Gilliam on original ‘Hollywood Ending’:
What happened is that he (Qohen) comes back from the beach, sets the Chapel on fire, has a little chat with Matt, the kid steals Matt’s car and shouts to Qohen that he’s being chased and he jumps and they drive off to find Bainsley who is on one of 36,000 islands… and I said ‘What the fuck is this?!’
He continues with expressive explanation of final cut:
So I got rid of it and strangely I’m beginning to understand the ending more now. It’s a poetic ending. I want to give him dignity, I wanted him to have a calmness and a majesty. The one thing he could control is the Sun and that is beautiful. That’s the moment he’s stuck… and I though maybe that’s where we’re all going. Life in that virtual world is easier because he can’t deal with the real world ultimately… It’s a terrible compromise of life! It’s avoiding the real thing. I can deal with it… it’s easier… oh FUCK OFF! It’s a sad, sad ending, but I think that’s where we’re heading if we’re not careful. We need a good war, or a plague to thin things out.