"Uncle" Paulie Franchetti found Jackie Estacado in an orphanage where he was a bit of a troublemaker. Seeing potential in him, he took Jackie away from the orphanage and raised him to be his hitman. On the day of Jackie's 21st birthday, a collection job goes wrong, Jackie and his friends have to make an escape without the money, not warning Paulie in the process. Paulie thinks that Jackie has ripped him off, and sends him to a construction site on what seems to be a simple hit. Jackie soon finds out that Paulie's true intentions are to make an example of him by blowing him up. That same night Jackie's family heritage, The Darkness comes to life and saves Jackie from the bomb. Paulie loses power as Jackie dispatches his associates one by one.
Uncle Paulie executes Jackie's girlfriend in front of his eyes, in the orphanage they grew up together. Upon witnessing the execution Jackie commits suicide, but is brought back to life by The Darkness. Jackie slowly loses control to The Darkness by giving in to his hatred, and ultimately kills a cowering Paulie, but gets completely taken over in the process.
Always too ambitious for his own good, Paulie Franchetti rules with fear instead of respect, and when he wages war against Jackie he gains quite a lot of enemies in the process. His appearence and character are quite different from that in the comic book, but both ultimately end up betraying Jackie, and both give their lives by his hand.