John McNaughton, director of the salacious 1988 thriller Wild Things, opened up about the deleted sex scene between characters played by Matt Dillon and Kevin Bacon in celebration of the movie’s 25 year anniversary.
This isn’t the first time the cut scene has been brought into question. In 2005, Bacon told Total Film that the scene was “great” and suspected that the movie’s financiers cut it because they “didn’t like the idea of men making out.”
Dillon, on the other hand, was ready to bid adieu to the scene, saying, “I was relieved when they got rid of that scene,” the actor said. “Kevin seemed pretty attached to it, though!”
Now, McNaughton is setting things straight, claiming that the cut scene had nothing to do with the production scene, but rather was because an actor had objected to it.
In an interview with Yahoo!, McNaughton recalled the scene between the two actors, with Dillon playing the accused counselor and Bacon playing a detective.
He said, “In the original version of the scene, Matt walks into his bathroom to take a shower and there’s Kevin. They were supposed to look each other up and down and then wham — go at it.”
Unfortunately, the scene was cut on the day of filming because one of the actors didn’t want to perform the scene as planned. “I love surprises and I love stuff that I don’t see coming. But in that moment it was like ‘You win some, you lose some; we’re moving on,” McNaughton recalled.
Photo: Everett Collection
But McNaughton didn’t abandon hope altogether, instead he worked in a subtle scene during a flashback moment at the end of film which features the two characters meeting at a bar. “The next time you watch that scene, watch it closely, because [their relationship] is there. I always called it ‘acting twice’ with the cast, because what their characters were saying was never really what they were doing,” he said.
McNaughton also reflected on filming the makeout session between actors Neve Campbell and Denise Richards, as well as their threesome scene with Dillon. McNaughton said the actors had control over the amount of nudity included in the final cut.
The threesome scene earned its recognition by Decider’s Meghan O’Keefe, who ranked the top sexiest threesomes in television and movies. She wrote that Wild Things featured “the threesome that rocked Hollywood.”
The rated R movie includes another jaw dropping scene, which featured full-frontal nudity from Bacon, but McNaughton claimed the scene was accidental. The scene showed Dillon and Bacon having a run-in while showering. But, when Bacon appeared, Dillon was supposed to toss him a towel.
The director told Yahoo!, “We did multiple takes where you never saw any full frontal on Kevin, but around the eighth take, the towel thing didn’t work. Matt threw it, and Kevin missed so there he was in all his glory!” McNaughton was then pressured to use the take by his editor Elena Maganin who argued that the movie features “scene after scene of topless babes.”
Reflecting on current standards, McNaughton doubted that he could make the same film nowadays. He spoke about the current process of using intimacy coordinators, saying “if you get a good one, I’m sure it’s fine,” but still fears they could be “control freaks.”
The director added that “it’s impossible” to know if the threesome scene could be filmed today as it involved high school characters. “Maybe in 20 years, the pendulum will swing back again, but now it’s swung pretty far in the other direction,” he said.
Wild Things was followed by three direct-to-DVD sequels: Wild Things 2, Wild Things: Diamonds in the Rough and Wild Things: Foursome. The original movie premiered to high critical reception and grossed $67.2 million at the box office with a $20 million budget.