Split Had An Alternate Ending, Here’s Why M. Night Shyamalan Changed It

The following story is LOADED with spoilers for Split, so for real, stop reading now if you haven't yet seen it.

Split was a spectacular return to form for writer/director M. Night Shyamalan, who also capitalized on his horror roots with The Visit, but returned to a familiar world in the closing moments of this latest thriller. As you know, Shyamalan shows Bruce Willis' Unbreakable hero, David, in a diner watching the exploits of James McAvoy's lethal killer, The Horde. The man is on the loose, and Split now suggests that David will track him down, but the Blu-ray for Shyamalan's movie proves he had an alternate ending.

In the movie, the last glimpse we get of Kevin (James McAvoy) and his multiple personalities has him on the lam, and staring into a mirror. M. Night Shyamalan shot an alternate ending, which he shows on the new Blu-ray, where Kevin, instead, is sitting on a rooftop overlooking a school (shown below), where his different voices are talking aloud, saying:

Look at all those unbroken souls. Such a waste.

So why didn't we get that ending, with Kevin overlooking the school? In a taped introduction to this VERY short shot of Kevin, the alternate ending, M. Night Shyamalan explains why he cut it, saying:

It was the original ending of The Horde in the script, and then I wrote the one that's in the movie, at the mirror, and we reshot that afterwards. And that felt more like the vibe of how I wanted [the movie] to end. So I had this ending in for a while, and I kind of moved it around in a few different places. It was just too dark. It kind of made it feel one-note for me, about what his intentions were. What is his motivation? I just didn't want The Beast's motivations to be reduced to just kind of killing. That kind of thing. So that's why I wrote the ending that you see in the movie, at the mirror. That was more, kind of, showing the world what we are capable of.

M. Night Shyamalan also explains that he had a hard time figuring out where this alternate ending scene of Kevin glaring at the school would even fit, if it would go before the diner tag with Bruce Willis, or after it. The director had to know that he would lose the audience's focus on Kevin the moment that he showed Willis in character as David once again. Because the implications of that reveal, and what it might mean for Unbreakable 3, would be all anyone would want to talk about... not Kevin (James McAvoy) looking down on a school.

Split Alternate Ending

Split was out on Digital HD as of April 4. It will reach Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand on April 18, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.