The director of Joseph Kosinski may not be a household name, but has joined Hollywood this summer with two new blockbusters: Top Gun: Maverick, who is currently playing in theaters, and Spiderhead, a hefty sci-fi adaptation of a George Saunders short story that has just been released on Netflix. Miles Teller plays Jeff, a guy kid who was incarcerated in a prison in exchange for taking part in scientific experiments conducted by Steve Abnesti (Chr
Saunders earned a reputation as a powerful, satirical short story writer who often used speculative fiction in his work in the 1990s and 2000s. His fourth collection, The Tenth of December, was published to widespread acceptance in 2013, and included the story Escape from Spiderhead, the film''s source. The story, which initially appeared in The New Yorker, is long and plot-heavy, and many of its plot twists and large chunks of its dialogue are directly replicated in the film. However
Read more below to learn more about Spiderhead''s and Escape from Spiderhead''s endings.
How does Spiderhead end?
Spiderhead revolves around experiments Abnesti is implementing in which the drug is surgically attached to the inmates'' backs. Abnesti often instructs Jeff to select between two women he has slept with, and later notices them having intercourse. Abnesti replies by deciding whether or not to use the drugs, but accepts the conclusions. The woman dies as a result of the violence.
During this storm, Jeff snoops in Abnesti''s notebook and realizes that he is the head of the business which conducted experiments rather than a middle manager. Jeff begins growing skeptical of the program and keeps an eye out for solutions to escape. Verlaine, Abnesti''s increasingly disillusioned assistant, has been convicted to produce a MobiPak. (Yes, Abnesti does have a MobiPak, which he uses recreationally.)
Abnesti begins a process of pharmacology, but admits that his experiments were intended to make users feel disgruntled enough to torture their loved ones with Darkenfloxx. If approved, Abnesti uses the same technique to do so.
Jeff and Rachel elude the compound via boat, and Abnesti tries to do the same via plane, but he crashes before he can get far enough. Verlaine is returning with the police to close the operation.
How is the short story from Saunders different from the film?
Spiderhead reveals Jeff and Rachel''s friendship, but Rachel doesn''t exist in the story, and also adds Abnesti to abuse of the chemicals he has created.
The short story, although unsettling, is more enjoyable than the film. For one, Saunders Jeff is a sympathetic but somewhat unhapless figure in the film, whereas Tellers Jeff is an old-fashioned blockbuster hero who saves him in the end. In Spiderhead, Jeff fatalizes another teenager in a fight by punching him with a brick in a moment of anger. Abnesti, meanwhile, is on a quest for a single obedience medication in Saunders'' tale.
The conclusion of the story is also diverted from the film. After one of his former sexual partners died while on Darkenfloxx, Jeff refuses to participate in an experiment in which the second partner will receive Darkenfloxx, although Abnesti and Verlaine have left the team to apologise for the situation unintentionally. For the time being, Jeff confesses to the drug.
Saunders'' narrative focuses on a simple moral choice: whether to inflict pain on another person or to suffer yourself. Its conclusion allows for Jeff to achieve its objectives in the darkest possible ways. In this way, the story expands to make it a spectacular, engaging blockbuster, but it loses track of the themes.