to his boss, Mr. Dark, instead.
  • In the novel Sounder, both the father and Sounder the family dog die in the end. In the film, both are crippled but alive, Sounder by a shotgun blast, the father (named "Nathan" in the film) by a dynamite blast in prison.
  • Gwen Stacy and Captain Stacy in Spider-Man 3 probably due in no small part to being demoted to extras.
    • Not to mention the bridge scene in Spider-Man not only has Gwen replaced with Mary Jane, but Mary Jane also survives the ordeal, unlike poor Gwen.
  • In the The Spiderwick Chronicles books, Arthur dies at the end. In the movie, he stays with the Sylphs, but his daughter also comes with him.
  • In Stand by Me, the narrator reveals at the end that Chris was killed in a knife fight as an adult. As shocking as this was, it beat the original story by Stephen King, where three out of the four kids (excepting Gordie) met early ends in the epilogue.
    • As pointed out in this article, even Gordie may not be lasting much longer in the original story...
  • Carl in Starship Troopers suffers a rather anti-climactic off-screen death around three-quarters of the way through the novel; he makes it to the end of the film.
  • The reboot of Star Trek has this Zig-Zagged. The first film allows Christopher Pike to avoid being rendered an invalid, as he was shown in The Original Series. He's in a wheelchair at the end of the first film after being tortured by Nero, but has his mental faculties. He walks with a cane at the beginning of Star Trek Into Darkness, set a year after the first film. But later in the film, he's killed off.
  • In the Legends continuity of Star Wars, Chewbacca got Killed Off for Real in Vector Prime, which was set approximately 21 years after Return of the Jedi. In The Force Awakens, set 32 years after ROTJ, Chewbacca is alive and well and in a truly tragic sense of irony, it's Han Solo who dies instead.
  • At the time Superman was made, both Ma and Pa Kent were dead in the comics by the time Clark becomes Superman. In the film, however, only Pa Kent dies. In the Post-Crisis comics both Kents are still alive making Jonathan Kent dying on Smallville Death by Adaptation. He's dead again in the New 52.
  • Surrogates: At the end of the original comic Maggie Greer committed suicide after the Surrogates were all shut down. In the movie she and her husband instead just face each other physically for the first time in years.
  • Unlike the original film, Terminator Genisys sees Kyle Reese survive the events of the movie, as do the punks the original Terminator stole clothes from. Miles Dyson also survives. While not outright stated, as both the original Terminator and the T-1000 both undergo type 2 of Death by Adaptation, many of their other victims, including Ginger Ventura, John Connor's foster parents, Ed Traxler and Hal Vukovich, are also are probably alive.
  • The 2011 film version of The Three Musketeers spares Milady de Winter, the Duke of Buckingham, and Constance Bonacieux. Cardinal Richelieu's survival is not an example; his deaths in previous adaptations are actually examples of Death by Adaptation (he survives the original book).
  • Possibly the case with Weena in The Time Machine. In the original novel she is separated from the protagonist in the midst of a forest fire and he it unable to find her. Ultimately her fate is left ambiguous, but the protagonist (who narrates the story) isn't optimistic about her odds of survival. In the movie she very clearly survives and almost joins the protagonist in his own time (which is only prevented when the Morlocks trap him in the statue and he is forced to use time travel to escape, as in the book).
  • The 1948 film adaptation of The Time Of Your Life spares Blick the offstage death which he meets in the play.
  • Played straight with lover Frank at first in the 1975 film adaptation of The Who's Tommy, but then subverted at the end of the film when the angry mob kills him and Nora Walker.
  • Ostap Bender from Mel Brooks adaptation of The Twelve Chairs survives the book instead of having his throat cut for all his trouble. An interesting case, as while the book itself explicitly stated him as dead, the character was later brought back for a sequel.
  • Echo the Ventriloquist drowns in The Unholy Three, but survives in both movie adaptations; rather ironic given that this was Lon Chaney's final role before his untimely death.
  • In Vampire Academy, the character Mr. Nagy/"Mr. Meisner" is killed by Natalie Dashkov. Nothing happens to him in the film.
  • Both the kids and the would-be killer in the remake of When a Stranger Calls.
  • Roger in Who Framed Roger Rabbit; whereas in the source material he was the murder victim (specifically, his cause of death was censorship), here he's the murder suspect (the murder victim being Marvin Acme).
  • The title character in the 2003 version of Willard. He dies in the 1971 version and is heavily implied to have died in the original novel.
  • The 1939 version of Wuthering Heights has Isabella Linton still alive and married to Heathcliff at the time of his death. In the novel she leaves him and then dies long before.
  • X-Men:
    • Mariko Yashida, who was killed in the comics, but survives till the very end of The Wolverine. This is also the case for her fiancé Noburo.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:

      In the original story, future Wolverine died during an ill-fated attack on the Sentinels headquarters. Here, he's the one who travels back in time to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.

      In the original comic Future Magento was the first to die, sacrificing himself early on by providing an off-panel diversion so the remaining resistance could escape their imprisonment. During the Last Stand in the film, though he's badly wounded he never succumbs to his wounds before the timeline is reset.
    • Moira MacTaggart is still alive and well in the films, as opposed to who her comic counterpart who was killed by Mystique and Sabertooth.
    • In Old Man Logan, Professor Xavier and X-23 were already dead. Logan, which is inspired by it, sees Xavier take over Hawkeye's role and X-23 is the crux of the plot.
  • The 1936 movie adaptation of the play Wintershed. The young couple, Mio and Miriamne are both killed at the end of the play, but survive in the movie, when Mio creates an aversion and escapes along with Miriamne.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/SparedByTheAdaptation/Film