By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 07, 2002 01:00 PM

There’s been a big change to the movie “Unfaithful,” starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane, opening Friday. The Los Angeles Times reports that the erotic thriller, directed by Adrian Lyne (“9 1/2 Weeks,” “Fatal Attraction”), had a different ending when it was tested before preview audiences than it does now. Without spoiling the suspense, the new wrap-up to the picture is more ambiguous than the original. “The ending now is the one that (screenwriter) Alvin Sargent originally wrote, and I thought it would be more interesting and provoke more discussion,” Lyne, 61, told the Times. Changing endings is nothing new to the filmmaker. His 1987 hit “Fatal Attraction,” which, like “Unfaithful,” also dealt with adultery, was altered after preview audiences demanded a grander finale. (In the original version, Glenn Close, obsessed with Michael Douglas, committed suicide. “I always thought it was a bit flat,” said Lyne. In the re-shot version, she is killed, dramatically, in a scene of revenge. Both versions are now available on DVD.) In “Unfaithful,” Lane, 37, plays a suburban housewife married to Gere, 52. She has a minor accident in Manhattan and is rescued by a sexy French bookseller (Olivier Martinez), with whom she begins an affair. Unlike “Fatal Attraction,” reports the Times, the new ending of “Unfaithful” was not based on test audience reaction. “It was just a hunch,” Lyne told the paper, adding that he’s certain he has made the right choice. “I think it will cause more debate,” he said. “It treats the audience like adults, and I’ve found that it’s always dangerous to underestimate the public.”