Spoilers ahead for Split. There's a big twist ending that you'll want to enjoy for yourself, if you haven't already seen the film.
This past weekend was a triumphant one for director M. Night Shyamalan. His new psychological thriller, Split, debuted at the box office and won the weekend (Shyamalan's first time at number one in a decade), while also faring well with critics; particularly, praise was given for the mind blowing ending and final twist. In said ending, we saw James McAvoy's Kevin manifest supernatural levels of strength with his 24th personality as he and captive Casey (Anya Taylor Joy) finally confronted each other. Both Kevin and Casey ultimately survived her encounter, leaving their future unclear.
But it turns out that multiple versions of the ending were shot, making Shyamalan's choice of ending particularly important when looking to the franchise's future. While speaking with actress Anya Taylor-Joy about her role in Split, I asked if she felt Casey's journey had finished by the end of the film. The answer: absolutely not. Her final confrontation with The Beast left it open for her return.
We did a whole bunch of different endings for that scene. There were ones where we spoke, there were ones where we didn't. And I think Night's choice in leaving it open in that sense means that we haven't heard the last from her.
It looks like Casey will likely be back for Split's eventual sequel. Which, considering the film's final scene, means the character may be joining a bonafide cinematic universe.
The final moments of Split featured a surprise cameo by Bruce Willis, reprising his role from M. Night Shyamalan's 2000 hit Unbreakable. With these two stories now connected, and an obvious sequel/crossover film impending, it seems like Shyamalan may be creating a universe of his very own. And to do so, he'll need compelling characters that audiences will invest in for film after film. In my opinion. Anya Taylor-Joy has all of the chops to lead a venture of this sort, as her portrayal of Casey was both layered and compelling.
You can see my full conversation with Anya Taylor-Joy about Casey's future below.
It should be interesting to see how the next installment in this story progresses. Will it be more of a Split 2 or Unbreakable 2? Is it possible for James McAvoy and Bruce Willis to share equal screen time as their super-powered characters? Additionally, Split explicitly mentioned Samuel L. Jackson's character Mr. Glass, who was arrested 15 years earlier. Jackson's villain was a major highlight of Unbreakable, and him appearing in a possible sequel would be particularly exciting. If M. Night Shyamalan is indeed venturing into a franchise with these films, he'll have assembled a pretty impressive cast.
Regarding Split's other endings, I'm eager to see if they'll be included when the film is eventually released for home purchase. While the narrative as it stands seems purposeful, it might be fun to see what could have been.
Split is in theaters now.