Get Out is easily one of the best films of the year, and it’s one that if you haven’t seen already, you should definitely make time for. It’s thrilling, it’s funny, and it’s insightful. It also has an ending that most audiences don’t see coming.
Spoilers ahead for Get Out.
In case you need a refresher, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) kills Rose’s family and he’s about to kill her when a police vehicle pulls up. You think that it’s curtains for Chris, but out steps his friend Rod (Lil Rel Howery). The two drive away and Rose dies from her injuries. It’s a happy ending!
But earlier drafts of the script didn’t go that way. On the BuzzFeed podcast Another Round [via ScreenCrush], writer-director Jordan Peele revealed that there was originally a much darker ending to the film. Co-host Tracy Clayton described the original ending this way:
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 this is what happened, and explained why he came up with that ending:
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.’
And that’s a sharp way to end the film, which is how my audience at Sundance and I all thought the film would end when we see the police lights pull up on the scene of Chris standing over Rose’s body.
So what changed? Current events. Peele noticed people were getting more upset and angrier with the deaths of black men like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, and he wanted to position the ending with Chris as a hero rather than a victim:
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.
A darker ending would have left the audience shaken, and it still could have worked, but I like that Peele lets viewers breathe at the end. The lessons of the film are still fresh in people’s minds; killing off Chris or sending him to jail would have been a bit too much. That being said, hopefully we get to see the alternate ending on the Blu-ray to see how the scene plays out.