When Final Destination leapt onto the big screen in 2000, it was a breath of fresh air. Based on an unproduced spec script and originally written for the X-Files television series, the movie became a hit that spawned four more movies, two comic books and nine novels.
Surrounding the premise of cheating death by subtly manipulating circumstances in the environment, it never ends well, because death will always come calling. And when it does, that’s where horror fans are satisfied. With gruesome deaths that get more innovative with each instalment, the Final Destination franchise that spans 11 years entertained moviegoers thoroughly. With its 20th anniversary, let’s take a look at its original cast and where they are now.
Devon Sawa as Alex Browning
Alex is the one who kicked off the long sequence of cheating death. In the late 90s, Sawa was one of the biggest teen heartthrobs
. Before that, he was a child star, and made his mark in movies such as Casper (the human version of the ghost) opposite Christina Ricci in 1995, followed by having starred in movies such as Now and Then (1995) and Wild America (1999). His popularity only soared after Final Destination was released, and starred in Eminem’s music video Stan in 2000. ,
Strangely enough, while co-star Ali Larter returned for the sequel, Sawa did not. In 2002, he starred in two movies, Slackers and Extreme Ops.
Remember him in Casper?
When he was 25, Sawa decided to step away from Hollywood altogether, and was quoted saying, “I just needed to step away from the business and figure things out — figure out if I wanted to do this anymore because I'd been working straight from the age of 11.”
He packed his bag and went travelling, and learnt Muay Thai in Thailand. He then went home to Vancouver and tried his hands at real estate, He flipped a house once, but decided it was not his cup of tea.
He decided to then return to acting but found it a challenge to get the right roles and instead, drifted in and out of TV movies, along with bit parts in TV series. Between 2010 and 2013, he appeared in the Nikita TV series. Since then, he has appeared in Hawaii Five-0 and Somewhere Between.
His movie career never returned to what it once was. In 2019, he starred in Escape Plan 3, a straight-to-video sequel of Escape Plan in 2013, which starred Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He played Lester Clark Jr, who kidnapped the daughter of a Hong Kong tech mogul. Naturally, Stallone’s Ray Breslin was tasked to rescue the daughter, leading to a fight between Stallone and Sawa’s Lester. Sawa definitely put his Muay Thai moves to good use here.
Sawa recently starred alongside John Travolta in psychological thriller The Fanatic (2019). He has three upcoming projects, one of which is Disturbing the Peace, where he stars opposite Guy Pearce as the villain.
Ali Larter as Clear Rivers
Larter started her Hollywood career as a model, but switched gears to acting in the 90s. She landed roles in TV shows such as Suddenly Susan, Chicago Hope and Dawson’s Creek. Her first movie break was in 1999’s Varsity Blues, followed by Drive Me Crazy. After a lead role in Final Destination, Larter followed that with Legally Blonde in 2001, playing a fitness instructor who was accused of her husband’s murder.
Ali Larter in Resident Evil
Larter had a bit part in Final Destination 2, and after that, her career took off with another franchise- Resident Evil, in which she stars as butt-kicking Claire Redfield, who helps protagonist Alice fight the evil corporation the Umbrella Corp. Beyond that, Larter also had a successful run on the TV series Heroes, which ran between 2006 and 2010. Since then, Larter has stuck to the small screen, appearing in shows such as Pitch, Legends and The Rookie, where she is currently starring as a doctor. Larter is easily one of the most successful actors to emerge from Final Destination.
Seann William Scott as Billy Hitchcock
Like Larter, Willam Scott is also another successful Final Destination alumni. Before he even starred in Final Destination, he was already famous, for his iconic role as Steve Stiffler in American Pie.
In the same year as Final Destination, William Scott also appeared in Dude, Where’s My Car opposite Ashton Kutcher, and followed that with a series of other noteworthy movies such as Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001), Evolution (2001), the American Pie movies and The Rundown (2003) alongside Dwayne Johnson. He also lent his voice to the Ice Age movies, as Crash the possum.
Despite being one of the Final Destination’s most successful stars, William Scott did experience some lull years. It turned out that while the role of Steve Stiffler might have made him a star, it also was his downfall. William Scott could not break out of the “Stiffler” stereotype- the goofy, off-beat kinda guy, leading to roles slipping him by. Roles in Dude, Where’s my Car and Evolution may suit him back then, but as he matures, William Scott had to reject similar roles.
One of William Scott’s recent roles is as Wesley Cole in the Lethal Weapon TV series.
Chad Donella as Tod Waggner
As best bud to Alex, Chad’s Tod is the best friend you wish you had. While it may seem Final Destination is a good launchpad for a teen actor, Donella’s career sadly never took off.
After the movie ended, Donella circled around the TV series sphere, appearing in many single episodes of shows such as The X-Files, Smallville, CSI, Ghost Whisperer and Castle. He was most recently in NBC’s crime drama Blindspot.
Chad Donella in Blindspot
Kerr Smith as Carter Horton
Smith got his acting start in the daytime soap As the World Turns. In Final Destination, he starred as Alex's nemesis. Apart from this teen flick, Smith is best known for his role as Jack McPhee in Dawson’s Creek, which ran from 1998 to 2003.
Since Final Destination, Smith would go on to carve a career in TV series, appearing in shows such as Charmed, E-Ring, Justice, CSI: NY, Eli Stone and Life Unexpected.
Smith is doing pretty well now, starring as Principal Holden Honey in the popular teen series Riverdale.
Other than acting, Smith also dabbled in other projects, one of which is a holistic health and wellness consulting business, which he co-founded with his wife. Being in the business has hone his sense of spiritual growth, and he wanted to do something about it.
Amanda Detmer as Terry Chaney
The name might not sound familiar because Detmer has not had any huge roles pre or post-Final Destination. Before she took on the role of Terry, Detmer appeared in small parts in Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999) and Boys and Girls (2000). Since Final Destination, she continued to land bit parts in productions such as You, Me and Dupree (2006), which stars Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson and Big Fat Liar (2002) starring Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes. However, although she didn’t have meaty roles, she did appear in a long string of TV series, which includes The Mentalist, Two and a Half Men, The Vampire Diaries, Medium, Private Practice, Second Chance and the latest and recently ended Empire, starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. So while Detmer didn’t hit it big, she sure as heck is one hard-working actress.
Tony Todd as William Bludworth
That’s right, he’s the memorable mortician in Final Destination. Todd is the most senior and the veteran of the lot. Like Larter, he also appeared in the film’s sequel, and Final Destination 3 &5. Way before he even appeared in Final Destination, Todd was best known for his role as Candyman in the horror movie of the same name in 1992. One of his first movie roles was in 1986’s Platoon.
After Final Destination, he continued to work steadily, appearing in both TV series and movies. Some of the more notable productions include Star Trek: The Next Generation, CSI: Miami, 24 and most recently, Riverdale. In fact, Todd’s acting resume is so impressive that he has over 200 acting credits to his name in IMDB. One of his upcoming appearances is in 2020’s “spiritual sequel” to the 1993 Candyman. That’s right. The Candyman is coming back!