I just watched the movie Split. You know, this one.
I liked it. I thought it was pretty good. I really liked the twist that (spoiler alert) the movie is a low-key sequel to Unbreakable. Or, takes place in the same world as Unbreakable. Or, whatever the fuck.
But the actual scene that reveals the twist? Oh man. That reveal scene at the end was a real clunker. Stiff. Goofy. Laugh out loud stupid. So I re-wrote it a buncha times that I think would make it better. You get that — from the title of this jawn.
OK. Here they are.
Rewrite Number One
INT. DINER — THE SAME ONE FROM THE MOVIE
Open on the TV in the diner. The news is playing, the anchor is telling the story we just watched in the movie, I guess in case somebody fell asleep and just woke up and is like “wait, shit, I missed the whole movie, what happened?” No worries, anchor-lady got you covered. Anyways, as the camera pans down the counter of the diner, people are watching the news. They’re enamored by it even though they’re at a diner and there’s hot, steaming piles of pancakes, and eggs, and sausages in front of them. Nobody’s even eating that good-ass diner food. Wow, this news story is very gripping. But we know that even better than these diner-doofs cause we just watched the whole damn thing in movie form. Now, we get to the end of the counter and those same two ladies are there, except this time they don’t say nothin’. They don’t talk about “fifteen years ago” and “what was that guy’s name” or none of that hogwash. The camera just keeps going by them like they’re not even important. Because they ain’t! Then the camera stops on Bruce Willis. Holy, shit, it’s Bruce Willis! Why is he showing up at the end of this goddamn movie? He’s really paying attention to the news. Then he just stands up and puts on a hat and a poncho so he looks just like he does in Unbreakable when he’s saving people at the end and we’re all like “holy shit, this isn’t Die HardBruce Willis or 6th Sense Bruce Willis, or Look Who’s Talking Now Bruce Willis this is fucking Unbreakable Bruce Willis. Cool.” The End of Movie.
Rewrite Number Two
We’re in a gym. I didn’t really need to say that because the scene heading indicated it. People are lifting weights. We’re mainly focusing on one really MUSCLY BODYBUILDER who is performing the bench press. There’s a lot of weight on the bar. A real lot. He’s got a spotter helping him and he’s still really struggling with it. This weight is HEAVY, you get that? I really want you to know how heavy this weight is — ’cause this guy has a lot of muscles, and so does his spotter, and they’re having a tough time with it. The news is playing, same recap of the movie we just watched as my previous rewrite. Slowly, the people in the gym stop lifting and walk off screen to watch the news. Then, who comes into frame but Bruce Motherfucking Willis. He’s listening to the news too but as he does he sits down on the bench the MUSCLY BODYBUILDER left (and didn’t clear his weights, how rude). The he lies down. Oh, shit, Bruce Willis is going to try to bench press this weight. But we already know how heavy it is and Bruce Willis doesn’t look like he’s as strong as that MUSCLY BODYBUILDER. Well, guess what, you doubting Thomas-ass mother fucks? Bruce Willis benches the weight. One rep. Pretty slow. Then another, and another, and he builds up speed as we still listen to the news show audio. Oh, fuck, this is making me remember that scene in Unbreakable where he bench presses all those paintcans and shit. You know what? In case somebody doesn’t remember that — show quick cuts of that scene interlaced with this one as he bench presses this heavy ass weight. He keeps pressing the weight, quick cut of the old movie so you remember it. The camera slowly pans in on Bruce Willis and he keeps on pressing this weight. Is he ever going to get tired? Nah, dog, he’s Bruce Willis from Unbreakable, and he’s gonna go after the bad dude from this movie in another movie. You pop a movie-boner. The End.
Rewrite Number Three
A bunch of jailbirds sit around a common-room as the news-recap-of-movie-we-just-watched plays. (If there’s one thing I like about the original ending, it’s that news recap.) The camera moves through the bad dudes in jail. They’re barely paying attention to the news. How come? Cause they’re bad dudes, and they don’t care about some other bad dude, they got bad dude shit to worry about themselves. Or, maybe they know, because they have been a part of the seedy underworld, that the news can have a tendency to sensationalize stories for the purpose of ratings, and they have learned to tune it out and seek knowledge on their own. Finally, the camera settles in on a man in a chair. Is it Bruce Willis? No fucking way it’s Samuel L. Jackson, you sons-of-bitches! Because if you remember the first movie, he’s the dude who watched the news to find people with special abilities. So he’s still doing that now, even though he’s locked up in jail. Also, his character is way more recognizable instantly than Bruce Willis in a work shirt. He’s Mr. Fucking Glass, y’all. He’s in a chair, he’s wearing purple and shit, he’s got that cane, the hair-do lookin’ right, maybe his leg is in a cast ’cause he’s always breaking his bones (that’s how he got his nickname). Anyways he’s watching the news and scribbling in a notebook. Then the camera shows you what he’s scribbling. On the left-hand page is a sketch of Bruce Willis, lookin’ like he does in Unbreakable with his poncho and hat. There’s a bunch of notes Mr. Glass took about his powers and what he can do. On the right hand page is a sketch of The Beast that Mr. Glass is working on. There’s some notes around it too. Mr. Glass is pretty wet about the whole thing. He found a super-hero 15 years ago and now there’s a super-villain with powers out on the loose! He closes his sketchbook, but the way he does it makes the sketches slowly move towards each other, which foreshadows the two characters(Bruce Willis and Multiple Personality Professor X) on a crash course to meet each other. Damn, I just blew my own mind with symbolism. The end.
Rewrite Number Four
INT. MOVIE THEATER
What? Why are we in a fucking movie theater? Is this a Gremlins 2: The New Batch style fourth-wall break? Hell yeah it is. On the screen (on the screen) the credits for Split play as we watch people walk out of the movie theater. They loved what they just saw. They’re all happy. Some are talking about the resurgence of M. Night Shyamalan as a movie-maker who makes movies you want to watch. Then, oh shit, one of these motherfuckers leaving the theater IS M. Night Shyamalan! He turns, directly to the camera, and says:
Thanks for seeing my movie, you guys. Hope you liked it. By the way, that movie you just watched happens in the same world as Unbreakable, my movie from a buncha years ago. So, I’m probably going to make another movie where Bruce Willis and James McAvoy fight each other. Hope you see that one too. Cool. Bye.