The film’s subject was shot and killed at a Texas gun range, which the team behind the movie chose not to show on the request of Kyle’s grieving widow.
Oscar-nominated screenwriter, Jason Hall told the New York Daily News that Taya Kyle reached out to Eastwood, Bradley Cooper and others not to show her husband’s final moments. “Five days after Chris was murdered, [Taya] called and said, ‘This is going to be how my children remember their father, so I want you to get it right,’” said Hall.
American Sniper, which was named the highest grossing war movie of all time, was originally going to conclude with Kyle’s untimely death. The team brainstormed five alternative endings, eventually agreeing on the final cut which shows Bradley Cooper’s Kyle head off to a gun range with the man who allegedly murdered him.
“In the end, I think we felt that this was a film about Chris’s life and not about his death,” explained Hall. “We also wanted to be careful not to glorify the guy who did it.”
Kyle’s two children also played an important part when considering their mother’s request. “I didn’t want it to be the thing that was hanging over their heads for the very rest of their lives as the film that showed their father getting shot,” he added.
The film has been shrouded in controversy since its release over the depiction of Chris Kyle, which has been criticised by the likes of Michael Moore and Seth Rogen. It’s six Oscar-nominations were met with equal adversity with many feeling the film was wrongly represented over Martin Luther King biopic Selma. Not that any of that has deterred audiences from flocking to see the movie. Last weekend the film surpassed the $300 million in the US alone and has taken a further $92 million overseas.
27-year-old US Marine Eddie Ray Routh currently stands accused of murdering Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield in 2013. The troops are thought to have taken Routh to the gun range to help his suspected post-traumatic stress disorder.