Halloween Ends Ending Was Changed After Test Screenings, Director Says

Spoiler Alert: This story contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Halloween Ends.The saga of Laurie Strode vs. Michael Myers finally comes to an end, for good this time, with the release of Halloween Ends. Now playing in theaters and on Peacock, the film brings back Jamie Lee Curtis to cap off a trilogy that director David Gordon Green began with the 2018 movie. The film culminates with a rather definitive ending that sees the death of Michael Myers after one final battle with Laurie, followed by the residents of Haddonfield carrying out a “funeral procession” of sorts — only the “Boogeyman” goes into an industrial shredder rather than a burial plot.

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In a new chat with Entertainment Weekly, Green explains what went into writing the ending of the film. Of course, they knew that there would be a certain amount of pressure to conclude the story, and because of this, multiple endings were considered. Ultimately, the filmmakers chose to go with a more hopeful ending, which includes a final shot of Laurie rekindling her romance with Will Patton’s Hawkins. This was partly because they wanted it to be very different from how the last movie ended.

“We went through a lot of endings. Some were really bleak, and some were less bleak. The version we ended up with, I think, is optimistic, hopeful. After Kills came out with a bleak ending, I didn’t want to do that again. I wanted to have some note of satisfaction.”

Green also spoke about the difficulties in writing Halloween Ends, noting how the screenplay has gone through a lot of changes over the course of four years. Because the plan was to release Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends back to back, Green had been simultaneously working with different writing teams on both films. While co-writer Danny McBride was there for all of the movies, Scott Teems was brought in to help flesh out Kills while Paul Brad Logan and Chris Bernier helped co-wrote Ends.

The Final Battle Went Through Many Changes

Universal Pictures

Because the script went through some changes, there are obviously many differences compared to the original draft, though some “spectacular fights” have been with Halloween Ends from the start. Green also explained how he kept coming up with new ways to change certain scenes during production, especially the final battle with Laurie and Michael, that it had been shot in pieces over time. But for Green, it was important to make sure that the scene had an emotional impact, as he “didn’t want it to just be a brawl.” Green also noted how much test screenings have changed the final cut of the film, revealing how the big funeral procession scene came in after the original cut was complete.

“I screen movies a lot, from the very first assembly. I want to watch the audience as much as I’m watching the movie. I’m ping-ponging back and forth, trying to see when they’re engaged and when they’re not. We were trying to do a little bit more of a modest, intimate ending. Kills was big and expansive and super noisy and aggressive, almost like an action movie at points, and I wanted this to return to the simple dramatic roots. But then there were times when I thought it just didn’t play big enough and I wanted some scope to it. We wanted something more grand, and [that became] the procession sequence. So the actual ending of the movie we came up with this summer, like two months ago, after we screened it a few times.”

So the final battle and Michael’s ultimate end might be different from the first cut of the film, but what of Laurie Strode’s fate? We’ve previously seen the character killed off in Halloween: Resurrection, so we know she’s never safe in this franchise. Even so, Green said it was never considered that Laurie would die in Halloween Ends, feeling that the character has just “come too far” with her journey at this point and deserves to have a future we can believe in… even if we’ll never see the character again.

“I’ve come too far with Laurie Strode, and I want to believe in her — I want to believe in her future.”

Halloween Ends is playing in theaters and on Peacock.