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  • In the original comic book for Alena, Fabian is murdered near the end. In the film, the corresponding character Fabienne lives.
  • 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 on, died in the avalanche.
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  • In American Heart, Nick Kelson is able to escape from Seattle's Skid Row and go up to greener (whiter?) pastures in Alaska; the real-life person he was based on, Dewayne Pomeroy, committed suicide in July 1984.
  • 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.)
  • Angels & Demons: In the movie, Langdon thwarts the assassination of the fourth cardinal, Cardinal Baggia. He's not so lucky in the original novel.
  • Apt Pupil: The film adaptation spares the lives of both Todd himself and his guidance counselor. In the novella, Todd kills him before going on a shooting spree that ultimately ends with Todd being taken down by the police.
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  • In the Aquaman film, Arthur's father Thomas is still alive in the present day, and serves as part of the supporting cast. In Aquaman's original Golden Age origin story from More Fun Comics #73 (1941) and his Silver Age origin from Adventure Comics #260 (1959), Thomas died when Arthur was still a young man. In the New 52 Aquaman run (which the movie is mostly based on), Thomas Curry's death is a very significant part of Arthur's backstory, as the one who accidentally caused Thomas to have a heart attack was David Hyde, the man who would later become Black Manta.
  • In the book Atlas Shrugged, Eddie Willers's last scene shows him stuck in the middle of nowhere, with a broken-down locomotive he won't leave and can't fix. The remaining good guys, victorious, make no reference to him and seem unaware of his absence. In the final film, Eddie is not seen leaving New York City, and Francisco and Hank delay their own departure from the city so that they can rescue him. Robert Stadler may also be a beneficiary of this trope, as the spectacular Hoist by His Own Petard that kills him in the book does not take place, and he is alive when last seen.
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  • Both Nancy and Harry survive in the 1993 remake of Attack of the 50-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 thanks to some Hays Code-inspired divine contrivance.
  • 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 the Bible Book of Exodus, the Pharaoh drowned when the Red Sea crashed underneath him and his army once Moses and the Hebrews reached the other side of the sea. But in The Ten Commandments, Ramses never accompanied the soldiers when the sea receded, returning home humiliated as he never captured the slaves. Justified (as in The Prince of Egypt), since the real Rameses II died of natural causes after living a long life.
  • 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.
  • In Stephen King's Christine (the book), both of Arnie's parents die at the end (Christine kills Michael in the driveway of the Cunninghams' home, while Regina perishes along with Arnie in a freeway accident). In John Carpenter's film, Arnie dies, but his parents both survive. Likewise, in the book Detective Junkins is run off the road and killed by Christine, but is still alive at the end of the film.
  • Both the novella The Circus of Doctor Lao and its film adaptation, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, feature shrewish Kate Lindquist Taken for Granite when she dares to look at the Medusa head-on. Only in the film does she get better and becomes nicer after the experience. The original novella leaves her stoned, much to the relief of her Henpecked Husband.
  • Cloud Atlas: Joe Napier from Half-Lives, Timothy's brother Denny from The Ghastly Ordeal, and Zachry from Sloosha's Crossin'.
  • Judy escapes Ogden Marsh with David in The Crazies (2010). She was killed by armed civilians in original film''.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 the American remake, both Light and L survive the events of the story. However, the movie's Ambiguous Ending strongly suggests that L may use the Death Note to kill Light now that he knows he is Kira.
  • 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 on 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 (1984). 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.
  • In the original Fantastic Four comics, Sue and Johnny's mother Mary was a Posthumous Character who was killed in a car wreck many years ago. She's still alive in the unreleased 1994 film, and is even the one who comes up with the group's name.
  • 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.
  • Get Carter. Jack Carter dies at the end of both the novel and 1971 film, but survives at the end of the 2000 remake.
  • 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.
  • Godzilla vs. Megaguirus depicted a universe where the Godzilla of the original film was never exposed to the Oxygen Destroyer and thus is the Godzilla seen in this one.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 1923, 1939, and many other adaptations of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Quasimodo as well in the 1939 version. Averted in the 1956 version, which keeps all the book's deaths, albeit with Esmeralda dying differently
  • 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.
