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Get Out filmmakers on why they changed the original ‘downer’ ending

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Feb 22, 2018

It’s no secret that director/screenwriter Jordan Peele had a very different ending in mind for his protagonist Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) in his game-changing horror masterpiece Get Out. The heart-stopping finale we all saw in theaters involved Peele turning the racial paranoia up to 11, as the blue flashing police lights appear and we fear that Kaluuya’s Washington is not going to be believed by authorities. But as his pal Rod Williams steps out with his airport badge, we are suddenly given a huge sigh of (comic) relief, and brought out of an impending visit to the sunken place.

However, as you can see below, the alternative ending from the Best Picture Oscar nominee was downright disturbing, with our hero, Chris, being put behind bars and visited by a solemn-looking Rod.

 

Now Peele, Kaluuya, and other members of the cast and crew have explained how the ending evolved in a new interview with The Playlist. “We tested the movie with the original 'sad truth' ending where, when the cop shows up, it’s an actual cop and Chris goes to jail. The audience was absolutely loving it, and then it was like we punched everybody in the gut,” producer Sean McKittrick revealed.

Ultimately, however, Peele admitted the “downer” ending of Chris being incarcerated wasn’t working, and leaned on his improvisation training in comedy to come up with an alternative. “When I realized the original, downer ending wasn’t working, I didn’t freak out. I looked at it as an opportunity to come up with a better ending,” he said.

Actor Bradley Whitford remarked that with the switch-around, the audience can understand from "Chris’s POV that if the cops come, he’s a dead man. That is absolutely brilliant, non-lecturing storytelling."

Meanwhile, Kaluuya said he “loved” the original ending, because of “what it said about life,” explaining: “There’s this black guy who’s really cool and went through this trauma, got through all this racism, and in fighting for himself he gets incarcerated. That really resonated with me, because it showed me how unfair the system is.”

Actor Marcus Henderson (who plays groundskeeper Walter) referenced police officer Darren Wilson, who was not indicted for shooting and killing 18-year-old African-American Michael Brown, shortly after robbing a convenience store in 2014. “I remember when they gave the verdict that Darren Wilson wouldn’t be indicted, and you felt defeated. Like, ‘Man! Can we catch a break?’ What the original ending said was, ‘No, you can’t catch a break,’ because that’s our reality. But the new ending gave us a break, and I think that’s why we enjoyed it so much, because we want it so badly,” Henderson said.

What did you think of the alternative ending? Let us know in the comments below.