So many movie details get changed in the journey between concept, book, screenplay, revisions, and final product. Although we are sometimes appalled at how many characters die in movies, in many films it could have been more. Certain characters who were initially supposed to die were rewritten to survive for many reasons: the audience liked the character too much, their death made the ending too depressing, we can’t sell action figures of dead heroes, and the most important reason of all: we might make a sequel. Consider Sylvester Stallone’s biggest characters.
4. Rambo // First Blood
In the novel First Blood, Rambo commits suicide at the end of a long battle with Sheriff Teasle. Rambo's death scene was filmed, but Sylvester Stallone saw the potential for a new franchise, so Rambo lived to fight another day in the final version.
5. Rocky Balboa // Rocky V
Rocky V was supposed to be the last movie in the franchise, and Stallone ended its screenplay accordingly, with Rocky Balboa dying at the hands of rival Tommy Gunn during a street fight. But during production, director John Avildsen got a call from executives telling him, "'Oh by the way, Rocky’s not going to die,'" he recalled in 2014. "'Batman doesn’t die, Superman, James Bond, these people don’t die." Stallone wrote a new ending featuring Rocky and his son Robert Balboa jogging to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and looking over the city's skyline.
So in the case of Rocky, producers were looking for more movies even after Stallone. And there are plenty more stories of characters who escaped cinematic death, for all kinds of reasons, in a list at mental_floss. Some of them will surely surprise you.