American Sniper original ending showing death of Chris Kyle cut at request of his widow

The scene was altered after Taya Kyle asked them to consider her children

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The Independent Culture

The original ending of American Sniper was changed at the request of Chris Kyle’s widow, meaning the Navy SEAL’s death at a Texas firing range was not shown as planned.

Filmmakers wanted to close the Oscar-nominated movie on the tragic scene, but Taya Kyle got in touch five days after he was killed and asked them to reconsider because of her young children.

“Taya called and said, ‘This is going to be how my children remember their father, so I want you to get it right’,” scriptwriter Jason Hall told the New York Daily News.

“In the end, I think we felt that this was a film about Chris’s life and not about his death. We also wanted to be careful not to glorify the guy who did it.”

(L-R) Eddie Ray Routh, Chris Kyle and Bradley Cooper playing Kyle

Hall added that he didn’t want American Sniper to be “the thing that was hanging over [the children’s] heads for the very rest of their lives as the film that showed their father getting shot”.

Five different endings were brainstormed by director Clint Eastwood and his team before they settled upon the final version, which shows Kyle arriving at the firing range with war veteran and murder suspect Eddie Ray Routh.

Bradley Cooper is up for Best Actor for his role as Kyle at the Academy Awards on Sunday, while the film itself is nominated for a further five Oscars, including Best Picture.

Reactions to American Sniper have proved mixed, with rave reviews sitting alongside fierce public debate. Celebrities including Seth Rogen and Michael Moore have voiced their disapproval of the film while others such as Kid Rock and Sarah Palin have defended it.

But Hall has insisted that “any time a movie gets a reaction, it’s a good reaction”, particularly when “soldiers see the movie and they come home and they start talking”. “You try and put your blood, sweat and tears on the page and try and live it and feel it every day,” he said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the work that Bradley and Clint did.”

Eddie Ray Routh, 27, is currently on trial in the US charged with the murder of the deadliest sniper in US military history in February 2013.