Disney+ Tones Down The Violence On Falcon And The Winter Soldier, Then Tones It Up Again

Shortly after Netflix announced that its Marvel shows would be leaving the streaming service, Disney revealed that Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and the rest of the street-level heroes dubbed The Defenders would be setting up shop at Disney+. 

Along with these more mature Marvel Cinematic Universe shows, the House of Mouse introduced new parental controls for the app that allows users to set content rating restrictions and an optional PIN number for profiles. With these new precautions in place, parents could (in theory) keep younger viewers from watching content featuring extreme violence, adult themes, and whatever else their parents don't want them to see.

However, despite these latest features, it looks like there has still been some censorship going on at Disney+. And surprisingly, it wasn't on any of the recent additions from the darker side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But there seems to be more to this story than meets the eye.

The whole world is watching

The Direct recently pointed out that certain scenes from "Falcon and the Winter Soldier" were altered to make them less violent. Both alterations can be found in the third episode, which is titled "Power Broker." The first scene in question features Daniel Bruhl as Baron Helmut Zemo as he kills ex-HYDRA scientist Wilfred Nagel. Initially, blood from the kill shot is splattered on the ground and Nagel's eyes remained open. In the edited version, the blood is removed and his eyes are closed.

The second edited scene is more of a "blink and you'll miss it" moment, but when you're looking for it, it's hard to miss. The edit happens when the bounty hunters in Madripoor are chasing Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan's titular heroes through towers of shipping containers. To get one of their pursuers off their tails, Bucky throws a pipe at her. Originally, it goes through her shoulder and pins her to the container. But the edited version sees the pipe bounce off the bounty hunter and off screen.

So what's the deal with these edits? According to Entertainment Weekly, an alternate version of this episode was uploaded by mistake when the streamer was making adjustments in an attempt to correct a credit. Disney is currently working on making the correction on the original cut of the episode and hopes to remedy this situation by reuploading the version we all saw when the show premiere soon.

However, that doesn't explain why there's a cut of the episode with toned down violence in the first place. Rumors suggest that rather than a stealth edit, this was meant to be a test for more "family friendly" cuts of programming that would correspond with the parental controls on a profile. With more raunchy or violent projects such as "Deadpool 3" and "Blade" on the way from the House of Ideas, it makes sense that the company would want to have alternate cuts of films or TV shows for younger True Believers. The Merc With A Mouth even tested these waters by releasing a PG-13 cut of "Deadpool 2" to Blu-Ray and DVD in 2018. 

No matter what the actual intention of the edited "Falcon and the Winter Soldier" episode was, we'll be sure to keep you updated as new information becomes available.