One of the true pleasures of Jordan Peele‘s “Get Out” is seeing just how far he’ll take his racially charged themes in the film’s third act. The entire movie rides on the African-American experience of being an “other” or outsider, in a white constructed culture which demands some measure of assimilation, with dire consequences for those who don’t submit. It’s a provocative message and Peele could’ve taken his protagonist, played by Daniel Kaluuya, in a few different directions. In the film as we see it, the character gets a cathartic release for the horrors he’s endured, but Peele was toying with some far darker in his finale.
The writer/director recently stopped by the “Another Round” podcast, and confirmed that the film originally had an alternate ending. Essentially, the cops show up after Kaluuya’s Chris has killed Allison Williams‘ Rose, and he gets taken away for murdering her entire family. That would’ve certainly been a grimmer take, but one that would echo the reality of “justice” that many African-Americans face in the legal system. But Peele realized that for entertainment purposes, he couldn’t go down that road. Here’s what he had to say:
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.’
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.
Indeed, when Chris’ pal arrives to whisk his friend away from the scene, my screening erupted in cheers, and that choice doesn’t dilute the message of Peele’s picture one iota. And with plans for even more social thrillers, we’re eager to see what subjects he takes on next.
Listen to his full podcast talk below. [via ScreenCrush]