The Original Ending For Disney...

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The Original Ending For Disney+'s Soul Would Have Broken Our Hearts

Tara Walsh
Tara Walsh

03:12 6 Jan 2021


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Soul

Disney+'s Soul dropped on Christmas Day and stole the hearts of families worldwide.

However, it could have gone in a completely different direction had they opted to follow the original draft.

Synopsis

***Spoilers to come***

The Jamie Foxx fronted animation follows the story of Joe Gardner.

He's a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town.

But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Beyond.

Joe refuses to die just as his life is starting to look up, so he makes a run for it.

The musician ends up in The Great Before where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth.

He's mistaken for an instructor and is assigned a soul named 22, voiced by Tina Fey.

She has never understood the appeal of the human experience.

22 must find her, "spark," in order to complete her badge to gain access to earth.

But considering she has no interest in becoming a human, she agrees to give her badge to Joe once it's finished.

Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living.

However, the whole plan is ruined when 22 decides she wants to find her purpose on Earth.

Following an argument, she leaves Joe with the completed badge and runs away.

The ending

He returns to Earth and soon realises how senseless and selfish he had been.

Joe heads off on a mission to find 22 and send her to earth with her badge instead.

Just as he gets ready to head into The Great Beyond, Joe is told his actions were inspirational.

Joe is given a second chance at life and he accepts it.

The musician returns to Earth with a fresh perspective on life - he's learned to appreciate every moment as if it were his last.

Heartwarming, we know.

The original ending

During an interview with ET Online, director Pete Docter, co-director Kemp Powers and producer Dana Murray discussed the ending.

They revealed the original draft ended with Joe heading off to The Great Beyond.

Murray said, 'We went back and forth on the ending up until the last screening.'

'For a long time, Joe did go to The Great Beyond.'

However, they soon came to the conclusion that it made more sense for him to be given a second chance.

'It felt like the right ending, that he needed to be able to go enjoy his life in the way he wanted to, because he'd learned so much throughout the film.'

Powers added, 'We have versions of the ending where Joe does not go back to his body, where he actually stays dead.'

'We have versions of the ending where you see Joe on Earth a year later.'

'Man, that ending sparked more debate than I think any other element of the film.'

Docter chimed in, 'I think people felt like it's cheating to let him go back.'

He continued, 'On the other hand, story-wise, you can't teach this guy to enjoy life the right way and then rob him of that.'

'So, it just didn't seem like the right way to go.'

'Although that was the original draft.'

The director's thought process

He explained his thought process, 'At the time, I was thinking, "The most selfless act you could do is to pass on - I've had the chance. I've already enjoyed life. Now, you should have that chance, you, 22, who has not dared go down.'''

'That seemed poetic and nice, but ultimately, in the movie, every scene was Joe going, "Wait a second, I didn't live this the right way before." So, it didn't seem right then at the end to go, "Alright, off you go!"'

Soul is streaming on Disney+ now.


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