  • Rapunzel in the film version of Into the Woods.
  • It:
    • Neither the 1990 miniseries or It: Chapter Two has Tom Rogan follow Beverly to Derry, like he did in the novel, where he gets possessed and later killed by It. Both films also keep the town of Derry intact, when, in the novel, it gets destroyed in a flood after It's death. The Neibolt Street house is the only casualty of It's demise in Chapter Two.
    • Butch Bowers is never seen in the miniseries, but is mentioned once by Henry. This presumably means he doesn't get killed by Henry, like in the novel and later film.
    • Eddie's mother is alive in his adulthood in the miniseries, while the novel and Chapter Two have her die a few years earlier, and Eddie is married to a woman just like her.
  • In the novel The Last Detail, the main character, Billy "Badass" Buddusky is killed, but since in the film, he's played by Jack Nicholson, he survives in the film.
  • In the movie version of James and the Giant Peach, Spiker and Sponge aren’t crushed by the peach as they are in the book and arrive in New York to confront James one last time. Fortunately, it turns out they’re scared of insects, and once James' insect friends show up, they are quickly restrained by Mrs. Spider and lead away by the police for what we can assume is a well deserved punishment.
  • Matt Hooper from Jaws; granted in the film he is a much more likable 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 an 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, likely due to being portrayed in a much more positive light than in the book. Ian Malcolm as well, which may have led Michael Crichton to make him Not Quite Dead in the book sequel, despite it being clearly implied that he died in the first one.
    • It's actually an inversion of the deaths (ignoring Malcolm being retconned as Not Quite Dead): In the book, Gennaro and Muldoon survive while Hammond and Malcolm are killed. In the film, Muldoon and Gennaro are killed by the 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 would try to get the embryos off the island himself, which likely wouldn't end well for him.)
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Last Knights is based on the tale of The 47 Ronin, which ended with the titular samurai being sentenced by the shogun to commit seppuku after avenging their master. In the movie, however, the surviving knights are forgiven by The Emperor (mostly of political pragmatism) with only their leader Raiden being executed at his own request to spare his men. For added irony, the situation is a complete reversal of the samurai story, which had only one Sole Survivor who did not commit seppuku and died several years, whereas in the movie has only one casualty at the end.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, as in the stage musical. The above is a Focus Group Ending.
  • 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 (actually, it's more like the flood came earlier), 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 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. They later die in Avengers: Endgame, but are revived by the end of the movie.
    • Related, but in the original The Infinity Gauntlet comic book, Hawkeye was one of the many heroes who was killed when Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half of all the life in the universe. In Avengers: Endgame, he's one of the few heroes to have survived Thanos' use of the Infinity Gauntlet.
    • 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. Also true of T'Challa's mom, as Ramonda was his stepmother in the comics; presumably, having T'Challa's biological mother succumb to Death by Childbirth as per his original backstory would be inconsistent with Wakanda's far-better-than-2018 medical technology.
    • 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.
    • Rhomann Dey in the comics is known for dying in his first appearance and bestowing his powers upon Richard Rider. His MCU counterpart has (so far) been spared this fate and is alive and well by the end of Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • MonsterVerse:
    • 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. That said, it's ultimately the "dies later" version as he gives up his life to save and heal Godzilla in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019).
    • Not only does Godzilla survive his debut in the 2014 film, King of the Monsters sees him survive the Oxygen Destroyer and his Burning Godzilla mode, things that killed the original Godzilla and the Heisei Godzilla respectively.
    • King Kong likewise lives to the end of Kong: Skull Island.
  • Mortal Engines:
    • As a result of both characters getting Demoted to Extra and thus having the scenes from the novel where they are stabbed through the chest by Thaddeus Valentine and crushed by a falling airship respectively cut, Katherine and Bevis end the movie still alive.
    • In contrast to the book, MEDUSA doesn’t destroy most of London when it malfunctions, meaning all of London’s residents are left alive by the film's end.
