The Original Get Out Ending Was Way Darker

Jordan Peele's shocking debut film, "Get Out," has one of the most clever and memorable endings to come out of cinema in recent years. 

In this modern horror classic, the Black protagonist, Chris, takes a trip with his white girlfriend, Rose Armitage, to meet her parents at their house in the countryside. Chris is nervous about meeting them as he is led to believe that he is her first Black boyfriend. But things become worse than he could've imagined when he is kidnapped by the Armitage family after learning of their sinister schemes. The family wishes to transfer the mind of their rich, white client into Chris's body while his consciousness remains trapped in a hypnotic limbo known as the Sunken Place, just as they have done with many other Black people in the past. 

Though things seem bleak for him, Chris manages to escape the house and kills the Armitages, one by one, until only Rose remains. Chris chooses not to kill Rose, even though she was fatally shot, but when a police car rolls in, both he and the viewer assume the worst. Rose calls out for help, and Chris puts his hands in the air, thinking he will be arrested and framed for murder. After all, this is the United States, and he is a Black man. However, both the character and the audience alike are surprised to see that the car is driven by his best friend, Rod, a TSA officer. They both drive away to safety, leaving Rose to die from her wounds, and the credits roll.

Though it's a relief to see Chris have a happy ending after everything he suffered through, "Get Out" was originally meant to end on a much darker and more realistic note.

How it was supposed to end

Peele planned on having the film end with the police arriving instead of Rod, and Chris being arrested for the alleged murder of the Armitage family. The movie then cuts to Rod visiting Chris in prison, asking for more information about the family's clients to prove their dark conspiracy to the authorities and have him released. However, Chris tells Rod that he's "good," showing he is content with his imprisonment knowing that he stopped the Armitages, before he is guided back to his cell.

Peele had actually filmed this alternate ending, intending to reflect the ongoing problem of racial bias in American society and how people of color are still wrongfully persecuted. But after more and more police shootings of Black people occurred, Peele reasoned that people have already become more aware of the issue. After the director showed the film's original cut to test audiences, the director decided that the character, and the viewers, deserved a happier ending.

In an interview with Vulture, "Get Out" producer Sean McKittrick said: 

"We tested the movie with the original 'sad truth' ending where, when the cop shows up, it's an actual cop and Chris goes to jail. The audience was absolutely loving it, and then it was like we punched everybody in the gut. You could feel the air being sucked out of the room. The country was different. We weren't in the Obama era, we were in this new world where all the racism crept out from under the rocks again. It was always an ending that we debated back and forth, so we decided to go back and shoot the pieces for the other ending where Chris wins."

How it changed

The film's happy ending is arguably the better one, as audiences didn't need to see another innocent Black man become a martyr fighting against racism. However, Peele's original conclusion gave audiences a hard look about how people of color are still being oppressed in real life, making it more horrifying to watch.

Though some may argue that the original ending should've been used, Peele managed to convey his message about racism with the ending shown in theaters. The fear instilled in the audience when they hear the police sirens make it clear that Chris would've been arrested if it was an actual police officer driving the car. But they still get to breathe easy knowing the hero got to have his freedom with the ending's ingenious twist. 

In the end, it seems like Peele's decision to change the film's finale worked out for the best, as the movie launched his new career as a successful horror auteur. "Get Out" achieved widespread acclaim upon release, grossing over $255 million against a $4.5 million budget. The film also received multiple Academy Award nominations, with the director winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, making him the first Black person to win such an award.