‘Se7en’: The Movie Ending You Never Saw And Why

Se7en is the story about two detectives (Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman) battle to solve a serial killer case. The murderer selected his victims based on the Bible’s seven deadly sins.

Se7en turns 22 in September and to celebrate, Entertainment Weekly gives four alternate endings, including why they weren’t used in the final cut.

From a dead dog head in a box to a Tracy being kidnapped, the Inquistr will examine four of the alternate endings that could have changed how this iconic movie ended.

For those who have never seen Se7en, here’s a quick rundown of the end of the movie. A serial killer named John Doe (Kevin Spacey) had been carrying out some pretty disturbing murders, all based on the seven deadly sins. After he killed five people, he surrendered to the police and lures the detectives, Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and Mills (Brad Pitt) to a rural location where he claims that he will show them where the final two victim’s bodies are located.

A delivery man arrives contracted by John Doe to drop off a package at that exact time. They never show the viewers what was in the box, but they reveal that it contained Mills’ wife, Tracy’s (Gwyneth Paltrow) head. Doe killed her right before turning himself in hours before.

Doe revealed that it was a way to bring Mills into a trap to force him to act on the feeling of rage and kill him. Tracy and Mills were deadly sins numbers six and seven.

Somerset Kills Doe

This version of Se7en’s ending was never filmed. According to Telegraph, Somerset decides to shoot Doe, preventing the killer from carrying out his evil plan to force Mills to take his life.

According to the script, after Somerset killed Doe, Mills asked him why he did that. He replied, “I’m retiring.”

Somerset Gets Shot Too

There was a version of Se7en’s script that ends with Somerset recovering from a gunshot wound. The last scene of the movie, Somerset receives a note from Mills in the hospital that said, “You were right, You were right about everything.”

Brad Pitt shoots John Doe after learning he killed his wife, Tracy
Brad Pitt shoots John Doe after learning he killed his wife, Tracy. [Image By Getty Images]

According to Daily Script, a final altercation between the three men in which Somerset is holding a switchblade ready to take Doe down before Mills can shoot him. Mills then shoots Somerset, to stop the retiring detective from getting in the way for his quest for revenge.

Tracy Lives, But Barely

The studio originally believed that the head in the box in Se7en’s final scene would turn viewers off. They wondered if a more traditional climax would be more appropriate. The idea they came up with was Doe would kidnap Tracy and Somerset and Mills manage to save her after a race against the clock. Both the director Fincher and Brad Pitt didn’t like this idea at all. They decided to trash this part of the script.

There is A Dead Dog In The Box

According to Brad Pitt, at one point the studio was seriously considering putting the head of Mills’ dog inside the box rather than his wife.

“With Se7en, I said, ‘I will do it on one condition – the head stays in the box. Put in the contract that the head stays in the box,” Pitt said.

“Actually, there was a second thing, too: ‘He’s got to shoot the killer in the end. He doesn’t do the “right” thing, he does the thing of passion.’ Those two things are in the contract. Cut to: Se7en has been put together, and they’ve tested it. They go, ‘You know, he would be much more heroic if he didn’t shoot John Doe – and it’s too unsettling with the head in the box. We think maybe if it was the dog’s head in the box…'”

Eventually, the studio went with Tracy’s head in the box to appease both Fincher and Pitt.

'Se7en' scene with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman
Actors Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt in the film "Seven."[Image by Liaison Agency/Getty Images]

Even to this day, 22 years later, Fincher claims that he really didn’t like the ending of Se7en. He wanted to have a long drawn-out silence after Mills shot Doe and instantly cut to black. He admitted that Pitt’s version worked out well, especially Somerset referencing Earnest Hemingway’s famous quote.

“‘The world is a fine place, and worth fighting for’…I agree with the second part.”

Do you think any of these endings would have worked out?

[Featured Image by Liaison/GettyImages]