I think I’m in agreement with many that American Sniper was a damn fine film and a considerable improvement on Clint Eastwood’s previous two or three directorial efforts, though even I am [happily] surprised at how well the ‘R’ rated picture has done at the box office. I felt that the finale was somewhat rushed, and now we know why. The film shows ex-navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle going off somewhere with a fellow veteran whom he is trying to help, after which a door closes. As per what really happened, the other man ended up shooting Kyle, but the film doesn’t show the incident, instead giving us on-screen text and footage of Kyle’s actual funeral.
However, it seems that the murder was actually in the original script. Cinemablend.com informs us that the New York Daily News recently interviewed American Sniper screenwriter Jason Hall on the red carpet for this past weekend’s Writer’s Guild Awards. During the conversation, the subject turned towards the idea of portraying Chris Kyle’s death on the big screen, and while the writer admitted that the screenplay originally included this hugely dramatic moment, the sequence was ultimately cut because of a request from Chris’s widow Taya Kyle to think about her children and how the movie would be seen in their eyes. Said Hall:
“I was very cognizant, having two kids of my own, that these kids weren’t going to remember much of their father – at four and six – and I didn’t want this movie to be the thing hanging over their heads for the rest of their lives, as the film that showed their father getting shot in the back of his head”.
“We talked about putting it in, I wrote it. We went around and around. We wrote it five different ways and talked about how we would shoot it. But In the end, I think we felt that this was a film about Chris’ life and not about his death…. We also wanted to be careful not to glorify the guy who did it”.
Sounds fair enough, I personally think that showing Kyle’s death would have made the ending more powerful, but the reasons for not doing so are certainly valid.