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Creepy 'what's in the box' ending to 'Se7en' was an accident

The unnerving final scene that spawned Brad Pitt's infamous line almost didn't make it into the 1995 film.

What's in the box? There was almost no box.
New Line Cinema

Warning: Spoilers for the 20-plus-year-old movie "Se7en" ahead. (Wait, "ahead"? Is that a spoiler already?)

If you've seen "Se7en," you know how chilling the final scene is. The unimaginable ending made Brad Pitt's "What's in the box?" line infamous, thanks to a creepy special delivery his detective character receives.

Screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker told The Hollywood Reporter the ending made it into the film by accident. Original director Jeremiah S. Chechik ("National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation") told Walker to rewrite the script with the Gwyneth-Paltrow's-head-in-the-box scene taken out.

But when David Fincher was brought on to direct, Walker said New Line accidentally sent Fincher the head scene, and he refused to make the film without it.

"And then they sent him the vastly rewritten, Jeremiah Chechik draft, which had a completely different ending and Fincher said, 'No, I wouldn't be interested in doing that,'" Walker said.

Walker says he's glad "Se7en" was early in his career, when he was working at Tower Records and had little clout. If he'd had more experience, he might have chosen to leave the film because of the proposed change.

The movie "was optioned at the guild minimum," Walker told THR in an interview published Friday. "Which was a fine living compared to Tower Records. It wasn't 'F-- you money,' obviously. But it was enough money for me to make the move from the east to the west and to get a Toyota. Not a Rolls."

That's one way to get ahead.

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