James Gunn says Kevin Bacon's X-Men: First Class role was not considered an obstacle to the actor starring in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for its many cameos, meta humor, and pop culture references, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which is set for release this week on Disney+, will go even further by combining those elements with a cameo from none other than Kevin Bacon. Bacon will star as himself in the special, paying off a joke from 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy and Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)'s many mentions of the actor as a childhood hero of his over the years.

Prior to starring as himself in the MCU, Bacon had a role in a different Marvel project - 2011's X-Men: First Class, in which he played the villain Sebastian Shaw. While speaking with Variety, Gunn confirmed that Bacon's MCU involvement has no bearing whatsoever on his X-Men: First Class role despite that character possibly being part of the larger Marvel multiverse, since Bacon coming on board to portray himself was what mattered most to the director. Gunn cited Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige's advice to focus on the present project rather than worrying about future complications as one of the reasons that he was not concerned about Bacon's X-Men: First Class character affecting his holiday special appearance. See what Gunn had to say below:

"No, we didnít [speak about Bacon's X-Men role]. 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 doesnít 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 doesnít really matter. Itís 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 wouldnít have worked as well."
Will MCU Recast The X-Men?

While Gunn's comments confirm that Bacon's X-Men: First Class role will not matter for The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, the lack of connection between the two properties could serve as another hint that the MCU will indeed recast the X-Men characters when they eventually appear in the franchise. Complicating this possibility is Hugh Jackman's return as Wolverine in Deadpool 3. Though Jackman may be playing a different version of the character than the one that appeared in the Fox films, or could show up in Deadpool 3 as the exact same character due to a potential plot involving the multiverse, the use of the same actor may indicate that the MCU will be looking to bring back more original X-Men stars down the line.

For fans of Fox's X-Men films, it would certainly be a treat to see some of those actors reprise their roles in the MCU. Additional evidence for this point is the fact that in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, one of the film's many cameos included Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Professor Charles Xavier after his key role in the X-Men film franchise. However, Disney+ series Loki proved that multiversal variants could take many forms, meaning that the MCU may look to recast some of the X-Men while keeping a few of the actors the same, or start from scratch with a new team altogether.

If the MCU were to take this approach, Bacon's villainous character could ostensibly be recast in the MCU while keeping some of the other characters the same, making his The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special appearance even less consequential to the MCU's continuity. Even if Bacon did return as Shaw, the villain's similar appearance to Bacon the actor could simply serve as an opening for a meta-joke in the film about his Hollywood star doppelganger. In addition, there's always the possibility that the MCU will adapt one of the many other X-Men storylines and not even include Shaw, which will not be known until more concrete information is given about the X-Men officially entering the MCU.