James Gunn Addresses X-Men Conflicts With Kevin Bacon’s MCU Character

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Kevin Bacon, Guardians of the Galaxy

While Kevin Bacon is about to make his MCU debut in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, director James Gunn recently addressed confusion regarding one of Bacon's past roles in the X-Men franchise.

Gunn's unique Disney+ special will bring the Guardians into their own fun Christmas story, which is already receiving rave reviews from critics ahead of its late November debut. This will introduce fans to the MCU's take on Kevin Bacon, with the legendary actor playing a fictionalized version of himself as the intergalactic misfits head to Earth to make him a Christmas present.

Bacon's appearance in this special is also causing a bit of confusion after the actor played the villainous Sebastian Shaw in 2011's X-Men: First Class. While the Fox movies aren't necessarily canon with the MCU yet, fans are expecting that this is close to changing with movies like Deadpool 3 already on the way.

Now, as the Holiday Special looks to give Bacon his second Marvel role, James Gunn has addressed that very topic in a new interview.

James Gunn on Kevin Bacon's MCU Canon Status

Kevin Bacon
Marvel Studios

Speaking with Variety, MCU director James Gunn addressed Kevin Bacon's place in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special after the actor previously appeared as the main villain in 2011's X-Men: First Class.

Gunn explained that this was never a topic of discussion with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who told Gunn that "what matters most is the project right in front of him." They agreed that it was best to have Kevin Bacon play himself in the Holiday Special and that "it wouldn't have worked as well" with somebody else:

"No, we didn’t. 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. 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."

Sebastian Shaw, Kevin Bacon, X-Men: First Class

Bacon himself also spoke about that dichotomy in a precious interview with Inverse, teasing how he still has a chance to do more with Marvel due to the existence of the Multiverse:

“I was in one side of the Marvel Universe. Do I still have an opportunity to get into the other side? It’s a multiverse, right? I love that stuff.”

In the same interview with Variety, Gunn actually revealed that Bacon isn't a big fan of Christmas in real life, making it hilarious to see him be so into the holiday season in the Guardians' special. But thankfully, Gunn confirmed how professional and humble the actor is, praising him for his kind nature:

"Kevin doesn’t like Christmas. That part was hilarious to me. I have Kevin showing up on set in what is supposed to be his house, and it’s filled with all these enormous inflatables. It looks like Santa Claus vomited all over the Bacon house, which looks nothing like Kevin Bacon’s house in any way. It’s so L.A.-looking, which is just not Kevin. But Kevin is this super nice guy. He’s so talented, so professional, so egoless and just a really kind person. That part of the character is just like him."

No Issues with Kevin Bacon's Past Marvel Role

This quote confirms that Gunn's main focus regarding Kevin Bacon was bringing him into this Holiday Special the best way that he could. To him, it didn't matter that the actor in question looked suspiciously like Sebastian Shaw, especially since that story happens in a different part of the Multiverse away from Earth-616.

This will be far from the last time the MCU has to deal with an issue like this now that the X-Men and Fantastic Four are on their way into the Marvel Studios story, especially with actors that have been involved in both. Many fans are still waiting to find out whether Josh Brolin's portrayals of both Thanos and Cable will cause any problems, although Kevin Bacon's inclusion seems to be a little more cut-and-dry.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will begin streaming on Disney+ on Friday, November 25

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.