The original ending also called for Connor to (finally) show up in person for the final battle ... and get killed! So who leads the resistance and sends Kyle Reese back in time for Terminator 1? Marcus Wright. They cut the skin off his cyborg body and replace it with Connor's, and he assumes the mantle to keep the John Connor legend alive. That's right - there is no John Connor: Savior of Humanity, it's just been a reformed cyborg in a John Connor skin-suit the whole time.
Why did someone think this was a good idea? Who knows? Why didn't it end up in the movie? Because the "twists" leaked onto the internet and people freaked the hell out, so they changed it.
The Superman That Almost Was
Everyone and their mother now has an opinion about the now-upcoming Christopher Nolan produced, Zack Snyder directed Superman. Well, who here remembers, years ago, hearing rumblings about one JJ Abrams - these days late of Lost and the Star Trek reboot - taking on the job? Ever wonder why that didn't happen, or what it might've looked like? Wonder no longer.
In 2002, long before Lost when Abrams was best known as the creator of Alias and Felicity, he turned in a revamp script titled Superman: Flyby that got Warner Bros. super excited. In this script, Abrams proposed nothing less than a complete reworking of the entire Superman mythology. New origin. New backstory. New powers. New relationships. How new? Well, Krypton doesn't explode, for starters.
Instead, Krypton is engulfed in a Civil War between King Jor-El and his evil brother. The evil brother seizes power, but fails to stop Jor-El from shooting his infant son (you-know-who) to safety in a spaceship. Apparently, it's important for the bad guys to kill Baby Superman because he's (get ready to roll your eyes) "The Chosen One" of an Ancient Kryptonian Prophecy; so they dispatch thousands of their own spaceships to track him down.
In this new continuity, the Kents have been covertly pre-selected by Jor-El to foster parent Superman a la Mary and Joseph, but instead of being innately heroic, the new Clark Kent grows up an introverted emo kid afraid of his own powers - which now mostly include being super-strong. He needs to be wearing the Superman suit, which is now a Venom-like living-costume with a mind of its own, to fly.
Lex Luthor is a CIA agent in charge of UFO hunting, who's walking around pissed at his superiors about a Dark Secret. When the evil Kryptonian army invades Earth to take down The Chosen One, Luthor teams up with them to kill Superman. No, really. Superman dies!
... and goes to Heaven, where he gets a pep talk from his dead father about The Prophecy that helps him come back to life, rise from the grave and lead humanity in a rebellion against the Kryptonian invaders. Oh, and in a final setup-for-the-sequel stinger: After all the Kryptonians are defeated, Lex Luthor shows up to challenge Superman to a fight (it'll make sense in a moment) and reveal that Dark Secret of his ... he's from Krypton, too!
This particular script was supposedly written with major input from the studio, producers and then-signed director McG (later replaced by Brett Ratner before the project collapsed completely and Bryan Singer's Superman Returns was set up instead) though no one has ever really said what exactly came from who.
In any case, it didn't get very far - remember, this was before even Batman Begins to say nothing of The Dark Knight - so Warner Bros. wasn't precisely in the "just make it" frame of mind regarding comic book movies, especially having just had the Tim Burton/Nicholas Cage Superman Lives movie fall apart on them. And as if all that wasn't enough, in September of 2002 the script fell into the hands of famed internet movie journalist Drew McWeeny, then better known as AICN's "Moriarty" - who published a synopsis of it and opinion piece on it, the reaction to which still rates as one of the biggest "fanboy firestorms" ever endured by a major studio production.
Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.