The “training day” was supposed to have a completely different ending
training day came out years ago, but it picked up steam again on Netflix, where it cracked the top ten in early March. Released in 2001, the film stars Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke as two Los Angeles Police Department officers working in the narcotics unit. As the film draws to a close, something tragic happens. But the other training day the ending featured a different outcome.
‘Training day’ explained
The film begins with Officer Jake Hoyt (Hawke) preparing for his first day on the task force. Paired with older, more experienced cop Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington), Jake is eager and ready to absorb whatever he can from his partner.
Alonzo has a police style that he says helps improve the city, hence his impressive arrest record. But as they spend the day together, zipping through the streets of Los Angeles in his 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo and taking on random “missions” along the way, it becomes increasingly clear to Jake that his trust in his partner is misplaced.
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Towards the end of training day, he fully realizes how corrupt Alonzo is when Alonzo implicates him in a plot to steal millions of dollars from a drug dealer. He intends to use these funds to settle a debt with the Russians who demanded $1 million from him for the murder of one of their men. However, these plans are cut short when Jake confronts him and takes the money as evidence against him.
Time is running out to pay the debt, Alonzo flees to the airport, but the Russians ambush him on the way, killing him in a hail of bullets.
Alternate ‘Training Day’ ending revealed
In the original ending, Jake has just left the money and is moving on, according to Mental Floss. However, that idea changed after Washington complained that it was not “satisfactory” enough.
“For example, I told the director that I couldn’t justify him living the worst way unless he died the worst way; the community turns their back on him, he gets slapped, crawling on the ground like a snake and basically filling up with lead,” he recalled in an interview. “So we just made a violent, horrible end for him.”
In the end, he was much happier with the conclusion that made it into the movie. “I just thought that was what he deserved,” Washington added. “There was a bit of a slip-up in the way the script was, and it felt like they were looking to do a second part or something.”
Interestingly, a follow-up still happened. In 2017, training day was turned into a show that picked up 15 years after the events of the film and followed twisted detective Frank Roarke (Bill Paxton). Unfortunately, as TVLine notes, it struggled to capture and maintain viewers’ interest. The show was eventually canceled in 2017 after Paxton’s death.