Kevin Spacey Didn’t Want to Get Credited in Brad Pitt’s Se7en in the Beginning of the Movie For a Genius Reason

Kevin Spacey made way for one of the biggest surprises in Se7en.

Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt in Seven


  • David Fincher's Se7en is considered one of the best thriller movies with a star-studded cast and a gritty and thrilling plot.
  • Kevin Spacey formulated a genius plan when he kept his name hidden from the opening credits and marketing to surprise the audience.
  • Brad Pitt also had a major contribution to the film as he did not let the makers change the disturbing ending of Se7en.
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David Fincher’s star-studded crime thriller Se7en is one of the best in the genre. The film featuring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman in the lead, starred Kevin Spacey as a serial killer executing murders across the city based on the seven deadly sins. However, when the film was released, Spacey decided to be absent from the marketing campaign and the opening credits due to a genius reason.

Kevin Spacey did not want his name in the opening credits of Se7en
Kevin Spacey in Se7en

Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt headlined Se7en as an almost-retired detective and his young partner investigating the brutal murders by the serial killer. The film can be easily credited as a horror piece due to the horrific murders that are shown. But what made it more popular for the fans was the shock to find out who the killer was. Spacey planned to make it play out that way.

Kevin Spacey wanted the audience to emerge in Se7en‘s mystery

Kevin Spacey portrayed the role of serial killer John Doe in the film. Every thriller movie tries to throw some crazy unpredictable twist at its audience. Spacey thought of taking that to one level up by hiding even the off-screen identity of the serial killer.


The L.A. Confidential actor’s plan was genius as the audience was thrilled to find out the two-time Oscar winner was the serial killer all along. However, it is not the only film where a major name is not credited in a project. Earlier it also happened with actors like Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder, Gary Oldman in Hannibal, and Edward Norton in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Kevin Spacey wanted the audience to get a surprise to watch him as the primary villain in Se7en
Brad Pitt as David Mills in Se7en‘s ending

According to IMDb‘s Trivia facts, the producers wanted Kevin Spacey to receive top billing at the start of the movie before the actor insisted to keep his name hidden from the opening credits:

“The producers intended that Kevin Spacey should receive top billing at the start of the movie, but he insisted that his name not appear in the opening credits, so as to surprise the audience with the identity of the killer.”

The producers decided to compensate for it by crediting the presently 64-year-old actor twice in the closing credits- “once before the credits start rolling, and once in the rolling credits in order of appearance.” It is also to be noted that, unlike the standard closing credits which roll up, Se7en‘s credits rolled down.


Brad Pitt fought hard to ensure that Se7en‘s ending does not change midway

Brad Pitt did not want to change the ending of Se7en
Brad Pitt in Se7en 

Se7en presents to us a shocking and disastrous ending with the revelation that one of his last two victims was Gwyneth Paltrow’s Tracy, the on-screen pregnant wife of Brad Pitt‘s David Mills. Unlike the other brutal murders by John Doe, this one was not left to be watched by the audience. The corpse (technically a head) was brought to the detectives by the killer himself.

However, Tracy’s severed head is never shown on-screen. We could sense that Spacey’s killer was not lying when he confidently spoke the horrific truth by the reaction of Morgan Freeman’s William Somerset when he opened the box. Brad Pitt revealed to Entertainment Weekly that he made sure the ending does not change by even mentioning in his contract that the head must stay in the box.

“With Se7en, I said, ‘I will do it on one condition — the head stays in the box. Put in the contract that the head stays in the box.'”

The Fight Club star was not wrong when he predicted that the impact would be massive if the audience was not shown the actual horror. It makes up for a disturbing end as we realize Mills slowly loses his sanity and shoots Doe after the revelation. According to Pitt, that was also in his contract. He wanted Mills to shoot the killer in the end.


It cannot be denied that these intricate details turned Se7en into one of the greatest thriller works ever. Its gritty and graphic nature can even make it a significant horror feature.

Se7en can be rented on Apple TV+. 


Written by Subham Mandal

Articles Published: 1208

Subham Mandal is currently working as a content writer for FandomWire with an ardent interest in the world of pop culture. He has written more than 1000 articles on different spheres of modern pop culture and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He’s also an experienced student journalist having demonstrated work experience with the Times of India. He aspires to be a column writer in the future.