Chris Hemsworth, Joe Russo dissect Extraction’s ambiguous ending: ‘Is Tyler Rake a ghost?’
Extraction star Chris Hemsworth, writer and co-producer Joe Russo, and director Sam Hargrave discussed the possibility of a follow-up to the film, which debuted to record-breaking numbers on Netflix on April 24. Each of them admitted to being open to a sequel (or prequel), but wouldn’t confirm it.
During a recent watch party organised by IGN, Russo commented on the film’s ambiguous ending, which sees hero Tyler Rake being shot in the neck, yet seemingly make one quick appearance in the film’s final shot. He said, “We show you at the beginning that he’s hit by a sniper by a potentially fatal shot, so the whole movie you’re watching to see if Rake is going to survive the film or not. That creates tension as you’re watching the film because you know where it’s going.”
He continued, “What we love about that ending is, you can interpret it any way you want to, which is really, for us, it represents hope for the boy that he’s gonna have a future, you know, that that is the ghost of Rake that’s looking over him - it’s really what it means to him at the end of the movie more so than what it means to the audience. And there’s nothing wrong with ambiguous endings, in fact, they can be quite entertaining and incite a lot of conversation which I always think is the value of a public medium like filmmaking, is that everyone can argue about it and discuss it ad nauseam - but unless there’s a prequel or a sequel, that question won’t be answered.”
About watching himself die on screen, Hemsworth said, “It’s a weird thing, I’ve got to say. I remember Rush, you know, he dies many years later, and every time that final image of the movie comes up, it always got emotional, but I think, because that was a real guy - not that I knew the guy - but something was heartbreaking about it. It’s tricky. Watching yourself, in general, can be a little abrasive, but when it’s done right and there’s music and all those sorts of things, it’s a little easier to get lost in it.”
Netflix recently revealed that Extraction is on its way to becoming the biggest original film debut of all time on the service, with an estimated 90 million households tuning in in the first month. According to Forbes, this would be a larger viewership than Michael Bay’s 6 Underground (83 million), Sandra Bullock’s Bird Box (80 million), the first season of Henry Cavill’s The Witcher (76 million) and the Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy Murder Mystery (73 million). Forbes also observed that this makes Extraction the first blockbuster release of the summer season, now that the theatrical films have all been either cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Hemsworth, who’d said in a video message to thank fans for their support that he’d love to jump back in for a follow-up, said during the watch party, “As Joe said, I love the ambiguity there and the way you could interpret it however you like. I really like what you said there Joe, that it represents the boy’s gonna be okay, whether that’s the ghost of Rake watching over him or something, it represents someone still watching him and taking care of him - I like that version. Whether that’s actually him or not, we don’t know.”
Asked in which direction he’d like to take the sequel, hypothetically speaking, Hargrave concluded, “It’s a hypothetical ... there are so many storylines in this world that Joe built with the script, there’s so many ways it could go. If anything were to happen, it’s really up to finding the best story… and what’s the best thing for the movie and the universe that is growing out of the script that Joe wrote. I am open, I think there’s so many fun possibilities, I’m ready, whatever the next challenge brings, I’ll be there.”
Extraction also features Indian actors Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Randeep Hooda, Pankaj Tripathi and Priyanshu Painyuli, in addition to David Harbour and Golshifteh Farahani.
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