MacGruber celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and to be honest it is hard to believe that so much time has passed since so many throats were judiciously ripped. To commemorate this important milestone, Vanity Fair published an oral history of the 2010 comedy compiled from interviews with the cast and crew, including writer/director Jorma Taccone; stars Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Val Kilmer, and Maya Rudolph; producers Lorne Michaels and Seth Meyers; and even (indirectly) Christopher Nolan.
The article is a must-read for any MacGruber fan. In addition to fun facts about the origins of MacGruber himself (Taccone originally pitched the character as MacGuyver’s inept stepbrother and absolutely nobody at SNL liked the idea) to mega-director Nolan’s surprising adoration of the film (Taccone includes an appropriately bizarre “good luck” email he received from Nolan after inviting him to a read-through of the upcoming series for NBC’s Peacock), Forte and Taccone reveal that the original ending to the film was much more graphic and made good on a very specific promise MacGruber makes to arch-nemesis Dieter von Cunth (Kilmer).
Yes, in the original ending, MacGruber rips von Cunth’s dick off and shoves it in his mouth. Taccone explains:
He [Kilmer] was absolutely going to get it shoved in his mouth. It was a big argument between us and Val. I pitched it to him mercilessly, like, “Are you sure?” He was laughing the entire time I was pitching it to him. He said, “I just think it would be funnier if I was a lesser actor.” I said, “No, no. Actually, the better actor you are, the funnier it is.”
Forte elaborates on the effort they made to try and get Kilmer on board, only to ultimately have to compromise in the end:
I think in the back of all of our heads we thought, Let’s just get to know him [Kilmer]. Maybe he’ll change his mind. We wanted to fulfill the promise made throughout the entire movie. We’re three weeks in. We’re having a great time. Everyone is feeling like the movie is going well and we’re doing good stuff. We have become pretty close to him. We thought, We’ll just ask him again, maybe he’ll say that he’ll do it. But he said, “Oh, no, no way.”
In my opinion, the compromise ending is actually funnier, but it always admittedly felt odd that MacGruber repeatedly makes such a specifically gruesome threat and never makes good on it. The entire article is amazing and well worth your time, especially if you’re gearing up for a 10th anniversary rewatch. For more on MacGruber, Forte recently gave us an update about the series.