Brad Pitt has had a hell of a film career, no one can argue that. After making women swoon as a shirtless thief in Thelma & Louise, he offered a glimpse of his scary side in Kalifornia and then became the world’s hottest vampire when Robert Pattinson was still learning his multiplication tables. Yet it wasn’t until 1995’s serial-killer thriller Seven (or Se7en, as the cool kids write it) that Pitt established himself as one of the greatest actors of his generation as Detective David Mills, an optimistic hero who unravels in astonishing fashion in an impossible-to-forget final scene. What’s more, it’s this role that won him the coveted title of Most Desirable Male at the 1996 MTV Movie Awards, so take that, Val Kilmer in Batman Forever.
Twenty years later, the final scene in Seven remains just as chilling, from Morgan Freeman’s quivering lip to Pitt screaming, “What’s in the box?!?!” and “Tell me she’s all right!” to Kevin Spacey calmly telling him, “Become wrath.” Part of the genius of Seven was that we never got, or had, to see what was in the box. Viewers never had to know more than what Freeman’s Somerset was willing to tell us: “There’s blood.”
However, if the studios and producers had their ways, Somerset would have never stood there helpless as Mills unloaded his clip into John Doe. When he wrote Seven, Andrew Kevin Walker worked at a Tower Records in New York for three years, and served as a PA on films like Blood Rush, “which was about murders in a fraternity house.” He vowed to write his way out of that record store, and when Seven finally sold, he had enough money to move to Los Angeles. And while Walker never thought that his movie would be made, his script eventually made its way to director David Fincher. Fortunately for all of us, Fincher accidentally received Walker’s original script instead of the copy with a rewritten ending, and from there, Gwyneth Paltrow’s eventual decapitation had its strongest supporter.