Jordan Peele’s directoral debut and 2017 blockbuster, Get Out, nearly lost its joyous ending that succeeded in making the film equally scary and hilarious, providing multilayered social commentary on the plight of minorities in America.
The film comes out on Blue-ray and DVD May 23, and will include the alternate ending Peele reportedly considered for the theatrical version, according to IndieWire, an ending that would have drastically changed the film’s reception. (Warning: spoilers to follow.)
In the alternate ending, after Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) strangles Rose (Allison Williams) to the delight of the audience, the blue and red light-flashing car that pulls up to Chris in the driveway of Rose’s parents’ house turns out not to be his best friend Rod (Lil’ Rel Howery) in his TSA car, as per the theatrical version, but actual police officers.
The officers apprehend Chris, who has no believable explanation for why he is drenched in Armitage blood, and the film jumps to Rod visiting Chris in prison. Of course if Chris could find any of Rose’s former boyfriends who were also abducted, they would be able to vouch for him, but Rod explains that the Armitage house has burned down, along with any chance Chris had of clearing his name through the testimony of other victims.
In this version, the film ends with Chris in an orange jumpsuit, telling Rod he doesn’t care he is wrongly imprisoned and no doubt branded the vicious, black murderer of a beloved white family, saying, “I’m good, I stopped it.”
While doubtlessly more realistic, such a dark ending would have been deeply unsatisfying. What made the ending of Get Out so remarkable was Peele’s quick bait-and-switch to contrast the audience’s expectations (and what would likely occur in the real world) with an ending that finally allows them to exhale the breath they had been holding in ever since the reveal of Rose’s treachery. This expectation set up by Peele perfectly exposes how normalized the alternate ending is in the real world where African Americans are wrongly incarcerated everyday.
To have Chris wrongly punished for saving not just himself but countless other African Americans would have been a stomach-churning ending. The genius of using the theatrical ending by Peele and his collaborators is the balance of humor and horror that gave the film a second groundbreaking take on the horror genre with Peele’s heavy infusion of social commentary.
But the alternate ending is perhaps a more realistic look at what would happen were a real-life Rose and clan able to break through the science of brain transplants. No doubt, though, the film would be a lot less bearable for many viewers.
has grossed nearly $215 million worldwide on a $4.5 million budget, making film history in the process. You can find out where it landed on our list of our favorite movies of the year so far here. Peele’s next project is an HBO series, Lovecraft Country, following three African Americans traversing Jim Crow America to find one’s missing father.