zoolander death scene

Not enough modern comedies end with the demise of their characters. At least that’s what writer-director Adam McKay thinks. He’s been itching to kill off some of his characters for years now, including Baxter (Anchorman) and the horrific yet charming leads in Step Brothers, Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) and Dale Doback (John C. Reilly). Another protagonist McKay would’ve enjoyed seeing perish in pure agony? Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller).

Read about the Zoolander death scene we never saw after the jump.

McKay isn’t one of the credited writers on Zoolander, but he did an uncredited rewrite on the project, bringing plenty of gags and jokes we haven’t forgotten since the film’s 2001 release. One idea of McKay’s everybody couldn’t sign off on? Killing Derek Zoolander.

Today we spoke with McKay for his latest film, The Big Short, which is fantastic, and he discussed how genre has certain rules one must follow. The director found The Big Short freeing because he could play with a variety of tones, which isn’t always the case with comedy. Case in point: Zoolander.

Here’s what McKay had to say about the ending he envisioned:

Here’s one of my favorite [examples]. This is going back years, but I did a rewrite on Zoolander. I think I wrote the second look that he does, and I also think I ended up writing the ending. Anyway, I had convinced Ben Stiller Zoolander should be working on his second look, Magnum, all throughout the movie. I added Magnum. My whole pitch was: once he finally does this look, it’s identical to Blue Steel. That was the joke. In the end, I thought there should be a train coming at him, and there should be a big buildup of music, and he should unveil Magnum. Then, the train should just hit him, and he should die. The movie should end with people going, “Why do you think a look would stop a train?” And he’d say, “But…it’s such a great look.’ That would’ve been the ending of the movie [Laughs]. I convinced Stiller, and Stiller said, “God, that’s fucking funny.” [Producer] Scott Rudin had to go, “You’re not fucking killing the character! We’re going to hopefully make three of these!” I got in trouble for it. That was a good one. Don’t kill your character at the end of your comedy, but God, it’s fun to play around with that idea.

Obviously this ending means we probably wouldn’t get Zoolander 2, unless they found a way to bring the character back to life — which you could do in a comedy. What if the male model survived and was disfigured by the train? Imagine the downward spiral a simple scratch on Zoolander’s face would cause.

If Zoolander 2 is as funny as it looks, then maybe we’ll be thankful this ending didn’t happen, as funny as it sounds.

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