They/Them: John Logan Says Friday the 13th Reference Came Before Kevin Bacon Casting

The upcoming Peacock original slasher movie They/Them (pronounced with the punctuation, so, They-Slash-Them) arrives this Friday and will try to make a splash in the horror subgenre. Though slasher movies arrived almost every week in the 1980s, they were all but extinct until recently after the revivals of Halloween, Scream, and the Chucky TV series have caused a resurgence. One exciting thing that the movie can make as a claim to fame is in bringing back Kevin Bacon to the fold. Bacon as fans may recall, got his start on the big screen by starring in the original Friday the 13th feature film. Coincidentally, there's some references to the Sean Cunningham slasher, but which came first?

Speaking in an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com, we asked writer/director if the Friday the 13th Easter egg was always there or if it was added after Bacon signed on to appear in the film. "That was always in the script," the Penny Dreadful creator revealed. "I tried to tip my hat wherever I could, but obviously having Kevin Bacon involved is like a dream come true because we are literally reaching back to the genesis of the form, and it's thrilling to have him come back into this world."

Kevin Bacon plays Owen Whistler in this slasher horror film set at an LGBTQIA+ conversion camp. Several queer and trans campers join Whistler for a week of programming intended to "help them find a new sense of freedom." As the camp's methods become increasingly more psychologically unsettling, the campers must work together to protect themselves. When a mysterious killer starts claiming victims, things get even more dangerous.

Logan also offered a tease for the killer in the film, known simply as Killer, which was also inspired by Friday the 13th in a way.

"First of all you look at every mask that has ever been designed for every slasher movie since the beginning of slasher movies and think find things you like things you respond to things you don't respond to," he revealed. "You know, I'm very fond of the Jason Vorhees hockey mask for all the obvious reasons because that to me is the foundational text of slasher movies. But for our slasher we wanted to do something more bespoke because we're in the woods. We wanted to feel very woodsy and also our killer has really two sides to their personality. So the mask reflects one side that's sort of calm and one side that's very sort of angry and aggressive and I worked really closely with Tony, Tony Gardner our brilliant mask designer and Tony just came up with some great studies for it."

The film also stars Anna Chlumsky (Inventing Anna, Veep), Theo Germaine (The Politician, Adam), Carrie Preston (Claws, Dr. Death). Quei Tann (How to Get Away with Murder, Dear White People), Austin Crute (Booksmart, Daybreak), Monique Kim (High Expectasians, Looks That Kill), Anna Lore (All American, Doom Patrol), Cooper Koch (Less Than Zero, A New York Christmas Wedding), and Darwin del Fabro (Dangerous Liaisons, Novo Mundo).

They/Them debuts on Peacock on August 5th.