The 1998 thriller centered around two high school students, Suzie Toller and Kelly Van Ryan (Neve Campbell and Denise Richards, respectively), who, alongside their guidance counselor Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon), attempt to steal a multimillion-dollar settlement from Kelly's mom — all while crooked cop Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon) is hot on their trail. The end of the movie offers a doozy of a shocker: Ray and Sam have actually been in cahoots the entire time.
However, McNaughton recently revealed that Ray and Sam were originally going to be more than just partners in crime. The director said the pair were supposed to share a hot moment during the film's shower scene but that it got cut because one of the actors involved felt uncomfortable.
"In the original version of the scene, Matt walks into his bathroom to take a shower and there's Kevin," McNaughton told Yahoo Entertainment in a new story for the film's 25th anniversary. "They were supposed to look each other up and down and then wham — go at it."
Columbia Pictures Matt Dillon and Kevin Bacon in 'Wild Things'
In the end, McNaughton removed the sexual sparks from the scene after some pushback. "I love surprise, and I love stuff that I don't see coming," he said, refusing to specify which star did not want to shoot the homoerotic tryst. "But in that moment it was like, 'You win some, you lose some; we're moving on.'"
Both Bacon and Dillon have discussed the almost-romance between their characters over the years. In 2005, Bacon, who also served as a producer on Wild Things, told Total Film magazine that the moment was cut because investors didn't approve of him and Dillon getting it on.
"I thought it was great because the whole movie is about secrets coming out, right? As reveals go, that one was just huge," he said. "Unfortunately, the financiers didn't like the idea of men making out. They felt it went too far. They felt it wasn't right."
Dillon had a different take on it. "Man, I was relieved when they got rid of that scene," he told Total Film in 2005. "Kevin seemed pretty attached to it, though!" He also described the duo's relationship as "one twist too many, man, one twist too many."
While speaking with Yahoo Entertainment, McNaughton said viewers can still catch a glimpse of Sam and Ray's chemistry when Dillon's character meets Bacon's at a bar in the film's end-credits scene.
"Neve preps him, and then Matt goes inside and sits next to Kevin and says, 'Hey, could I buy you a drink?' The next time you watch that scene, watch it closely, because [their relationship] is there," he said. "I always called it 'acting twice' with the cast, because what their characters were saying was never really what they were doing."
EW's Chris Nashawaty praised Wild Things for its constant twists and turns — and that end-credits scene — while commemorating the film's 20th anniversary in 2018, calling it "fantastically naughty fun."
He added, "What set Wild Things apart from the usual trench-coat fodder, however, was just how clever its narrative surprises and switchbacks are, including a stinger post-credits sequence that snapped together all of the missing narrative puzzle pieces in this debauched threesome's serpentine scam."
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