  • A minor example in The Muppet Christmas Carol. In the book, Fezziwig is presumably dead in the present, as Scrooge exclaims "Old Fezziwig alive again!" when he sees the vision of him in the past. In the film, an elderly Fozziwig gets a cameo appearance near the end when the newly reformed Scrooge visits him. This isn't entirely unrealistic: if Scrooge is about sixty and was about twenty when he worked for Fezziwig, and if the latter was in his forties then, he would be in his eighties in the present, and while people rarely lived that long in the 1800s, it wasn't unheard of.
  • 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.
  • The original novel My Sister's Keeper has a Twist Ending in which Anna, the healthy sister, is killed in a freak car accident, and one of her kidneys is given to Kate, allowing the latter to survive. The film flips this around to the more expected ending, where Kate dies and Anna does not.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In The Personal History of David Copperfield, the 2019 adaptation of the original novel, Dora realizes she "doesn't fit" in David's life and parts ways with him amicably. This is opposed to the novel where they were married only for Dora to die in childbirth.
  • Norman Bates in the Psycho follow-up movies.
  • In Ready Player One, Daito's real world counterpart is killed by the Sixers. In the film, he survives the events and is made co-controller of OASIS along with the rest of the High Five.
  • In the original Red Dawn out of the Wolverines only Danny and Erica survive, in the remake only Jed and Darryl are killed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Oscar de Jarjayes lives through the Storming of the Bastille in Lady Oscar, whereas in The Rose of Versailles she's killed in the siege.
  • In 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.
  • 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.
  • Not a single version of The Shaggy Dog uses the ending of its source novel, The Hound of Florence, in which the main character is stabbed to death in his dog form.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
    • The bridge scene in Spider-Man not only has Gwen replaced with Mary Jane, but Mary Jane survives the ordeal, unlike poor Gwen.
    • Gwen Stacy and Captain Stacy in Spider-Man 3 probably due in no small part to being demoted to extras.
  • 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...
  • In Stargirl, Archie's heavily implied to have passed away between showing Leo Stargirl's office and the book's epilogue. Not only is there no such implication in the movie, but he also comes across as a couple of decades younger than his book counterpart.
  • 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 2009 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.
  • Again if you count real life as source material, Kim Sa-bok died in 1984, years after helping a German journalist film the uprising in Gwangju in 1980. In A Taxi Driver, his counterpart Kim Man-seob lives for at least 23 more years.
  • In the original Ted's Caving Page story, B was present during the Bolivian Army Ending with Ted and Joe, and presumably perished alongside them. In the film adaptation, Living Dark, Brad instead survives after Ted pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to buy him time to escape.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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).
  • 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 The Twelve Chairs by Mel Brooks, 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 1936 movie adaptation of the play Winterset. 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.
  • Wuthering Heights:
    • The 1939 Hollywood film 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.
    • The 1954 Mexican film and the 1970 British film both have Hindley Earnshaw survive to kill Heathcliff on the night of Cathy's funeral. Edgar and Isabella are both spared by default too.
    • A few versions end with Heathcliff still alive and grieving Cathy's death. These include the 2011 film, and three different modernized adaptations: 2003's MTV version, 2015's Wuthering High, and the 2002 Gender Flip retelling Sparkhouse.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • Mariko Yashida, who was killed in the comics, but survives till the very end of The Wolverine. Well, at the time, as the later ongoing Old Man Logan revealed that the Hand resurrected her and turned her into the Scarlet Samurai. 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 Magneto 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.
    • Both the X-Men: First Class/Apocalypse In Name Only version and the X-Men: The Last Stand Truer to the Text version of Moira MacTaggert were still alive and well in the films — at the time of the respective films' release, anyway, as Jonathan Hickman's X-Men would retcon that her comic counterpart faked her death when Mystique tried to kill her in the "Dream's End" arc.
    • 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. That said, it's a case of "Dies Later" for Xavier as he's killed near the end of the movie.
  • In the Soviet film Hearts Of Three, the native Queen survives to the end, so that they can have a Pair the Spares ending. In Jack London's original novel, she is shot by the Big Bad without much fanfare.

Alternative Title(s): Film

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