Viewed as a cult-hood classic, Juice’s alternative ending shows just how impactful mass incarceration can have on a young life. Released just in time for the film’s 25th anniversary, an alternative ending gives another layer to Bishop’s (played by Tupac Shakur) demise.
In the special DVD/Blue-ray release of the film, director Ernest R. Dickerson recounts the moment Q (played by Omar Epps) has his final rooftop melee with Bishop. After Q knocks Bishop off the roof’s edge, he struggles to hold on to Bishop’s hand, leading to the antagonist’s death. In the alternative ending, the outcome is the same but holds more weight. Bishop is the one who lets go of Q after hearing police sirens. Dickerson explains the character was terrified to live the same life his father did behind bars.
“He hears the cops coming and he stops struggling and he looks in Q’s eyes and he says ‘I’m not going to jail,'” said Dickerson. “He’d rather die than go to jail. It was just an attitude that showed that Bishop wasn’t a punk. He was a force that really had to be reckoned with in the right way.”
After testing both endings, audiences weren’t pleased to see Bishop in control of his fate. Reportedly facing threats by the studio, the team decided to the go with the latter. The DVD and Blue-ray release of the film features more commentary from Dickerson, as well as interviews with Epps, Khalil Kain and Jermaine Hopkins.
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