**SPOILERS AHEAD** One of the most tension filled, knots-in-your-stomach thrillers of the year, Denis Villeneuve‘s “Sicario” feels like every moment has been conceived and calibrated with deep forethought and executed with precision. But it’s surprising to learn that two of the film’s most crucial and brilliant sequences deviated from Taylor Sheridan‘s script.
Alternate Ending has done a great job of detailing how the film’s dinner table sequence featuring Benicio Del Toro‘s Alejandro and the character’s final showdown Emily Blunt‘s Kate Macer changed from the page. Villeneuve’s choices not only made the movie better, but are instructive as to how important it is to truly know the characters, story and motivation of a film inside out.
For the dinner scene, the original script had Alejandro sparing the lives of the children, as well as giving Fausto the option of choosing to die himself or to give up his wife instead. By altering the sequence so Alejandro kills the entire family, Villeneuve not only streamlines the scene, but doubles down on the vicious core of Del Toro’s character, which makes the threat he poses to Kate all the more palpable when they meet again soon after.
It’s this scene that perhaps had the biggest turnaround. In Sheridan’s script, Alejandro shoots Kate six times and breaks her nose during the tunnel sequence, and when he sees her again, he violates her, raising her shirt to examine the wounds, and he’s mostly brought back into the story to threaten her once more. But by giving Alejandro a document that Kate needs to sign, it makes her loss of innocence and her inability to take him down all the more wrenching. Not to mention that having Alejandro violate Kate seems rather jarring.
You can read the original script right here, and share your thoughts on the tweaks to “Sicario” below.