Wild Things, a 1998 twisty, turny, sexy adult thriller, was supposed to feature a gay love scene between the movie’s male stars, Kevin Bacon and Matt Dillon. According to the director, the scene was never filmed because one of the stars didn’t want to do it.
Wild Things is a pretty great movie involving a long con. False rape allegations lead to a criminal trial which leads to a five million dollar settlement which leads to discovering Bacon and Dillon’s characters were in on it together. Wild Things is well-written, surprising, and famously includes a steamy sex scene between co-stars Neve Campbell and Denise Richards.
Well, now, with the 25th anniversary of the movie, we discover that there was one more twist in the screenplay that was supposed to reveal that the Bacon and Dillon characters are lovers:
“In the original version of the scene, Matt walks into his bathroom to take a shower and there’s Kevin,” [director John] McNaughton recalls. “They were supposed to look each other up and down and then wham — go at it.” But just before cameras rolled, the director says that one of the actors — he declines to specify which — made it clear he didn’t want to film the scene as written, and McNaughton had to let that particular twist go. “I love surprise, and I love stuff that I don’t see coming,” he says. “But in that moment it was like ‘You win some, you lose some; we’re moving on.'”
In the past, Bacon has said he loved the idea of the gay twist, but the money people opposed it.
Dillon has also discussed the scene and was honest about not wanting to do it: “I was relieved when they got rid of that scene,” he said. “Kevin seemed pretty attached to it, though!”
Within the context of a business decision, the scene might have hurt the box office. Within the context of the overall story, though, it would’ve been a great reveal that added one more layer to the long con.
I can’t fault Dillon for not wanting to do it. And let’s not forget that the Alphabet People would have hated it as one more movie where bad people are revealed as homosexuals. We can’t have that. I still remember the storm over Basic Instinct six years earlier because Sharon Stone’s character was a killer and a lesbian. Prior to that, there was all kinds of anger over the transsexual Buffalo Bill character in Silence of the Lambs.
Regardless, Wild Things is worth a watch and has cultural staying power for a good reason. Further, it was a pretty big hit at the time: $68 million in 1998 box office dollars, which would add up to about $125 million today.
If an adult thriller made that kind of money today, it would be seen as a miracle. Well, my guess is that if Hollywood were still capable of crafting an adult thriller as smart, sexy, and satisfying as Wild Things, it would still be a hit. The audience isn’t the problem. The problem is that present-day Hollywood is too woke, anti-art, and immature to make satisfying thrillers like Wild Things.
WARNING: Do not Google “Wild Things lesbian scene”. The links take you to some very dark places. Watch the movie instead. You won’t be disappointed.
WATCH the Wild Things trailer: