Whoa, Dawson's Creek Almost Ended With Joey Picking Dawson Over Pacey and We Can't Get Over It

Creator Kevin Williamson revealed that he originally envisioned the WB series ending in a completely different way during the ATX TV Festival

By Tierney Bricker Jun 08, 2015 2:58 PMTags
Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, Dawson's Creek, James Van Der BeekWB

Can you imagine what kind of world we'd be living in today if Joey (Katie Holmes) picked Dawson (James Van Der Beek) instead of Pacey (Joshua Jackson)? Well, it almost happened.

During the Dawson's Creek Writer's Room reunion panel at the 2015 ATX TV Festival, creator Kevin Williamson, who left the series after its second season and only returned to pen the two-hour series finale in 2003, revealed that Joey and Dawson almost ended up together. Whoa!

While he originally envisioned Dawson, the series' angsty wannabe-filmmaker, and Joey, the girl next door, ending up together, halway through writing the finale Williamson realized that a happy ending for that couple wasn't "what the show was set to be."

"I wanted it to be a twist on the teen genre but also wanted it to be surprising, honest and real and say something about soul mates and what soul mates can be," he explained. "That's why we did it that way. When you left the show in that last moment, they're a family and everyone got what they wanted. There was fulfillment and they were all happy."

Executive producer Paul Stupin rememembered receiving the call from Williamson about the major last-minute romantic change, saying, "It was clear to us that it was she and Dawson who would wind up together. Halfway through, Kevin calls me and says, 'I changed my mind.'"

While us, and most of the viewers (Don't deny it!) believe Williamson totally made the right call having Joey choose Pacey over Dawson in the end, he joked, "Guys, my mother hates me!"

But Dawson fans (Bueller? Bueller?) can take comfort in knowing Williamson believes Dawson and Joey were still "soulmates," just a different kind. "We find our soulmates in our best friends. We find our soulmates in our partners. It's not always a romantic love," he said. "Pacey and Joey are soulmates. Dawson and Joey are soulmates. Pacey and Dawson are soulmates."


Fans will remember that the two-hour finale actually jumped ahead five years into the future, and while it's common for a TV show to do that today, it was a pretty unusual move back in 2003.

So why did it happen? Stupin said the Dawson's Creek team and The WB thought it "would be fantastic" to have Williamson come back to finish the story, but there was one problem: Williamson wasn't caught up on all things Creek.

"I was like, how am I going to do this I don't know the ins and outs of every character" he said. "By jumping ahead five years gave me freedom to go back to my characters."

Stay tuned for more Dawson's Creek scoop from the ATX TV Festival, including why Williamson thought Jen (Michelle Williams) needed to die (Sob!) in the series finale.