jacob's ladder remake ending

The Jacob’s Ladder remake has been delayed several times now, but sooner or later, audiences will have a chance to see it. And when they do, they’re going to be in for a surprise – if they’re familiar with the original film. Because the famous twist ending from Adrian Lyne’s 1990 nightmarish thriller has been changed. In the grand scheme of things, this make sense, because fans of the original movie would already know how this remake would end. But this whole thing asks a question: why remake Jacob’s Ladder at all?

Spoilers for the original Jacob’s Ladder follow.

In the original 1990 movie, Tim Robbins played a Vietnam vet experiencing all sorts of terrifying things throughout New York. Are these visions? Hallucinations? Actual supernatural demons coming to get him? The end of the movie provides the answer: Robbins’ character was actually fatally wounded in Vietnam, and the entire movie has been his dying dreams, a metaphorical trip through hell until he can find his way to heaven.

I know that twist – “He was dead the whole time!” – seems contrived now. But you need to remember that this movie came out before The Sixth Sense, so the concept still felt unique at the time. The movie itself is already great – full of genuinely scary moments that will give you bad dreams for weeks. It’s certainly not the type of film that needs a remake.

Which means, of course, there is one. The Jacob’s Ladder remake was actually filmed in 2016, but it has yet to be released. The film was finally supposed to see the light of day this month, with a February 1 release. But it once again got pushed, and now it will (probably) be released sometime later this year. The remake has a script from Jeff Buhler, who also wrote the recently released The Prodigy. While doing promotion for that film with Rue Morgue, Buhler was asked about the Jacob’s Ladder remake, and he proceeded to shed some light on the project. For one thing, Buhler has confirmed the new movie won’t have the original’s famous twist:

“The concept is really about the experience of coming home and readjusting, which is very present and poignant in the original film. Tim Robbins is a soldier who’s readjusting to life and feels like a stranger in his own city and to his family, so getting those concepts out there and really living in that space in our film was important. Then we came up with a cool twist that’s different from the one in the original, but has that same spirit: You’re following this story with these characters, and then all of a sudden everything gets flipped on its head, and you’re like, ‘Whoa! Things are different than I thought.”

The new Jacob’s Ladder focuses on a pair of brothers, and the war in the Middle East plays a part in the story as well. Beyond that, though, the plot is mostly a secret. Maybe we’ll finally learn what the story is when someone decides to release this thing for real.

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