Netflix recently struck gold with Extraction, as the Chris Hemsworth-led actioner dominated both the cultural conversation and the streaming service’s viewing charts when it was released, becoming their most-watched original movie ever. The adventures of Tyler Rake seem loaded with franchise potential, something Hemsworth seems completely on board with, and both sequels and prequels are an option moving forward.
Extraction has been widely praised for the bone-crunching set-pieces, with the extended twelve-minute sequence shot to look like one continuous take coming in for particular praise, and expectations have been set incredibly high for whatever director Sam Hargrave and the Russo brothers decide to come up with next.
However, had the original ending of the movie made it into the final cut, then the filmmakers would have been left with prequels as their only option. Extraction came to a deliberately ambiguous close, and wouldn’t confirm whether or not Rake had managed to survive his apparent demise during the climactic shootout, with Hargrave deciding that it should be left entirely up to the viewer to decide.
The director has since revealed though that the initial plan was to make it clear that their leading man had been fatally wounded and that Tyler had died at the end, which would have nixed any talk of follow-ups right away. The decision to change the final scene of the movie was reportedly made at a very late stage after both Netflix and test audiences indicated that they would have preferred something a little less grim.
Given how popular Extraction turned out to be, it looks to have been the correct decision because fans are more than ready to see what kind of scraps Tyler Rake will get into next, and the ambiguity of the ending means that Hargrave wasn’t forced to bow to studio pressure and tack on a formulaic happy ending just for the sake of it.