Last year's Us ended on a somewhat ambiguous note, as it set the stage for a possible Earth-shattering revelation, but when pressed for details about what would happen after the events of the film, writer/director Jordan Peele noted that it wasn't so much about the aftermath of the actions so much as it was about the actions themselves. As Peele proved with both Us and Get Out, the filmmaker doesn't shy away from ambiguity and challenging the audience to determine their own answers, with the film's ending being just another example of his layered and complex storytelling that asks viewers to come to their own conclusions.
In the film, a family becomes tormented by their exact doubles who have sinister motivations, revealing that they had been living underground for years and wanted to take control of the world above. The film concludes with scenes of these doppelgängers, all clad in bright red jumpsuits, forming a massive human chain by holding hands, mirroring the Hands Across America event of 1986.
“I’d resist to actually answer that question because you never know what could happen," Peele shared with Collider when asked what the future held for these characters. "But I think part of the answer you’re looking for is that to the Tethered it doesn’t matter. Their purpose is the expression and there was something kind of terrifying to me – we see it all the time today – terrifying to me about the idea of violence as expression because it’s an inevitable force … I feel like what happens after is fascinating but irrelevant to the Tethered.”
While this response might frustrate some viewers who had hoped for concrete answers about this fictional narrative, Peele's remarks remind us that it's the catalyst of change that is far more meaningful than the series of events that would follow it.
Trailers for the film confirmed the importance of doppelgängers in the narrative, but the film's finale still came as a shock to many. Given the excitement around the project and the attention it received, the filmmakers were nervous that the ending could be spoiled months ahead of time, with producer Ian Cooper previously revealing how the sequence was kept a secret.
“When we were shooting all the Tethered holding hands on the beach in daylight, it dawned on me, 'How on earth are we going to not let this become a spoiler, because there are people everywhere?'" Cooper shared with The Hollywood Reporter. "I was looking at every person and bluffs in the distance and seeing who's up there, trying to make sure no one leaked this. We started telling people that we were shooting a Verizon commercial. If we sell that, then maybe they will disperse and not try to get the pictures. It seemed impossible not to let that leak, and somehow it didn't.”
Jordan Peele is currently developing Season Two of The Twilight Zone.
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