M. Night Shyamalan’s Alternate ‘Split’ Ending Was “Just Too Dark”

He killed younglings.

Universal Pictures

When people talk about Split’s shocking ending, they probably mean the final stinger in the diner where we learn that the film is a secret sequel to Unbreakable, starring Bruce Willis. But, in a special feature on the upcoming Blu-ray release, M. Night Shyamalan explains that the movie’s final scene with the Horde originally was much, much darker. Like, child-murdering dark.

In the version of Split that hit theaters, the last time we see James McAvoy’s character (or characters) is before the title card and Unbreakable tie-in scene. McAvoy looks at himself in a mirror and converses with himself, pondering just how powerful the Beast is. The original ending was much more predatory.

In a scene that’s viewable on the Blu-ray and digital download, we see the Horde’s Dennis personality sitting on a roof overlooking a school. There are classic yellow school buses and there’s a bell ringing off in the distance to signify that all the kids are out for the day.

“Look at all those unbroken souls,” Dennis says, prompting his Patricia, personality to respond with “such a waste.”

Presumably, the Beast was going to go to town on these children.

The Hoard observes its prey.

Universal Pictures

In a special feature, Shyamalan explained why he opted not to go with his initial idea.

“But it was just too dark, and it made it kind of feel one-note for me about what his intentions were — what are his motivations? I just didn’t want the Beast’s motivations to be reduced to just killing, that kind of thing. So that’s why I wrote the ending that you see in the movie with the mirror. So it was more showing the world what we were capable of … the original ending is a kind of dark and gruesome ending.”

Split is now available for digital download, and the physical Blu-ray release is set for April 18, 2017.

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