Throughout history, there have been numerous instances where a movie character was set up for DEATH . . . but ultimately saved by a script rewrite.  Here are some of the most famous cases . . .

--"Lethal Weapon 2":  At the end of the movie, MEL GIBSON'S character, Martin Riggs, gets shot several times, "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" plays, and . . . HE LIVES.

--Apparently, the producers decided they had a real franchise on their hands.  (--There ended up being two more "Lethal Weapon" flicks.)

--"Rocky 5":  Rocky was supposed to die in his street fight with Tommy Gunn.  SYLVESTER STALLONE thought better of it . . . and 16 years later, in 2006, he gave the character a much more respectable send-off with "Rocky Balboa".

--"First Blood":  In the original novel, John Rambo dies at the end.  Stallone even filmed that ending.  But ultimately, he decided to spare the character . . . and his bank account was most appreciative.

Here's the original ending:

--"Scream"DAVID ARQUETTE'S goofy cop character, Dewey, wasn't supposed to make it out of the first movie alive.  Director WES CRAVEN actually shot the ending both ways:  With him living and dying.

--For some reason, the decision was made to keep him around . . . and he'll be back for the upcoming "Scream 4".

--"Return of the Jedi":  Han Solo was NOT supposed to survive the "Star Wars" saga.  The plan for the third film was to have Han's friends rescue him from Jabba the Hut . . . but for Han to later die in the raid on the Death Star.

--It was GEORGE LUCAS who nixed the idea.  HARRISON FORD wanted Han to die, as did writer Lawrence Kasdan.

--Gary Kurtz . . . who produced the first two movies . . . recently said, quote, "George decided he didn't want any of the principals killed.  By that time there were really big toy sales and that was a reason."

--"Full Metal Jacket"MATTHEW MODINE'S character, Private Joker, ended up being the main character.  But he was supposed to die when Private Pyle . . . played by VINCENT D'ONOFRIO . . . went postal.

--Modine himself convinced director STANLEY KUBRICK to keep him alive.