Even M. Night Shyamalan Thought the Original Ending of Split Was Too Dark

A still from Split. Image: Universal
A still from Split. Image: Universal

M. Night Shyamalan’s films are known for their endings. The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, The Village, and others all have surprises twists aimed at wowing the audience. His latest film, Split, is no exception—but the original ending was even more intense than the one that ended up in theaters.


Now, we don’t mean the final ending. In Split there’s a first ending for the main character, played by James McAvoy, then a title card, then a credits scene that ties the movie into a larger universe. That last moment was always in there. What Shyamalan changed was that first ending, the scene that takes place in front of the mirror. Even though the film is out on Blu-ray next week, we’ll put this in in case you haven’t seen it.

Illustration for article titled Even M. Night Shyamalan Thought the Original Ending of iSplit/i Was Too Dark em/em

So Split as we know it ends with Kevin (McAvoy) in a mirror talking about his unlimited power before we get the reveal this is in the Unbreakable universe. Well, the mirror ending was a reshoot after Shyamalan decided to cut his original ending, the one in that’s in the script.

You can see it on the Blu-ray but here’s what happens:

You see Kevin, in the personality of the evil Dennis, on a roof. It’s revealed that he’s looking at a school. “Look at all those unbroken souls,” he says. Then his accomplice, the personality Patricia, answers with “Such a waste.” The possible implication is that the Beast was going to punish, or maybe kill, school children for being pure. It’s pretty messed up and, according to Shyamalan, just never fit. Here’s what he says in an introduction on the disc.

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 on digital download.



Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



I believe people that say this is a good movie, but I still cant muster the energy to watch it. I’ve been burned too many times before.