Kevin Bacon Talks Guardians Holiday Special, MCU Induction

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Kevin Bacon at the 2019 Winter TCA Tour.

Image: Frederick M. Brown (Getty Images)

If there’s one thing you can count on the MCU to often provide, it’s often a callback. The recently released Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special offers maybe the greatest callback of the whole enterprise by bringing in Kevin Bacon as himself. You may recall that Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord is deeply enamored with the Friday the 13th and Footloose actor, and has made that well-known to his alien companions throughout the Guardians’ many appearances.

For Bacon himself, he told IGN that he genuinely had no clue he’d be name dropped in the 2014 Guardians film until he got the chance to see it. He called it a “very strange experience, but cool.” So when he was approached with the possibility of actually being in the MCU nearly a decade later, he jumped at the chance. “I didn’t really read the script. I just said, ‘Oh yeah, that sounds great.’”

The Guardians special was one of the first things Marvel planned to make for Disney+, but you might not have known that. Between director James Gunn’s firing (and rehiring) from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, his subsequent jump to DC, and then the pandemic, it’s taken time to get this project off the ground. Bacon acknowledged that it was “quite a few years” when he was pitched the idea, and back then when he initially signed on, he wasn’t fully sure if he’d actually be playing himself.

It was after Gunn gave him the script and the actor learned that he’d also be singing, that he was even more in on the project. “Gunn referenced all the tunes, so I immediately made myself a playlist just to feel the vibe of the whole thing and listen to it a lot,” Bacon said. The big musical highlight of the special is a rock-and-roll carol he does with the MCU’s version of the Old 97s, a sequence he called a joy to make. “I think it’s got a really nice combination of sweetness and sentimentality without being a corny take on Christmas. And it rocks, and I loved it.”

Talking about Gunn, Bacon described him as “a powerhouse…He’s just got a great voice and a great eye, and he’s super smart.” His experience with the director and the rest of the Guardians crew, he continued, was like an office Christmas party where “everybody had a blast, and most of all, me.”

You can watch Kevin Bacon in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney+, or listen to its soundtrack on the music platform of your choice.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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