The Bikeriders’ Ending: Austin Butler And Jodie Comer Share Their Feelings About Their Characters’ Fates

 Jodie Comer and Austin Butler stand together looking somber in The Bikeriders.
Credit: Focus Features

Warning: SPOILERS for The Bikeriders’ ending are in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet, you’ve officially been warned.

Writer/director Jeff Nichols’ 2024 movie The Bikeriders tells a fictitious story inspired by actual people, and the biker club to which they belonged. Caught up in this drama are Jodie Comer and Austin Butler’s Kathy and Benny, a pair of lovers who find each other as the Vandals MC starts to make its way into some tumultuous times.

That history comes with an ending that’s pretty open ended, and both actors have shared some pretty interesting thoughts on the film’s finale. On top of why they love what Nichols’ story leaves the audience pondering, they also shared some early feedback they’ve gotten from other viewers. Considering the critical reaction to The Bikeriders, that makes this conclusion sound like a conversation starter waiting to happen.

Mike Faist interviews Jodie Comer with a microphone while sitting on a stoop in The Bikeriders.
Mike Faist interviews Jodie Comer with a microphone while sitting on a stoop in The Bikeriders.

What Happened At The End Of The Bikeriders?

After Johnny (Tom Hardy) is murdered by The Kid (Toby Wallace), the Vandals MC turns into something altogether different. While its original founder saw it as more of a brotherhood of bike enthusiasts, that all changes after The Kid takes over. With the group becoming more of the scary biker gang you'd have expected from The Bikeriders' trailer, Benny (Austin Butler) and Kathy (Jodie Comer) take that moment to leave the scene.

Closing out The Bikeriders is a moment where we see Kathy in the middle of an interview with Danny (Mike Faist), the journalist she’s been telling stories to throughout the film. While the absence of Benny during these talks seemed to suggest he might have died, we see the smiling bandit hanging out by their house’s garage.

However, the final moments of this drama see Kathy and Benny seeming to draw happiness from two different things. For Kathy, their escape from the Vandals MC for relative safety seems to be her source of joy. After all, she’s got Benny, and that’s all she wanted. Meanwhile, his smile seems to be accompanied by the sound of motorbikes.

That seems to imply that despite taking the man out of the club, the club hasn’t totally left him. That contrast right there is one I had to explore in conversation with Jodie Comer and Austin Butler.

Austin Butler smokes a cigarette while sitting on a couch next to Jodie Comer in The Bikeriders.
Austin Butler smokes a cigarette while sitting on a couch next to Jodie Comer in The Bikeriders.

Jodie Comer And Austin Butler’s Thoughts On The Bikeriders’ Ending

Having the honor to attend an early press day held by Focus Features to promote The Bikeriders, I was able to ask both co-stars about how they interpreted that ending. In the case of Ms. Comer, her knowledge of the real people featured in Danny Lyon’s book of the same name kind of gives her the edge. With that in mind, Jodie did share with CinemaBlend this thought on how she wants audiences to interpret the film:

I feel like my judgement’s a little clouded. But I think you speak so beautifully about how kind of elusive that moment is, because it’s like yes, he’s there, and she’s got what she wanted. But is he there, and is he really truly happy, you know? I think, I don’t know. I don’t want to project. I want people to make their own assumptions.

As for Austin Butler, he pretty much mirrored Jodie’s thoughts on The Bikeriders’ beautifully ambiguous finale. Though we do have plenty of audio from Kathy’s side of the story, all Austin had in reference to his character’s life was one photograph. But that certainly didn’t stop him from sharing his thoughts on how he wants audiences to walk out of the film. Here’s how Butler contributed to his co-stars thoughts with CinemaBlend:

I like that feeling after a movie, where you’re discussing it with each other. And you go, ‘Well, what do you think happened?’

Jeff Nichols presents his conclusion with enough ambiguity that, as I pointed out in The Bikeriders review, the movie somewhat embraces vibes over plot as a result. That choice left its imprint pretty early on though, as in continuing to talk about those final moments, both Comer and Butler had feedback to share from the experience that moment gave people.

Jodie Comer sits behind Austin Butler as they ride into the night in The Bikeriders.
Jodie Comer sits behind Austin Butler as they ride into the night in The Bikeriders.

The Feedback The Bikeriders Stars Shared About This Film’s Final Moments

Even as far back as last April, The Bikeriders’ press tour screenings saw Benny and Kathy’s uncertain fate catching on with audiences. Digging a little deeper into that final moment and its beautiful questions, both Austin Butler and Jodie Comer took the time to share how that moment struck others.

For Comer, what stuck with her was a more external reaction to the ending described above. But as you'll read below, Butler’s feedback was from personal experience:

Austin Butler: I was struck by the ending, when I first saw it. Because I’ve obviously worked on the entire film, and read the script, and knew what was happening. But the first time I saw it really hit me. The sort of poetic nature that Jeff told the story, it really surprised me.

Jodie Comer: Quite a few people have said that that moment has stuck with them, which I think is quite [cool.] You know, as we start doing these interviews, and you hear what people have taken away from it, it’s quite interesting that the ending is something that’s really kind of lingered with people.”

For a movie to be able to surprise one of its stars with the ending, even after having made the picture, is something quite remarkable. So clearly Jeff Nichols landed onto a story that really nailed the hearts and souls of people like Benny and Kathy, right down to the audience being invested in what may have happened after.

As both Jodie and Austin’s legacy-quel connections are still a going concern in their acting futures, that investment undoubtedly also comes from the fanbases that favor their work. So landing such a brilliantly balanced ending like The Bikeriders could see them riding off into the box office on some pretty strong praise.

We’ll see soon enough, as the Focus Features film is currently showing in theaters. But if you’ve already seen the picture and want to learn more about the film from its writer/director, then check out Jeff Nichols’ ReelBlend interview.