The fact that Kevin Bacon played a villain in X-Men: First Class had absolutely no bearing on his role as Kevin Bacon in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, according to writer/director James Gunn. Fans have long mused — mostly as a joke — about whether the Kevin Bacon jokes in Guardians of the Galaxy would “break reality” in some way if Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw were ever to turn up again in the Marvel multiverse. The answer, according to Gunn, is no. Speaking with Variety, the filmmaker said that there were no conversations about Sebastian Shaw, or about what impact this would have on Bacon’s chances of landing a more serious Marvel role down the line.
Bacon previously worked with Gunn on Super, his first superhero movie, which he made on a shoestring budget. Ever since Gunn name-dropped the star in Guardians of the Galaxy, the two have circled each other, each saying they would love to work together on the right Marvel project.
“One of the things that Kevin Feige has really impressed upon me in running the MCU is that what matters most is the project right in front of him,” Gunn said. “You may have a plan about how you want to do something down the road, but if it screws up the thing right in front of you, then it doesn’t work. The best thing for the holiday special is Kevin Bacon, and if that means that Kevin Bacon is a different character later on in the MCU, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not real. None of this is real. He was the perfect person to cast as Kevin Bacon. If we had cast John Schneider as Kevin Bacon, it wouldn’t have worked as well.”
…Okay, but now we kind of want to see the fake “deleted scene” where Bacon encounters John Schneider playing Kevin Bacon. Make it happen, Funny Or Die!
In the same interview, Gunn discussed the film’s structure, and the fact that he made a conscious decision not to have a villain — a first for Marvel.
“Before I wrote the screenplay, I wrote a treatment, and in the treatment there was this other threat. I just realized that I wasn’t interested in this other thing,” Gunn told the trade. “There was an action sequence at the end where Kevin Bacon jumped around and was performing action stunts, which would have been pretty cool, but the threat didn’t interest me at all. What interested me was the interaction between the characters. So I just cut that out and made it a story about people.”
The first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, along with the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, are available to stream on Disney+ now.