James Gunn Scrapped Fight Between Villain and Kevin Bacon in Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

There is an expectation that all Marvel movies and TV shows should have some big action set pieces and a barnstorming finale. However, as She-Hulk’s meta ending pointed out, not everything needs to be big and elaborate. That seems to be true of the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, as James Gunn revealed that the special originally had a villain who ended up fighting Kevin Bacon, but in the end, the writer/director changed his mind.

All Marvel movies involve a big final act, and this has also been true of most MCU TV shows on Disney+. In the end, who doesn’t love a huge spectacular ending? However, for the Guardians Holiday Special, Gunn realized that it wasn’t as interesting as making the story about the characters without some imposed threat being shoehorned in. He told Variety:


“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. 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.”

How Does Kevin Bacon Make His MCU Debut?

Marvel Studios

Many actors have instantly made iconic impressions on the MCU over the last 14 years. When it comes to Kevin Bacon, he is playing himself, which brings a whole new level to his arrival. For the actor, it was a joy to be able to just do something fun and he certainly seemed to be as excited about it as anyone. He recently said:

“Listen, I love to do that kind of stuff. To me, movies are this giant playground. I get to play and a grown man gets to just goof around and have fun. I take the work very seriously, but in the case of something like ‘Guardians,’ you have to stop sometimes and go, ‘Oh, s- -t, this is really cool!’ I got a really, really fun gig.”

Kevin Bacon takes an unexpectedly central role in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, as he becomes the subject of Mantis and Drax’s mission to cheer up their down-in-the-dumps leader Star Lord over the festive period. While the special is clearly not one of the more serious entries in the MCU, it does act as a kind of coda to Phase 4 of the Marvel narrative, as it follows the Guardians from their brief appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder and bridges the gap to their third movie next summer.

The Holiday Special arrives on Disney+ this Friday, November 25.