Jordan Peele’s horror thriller Get Out has taken the box office by storm and wowed nearly every critic except one. The former Key & Peele star’s directorial debut has quickly become one of the most lauded movies of the year for its brilliant blend of comedy, horror, and commentary on racism. It’s certainly one of the most terrifying movies that’s hit theaters this year, but it was originally intended to be even darker.

The filmmaker stopped by BuzzFeed’s Another Round podcast earlier this week to discuss the new movie. When asked about the endings in the latest episode, Peele revealed he wrote multiple endings when trying to figure out which one worked best. If you saw Get Out – spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t yet – you know the intense final moments find Daniel Kaluuya’s Chris bloodied in the middle of the road after killing his girlfriend (Allison Williams) and her family. What appears to be a cop car rolls up and as Chris raises his hands in the air you brace for the worst. It turns out to be his best friend and TSA officer Rod (LilRel Howery).

But on Another Round Peele confirmed that in one alternate ending the cops do actually show up. Here’s the ending as described by co-host Tracy Clayton:

There is an alternate ending in which the cops actually come at the end. He gets locked up and taken away for slaughtering an entire family of white people and you know he’s never getting out, if he doesn’t get shot there on the spot.

Peele confirmed it with an “mhm,” and went on to describe why he changed the ending and prefers the one that made it into the final cut. “There were several endings to this movie. Several of them were pretty dark,” Peele said. The director described that he initially wanted a much darker finale that reflected the insouciance many Americans felt towards racism at the start of the Obama administration, which is when he first began writing the film:

In the beginning when I was first making this movie the idea was, ‘OK, we’re in this post-racial world, apparently. That was the whole idea. People were saying, ‘We’ve got Obama so racism is over, let’s not talk about it.’ That’s what the movie was meant to address. Like look, you recognize this interaction. These are all clues, if you don’t already know, that racism isn’t over. […] So the ending in that era was meant to say, look, ‘You think race isn’t an issue? Well at the end, we all know this is how this movie would end right here.’

But over the course of production the cultural conversation and attention around racism and police violence against black people in America shifted, and so too did the movie’s ending. Peele noted that with the murders of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, people had begun engaging with racism in a different, more woke way. With that in mind, he decided to give audiences a more hopeful ending:

It was very clear that the ending needed to transform into something that gives us a hero, that gives us an escape, gives us a positive feeling when we leave this movie. […] There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the audience go crazy when Rod shows up.

There’s no doubt that the initial much darker ending would have left audiences in a different state of mind. With Get Out opening at such a tense time for all minorities in America, it’s a bit of a relief that it ends on such a joyful note, providing an escape from the scarier realities of the real world. But what happened in those other alternate endings Peele cooked up? We might just have to wait for the home video release to find out.

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