‘Training Day’ Was Supposed to Have a Completely Different Ending

Training Day came out years ago, but it’s been gaining steam again on Netflix, where it cracked the top ten list in early March. Released in 2001, the movie stars Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke as two Los Angeles Police Department officers working in the narcotics unit. As the film draws to a close, something tragic winds up happening. But the other Training Day ending featured a different outcome.

Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke
Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke in a scene from ‘Training Day’ | Warner Brothers/Getty Images

‘Training Day’ explained

The movie begins with officer Jake Hoyt (Hawke) getting ready for his first day on the task force. Paired with the older and more experienced cop Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington), Jake is eager and ready to soak up everything he can from his partner.

Alonzo has a policing style he says helps make the city better, hence his impressive arrest record. But as they spend the day together, cruising the streets of L.A. in his 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo and taking on random “assignments” along the way, it becomes more and more clear to Jake that his faith in his partner is misplaced.

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Toward the end of Training Day, he fully realizes how corrupt Alonzo is when Alonzo involves him in a plot to steal millions of dollars from a drug dealer. He intends to use those funds to settle a debt with Russians who demanded $1 million from him for murdering one of their men. However, those plans are interrupted when Jake confronts him and takes the money as evidence against him.

With time running out to pay the debt, Alonzo flees for the airport, but the Russians ambush him on the way, killing him in a hail of bullets.

The ‘Training Day’ alternate ending, revealed

In the original ending, Jake just left the money and went on his way, according to Mental Floss. However, that idea changed after Washington complained that it wasn’t “satisfying” enough.

“Like, I told the director I couldn’t justify him living in the worst way unless he died in the worst way; that the community turns their back on him, he’s slapped around, crawling around on the ground like a snake and basically, gets filled full of lead,” he recalled in an interview. “So we just made it a violent, awful ending for him.”

In the end, he was much happier with the conclusion that made it into the movie. “I just thought that’s what he deserved,” Washington added. “There was a bit of a cop-out the way the script was, and it smelled like they were looking to do a part two or something.”

Interestingly, a follow-up still happened. In 2017, Training Day was made into a show that picked up 15 years after the events in the movie and followed crooked Detective Frank Roarke (Bill Paxton). Unfortunately, though, as TVLine notes, it struggled to catch and maintain viewers’ interest. The show ultimately got canceled in 2017 following Paxton’s death.