Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” is dominating many Oscar discussions as vote for the 87th Academy Awards are collected and counted in the homestretch to Sunday's telecast. The latest bit of information comes from “Sniper” screenwriter Jason Hall, who told the New York Daily News that the Best Picture nominee originally had a different ending until Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s widow, Taya, intervened.
“Five days after Chris was murdered, [Taya] called and said, ‘This [film] is going to be how my children remember their father, so I want you to get it right,’ ” Hall recalled. Chris Kyle was gunned down on a firing ranch in Texas in 2013 just as production was beginning on the movie based on his best-selling memoir. The film is up for six Oscars, including Best Adapted Screenplay.
Hall said the movie might have ended with Kyle’s death scene had Taya not made the request. The filmmakers considered five potential endings before settling on the one audiences see in the finished film. “In the end, I think we felt that this was a film about Chris’ life and not about his death,” Hall said. “We also wanted to be careful not to glorify the guy who [killed him].”
“American Sniper” is close to passing $400 million in worldwide box-office gross, making it the highest-earning Best Picture nominee among this year's field of eight. Eastwood, at a spry 83, is the oldest director with a Best Picture nomination. Over his career, he has been nominated for 11 Academy Awards and has won two.