LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 10: David Fincher speaks onstage during The Best Of with a sneak peek at 'Love, Death + Robots Volume 3' at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Downtown Los Angeles on May 10, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Netflix)
Movies - TV
The Alternate Seven Ending David Fincher Wanted Us
to See
David Fincher's "Seven" has one of the most unforgettable endings in movie history. ‘The Telegraph’ did a roundup circa the film's 20th anniversary, detailing no less than seven alternate "Seven" endings.
These include an ending where Detective Somerset (Morgan Freeman) kills Doe, an ending where Detective Mills (Brad Pitt) shoots Somerset to keep him from killing Doe, an ending where there's a race against time to save Mills' pregnant wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow), an ending where there's a dead dog in the notorious box, and an ending that takes place in a burning church.
The budding auteur didn't have as much clout with producers when he was first starting out, and if he had his way back then, the final moments of "Seven" would have been more of a sucker punch. Fincher originally jockeyed for a sudden cut to black as soon as Mills shoots Doe, leaving the audience hanging with a long moment of silence before the closing credits started to roll.
This ending, with its "Sopranos" effect — and no parting voiceover from Somerset to cushion the blow — would have given moviegoers no time to emotionally adjust to what just happened. It would have hit them hard and fast and left them reeling, but it's tough to say whether it would have really been better.
It was the studio that wanted the ending we got, in which Somerset watches a police car drive away with Mills later that night. This moment helps ease the impact of the visceral shock that the ending delivers. It's a small ray of light and humanity from Somerset, who always played the pessimist to Mills' optimist in their conversations.