As deleted scenes reveal, Split lives up to its title. M. Night Shyamalan’s return-to-form hit about a killer (James McAvoy) with two dozen personalities was originally a few films in one. In term of running time, it’s actually the director’s longest film in his career, at three minutes shy of two hours. But Shyamalan’s original director’s cut ran a whopping three hours.
A large chunk of the scenes that were deleted concerned Betty Buckley’s Dr. Fletcher and her next-door neighbor, who’s a handsome neuro-physician named Professor Shaw, who she asks for advice about Dissociative Identity Disorder. Dr. Fletcher was the therapist of the lead antagonist and these scenes were scripted to give more background into his condition. As Shyamalan explains in his introduction to this cutting-room-floor clip (above), the scene took too much attention away from his main character.
But, of course, this scene is even more notable for the actor playing Dr. Fletcher’s neighbor. When Shyamalan cast him, Sterling K. Brown had appeared in a respectable number of small movie, TV, and stage roles — but was next-to-unknown. All that changed in early 2016 when Brown starred as attorney Chris Darden in FX’s magnificent The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. That role earned the actor an Emmy Award (and a standing ovation to go with it), not to mention a regular cast part on NBC’s juggernaut This Is Us and the upcoming movies Marshall, The Predator, and Black Panther.
So check out this scene featuring Brown. It’s likely the last time you’ll see Brown in the scrap pile of any movie. Split comes out on Blu-ray on April 18.