Val Kilmer Had To Pump The Brakes On A Particularly Gruesome MacGruber Stunt

Director Jorma Taccone's "MacGruber" was always destined to become a cult hit. The 2010 action-comedy movie is based on a recurring "Saturday Night Live" sketch in which Will Forte plays special ops agent MacGruber, the son of expert problem-solver Angus MacGyver from the popular 1980s TV show "MacGyver." Far from a chip off the old block, MacGruber is quite incompetent at his job and never fails to blow himself up while trying to disarm deadly explosives.

Taking things a step further, the "MacGruber" movie is a no-holds-barred satire of macho retro action film cliché. MacGruber himself (once again played by Forte, who also co-wrote the script) is depicted in the movie as a mullet-ed, rip their throat out first, ask questions later type with a dark backstory whose fiancée was killed by his arch-enemy, Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer). Of course, in one of the film's many NSFW exchanges, MacGruber reveals his tragic past is, er, much less derivative than it sounds.

With the freedom afforded by an R-rating, Forte, Taccone, and their co-writer John Solomon don't hold back when it comes to lewdly over-the-top gags either, from MacGruber having sex with the ghost of his fiancée in a graveyard to the rather peculiar de facto trick he uses to distract his adversaries. There was, however, one joke that Kilmer drew the line at — one that involved MacGruber tearing off a very different part of Cunth's anatomy than his throat.

'Let me stop you right there'

Over the course of the movie, MacGruber constantly threatens to take his revenge against Cunth, promising him, "I'm gonna rip your d*** off and shove it in your mouth." In an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment to mark the film's 10-year anniversary in 2020, Taccone revealed the original plan was, in fact, to pay off this running joke just the way MacGruber promised, at least until Kilmer shot the idea down:

"We wanted to shove the d*** into [Kilmer's] mouth. We pitched it so many times. I tried to tell him, 'It'll be beautifully shot. The dick's gonna come off, it's gonna go up [in the air] and the sun will be behind it, it's gonna be a silhouette, like really beautifully shot, and then it'll go into your mouth.' He's like, 'Let me stop you right there.'"

Despite Kilmer's refusal to sign off on this particularly gruesome gag, his evil-doing terrorist still meets his maker in a manner befitting the rest of the film (which is very knowing in the way it uses extreme humor to send up displays of machismo in action cinema). "MacGruber" itself, on the other hand, failed to make much of an impression at first, bombing at the box office and earning mixed reviews. In time, though, it found a cult fan base that was firmly on its wavelength, so much so it convinced Peacock to release a streaming series follow-up in 2021.

It's only too bad the "MacGruber" show wasn't able to snag the movie's super-fan, Christopher Nolan, as a director. One can only imagine how he might've handled MacGruber's predilection for tearing body parts off his enemies.