Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for I Saw the TV Glow.


  • An alternate ending to
    I Saw the TV Glow
    was filmed, but director Jane Schoenbrun felt it would be “unearned” for lead character Owen’s journey.
  • A potential sequel could explore Owen’s acceptance of his identity, Maddy’s fate, and the continuation of the queer allegory from the original.
  • Schoenbrun hints at a sequel in the same world with a different perspective, leaving room for more captivating storytelling ahead.

Jane Schoenbrun, director and writer of A24’s new horror movie I Saw the TV Glow, shares details about an alternate ending that was filmed, along with a potential sequel. The story of the acclaimed I Saw the TV Glow follows teenagers Owen (Justice Smith) and Maddy (Brigette Lundy-Paine), who bond over a 1990s television series called The Pink Opaque. When The Pink Opaque is cancelled, the lines between reality and the fictional television series become increasingly blurred, even years after its cancellation.

In an interview with USA Today, Schoenbrun discusses an alternate ending filmed for Owen and hints at a sequel continuing his journey. While Owen’s dialogue in the arcade would’ve remained unchanged, his actions after opening up his chest and finding TV static inside would’ve been a different conclusion for Smith’s emotional I Saw the TV Glow performance. The ending Schoenbrun went with has also sparked ideas about what a sequel might explore for Owen and Maddy. Read Schoenbrun’s comments below:

The script always ended with “I’m sorry.” There was a really cool laser-tag arena in the arcade, and we did this scene of Justice running through it. But the catharsis never felt right; it felt unearned. Owen is just at a point when he’s ready to start thinking about the hard thing, not make it through the hard thing.

I’ve been thinking about it for quite a while. I always ask myself, “Where do the characters go? Is there anywhere else after this?” Sometimes there’s not an answer that deserves further exploration, but I do think there is something about this particular movie that needs a yang to its yin. I don’t think it’s something people will be expecting, but it will be something that’s very much in the same world, from the other side of a looking glass. (I’d want to make it) in a few years, not 25 years, and only if everyone else wants to do it, too. I have quietly talked to Justice and Brigette about it, so there is definitely another side of the prism I’d like to glance through.

What Would I Saw The TV Glow’s Sequel Be About?

I Saw The TV Glow Leaves Room For Another Story

I Saw the TV Glow‘s alternate ending would’ve been a more hopeful note to end on, but as Schoenbrun indicates, it would’ve been “unearned.” A sequel could be about Owen “earning” a more hopeful ending. After spending much of the film running and hiding from who he really is, the image of opening up his chest and seeing the TV static inside is one of the first signs of him confronting his identity. This makes it all the more tragic, yet fitting, that this revelation is followed by apologizing to the uncaring people around him.

A sequel could see Owen coming to terms with his identity and that it does not need to fit with the heteronormative world around him, continuing I Saw the TV Glow‘s queer allegory. This would make an ending of exhilarating running or something akin to it feel more earned. As for Maddy, Owen says he never saw her again after running away from her, but the surreal nature of the story could easily find a way around that, with Owen perhaps now accepting Maddy’s offer during their reunion.

There is more to explore in Maddy’s story, as her fate is left ambiguous after showing what happened to Owen twenty years later. More could be revealed about what happened following Maddy’s disappearance, and before she briefly reunited with Owen in 2006, as her experiences during this time are described but not shown. The potential for a hopeful ending that feels earned and exploring more of Owen and Maddy’s journeys through Schoenbrun’s captivating direction and writing is enticing. If a sequel doesn’t happen, I Saw the TV Glow still works quite well as a standalone story among A24’s best movies.

I Saw the TV Glow
is playing in theaters.

Source: USA Today

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