1408 star John Cusack has suggested an idea for an alternate ending to the adaptation of Stephen King's short story that would have potentially set up a sequel. While discussing his new series, Utopia, Cusack offered up his idea for a somehow even bleaker ending to 1408 that would have allowed his character to return.
"I haven't really done sequels as much. I did a couple of loose sequels, where I felt like I had something else to say with the character but you can't get the rights, so you just do another version of it. I did that a couple of times. I always thought there was another version of 1408, where he could wake up back in the room and continue on. That's just getting into that Stephen King headspace. He's such a terrific writer, and I do love like that Rod Serling psychological horror and not as much the gore."
Released in 2007, 1408 is based on the Stephen King short story of the same name, and stars John Cusack as Mike Enslin, an author who investigates allegedly haunted houses and rents the titular room 1408 at a New York City hotel. Although skeptical of the paranormal, he is soon trapped in the room where he experiences increasingly bizarre events. Considering the events of 1408, one can't help but wonder why Cusack would want his poor, tortured character to be put through the ringer all over again.
Directed by Mikael Håfström and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack, and Tony Shalhoub alongside Cusack, the movie interestingly already has several alternate endings that leave Cusack's character in very different places come the movie's finale. The theatrical ending, and thus the ending most have seen, is by far the happiest, and wraps things up with Mike surviving is ordeal before having his account of events confirmed via a tape recording.
The Director's Cut ending has Mike die in the fire but reveals that he is happy to see the haunted room destroyed. Samuel L. Jackson's character, Gerald Olin, then sees several apparitions at Mike's funeral, including Mike's burnt corpse sitting in the backseat of his car. The movie ends with the spirit of Mike standing in the gutted ruins of room 1408 before hearing his daughter calling for him and disappearing. This version is in fact the default ending on several international DVD, Blu ray and streaming releases. The final alternate ending is similar and again has Mike dying in the fire, ending with Tony Shalhoub's character Sam Farrell reading Mike's manuscript of his experiences in the room before his office doors suddenly slam shut. Interestingly, none of the alternate endings match King's source material.
The reason for so many versions of the finale is due to director Mikael Håfström believing that King's intention was to leave the conclusion ambiguous, as well as test audiences reportedly finding the original ending too much of a "downer." Not really convinced that further versions helped much with that particular criticism.
Sadly, none of these endings do what Cusack would have liked, with each one allowing Enslin to leave the room one way or another. Would you like to have booked a return to room 1408? This comes to us courtesy of Collider.