He named the “beady-eyed” producer responsible, David Kirkpatrick, and hinted that he was a specimen of the “lyingest, thievingest scumbags on Earth.”
Today Kirkpatrick responded.
“Alec Baldwin withdrew from the project, Patriot Games, over an issue of script approval: I wanted him to approve a script and he refused. We amicably parted ways. But if we could have been in a place of goodness that the Lord resides, we would have gotten beyond our own egos to a place where men of honor stand.”
As his response suggests, Kirkpatrick has in the years since become a heartfelt Christian. Most of his response is in fact a discourse on the relations of God and man.
As relates to Baldwin’s story, his position seems to be “We were both young and headstrong and didn’t trust each other.” But he doesn’t exactly deny Baldwin’s version of events, either.
And wait, there’s more! Here’s a 1991 report from Entertainment Weekly that basically confirms both their versions:
“As Baldwin was fighting for costly perks and making other demands… [studio head Brandon] Tartikoff was pulling the plug on another pricey movie, the period train mystery, Night Ride Down. Harrison Ford had been set to star in that one, and the sudden cancellation made him available. Paramount slipped him the Patriot script, knowing he wanted to do another action picture after this summer’s lukewarm weepie, Regarding Henry. Ford snapped it up. He was in and Baldwin was out.”
Sounds like it was pretty much all out in the open even then.
Entertainment Weekly had earlier that same year printed a remarkably harsh interview with Alec Baldwin after the failure of his comedy The Marrying Man. All Baldwin did in that interview was call Disney Studios “totally evil, greedy pigs” and call beloved playwright Neil Simon “about as deep as a bottle cap.”
Working his way through the popular icons, he then added a certain former leader of the free world:
”A Disney movie is cheap, and looks cheap,” Baldwin says. “A Disney movie is Pretty Woman, a movie about a hooker and a corporate raider — in the age of AIDS and the savings and loan crisis.” Reminded that Pretty Woman made close to $200 million, he is unshakable. “So what? Ronald Reagan was President. There are freak accidents.”
Ha! Baldwin’s got the gift of gab, that’s for sure. Whatever the truth, I still would like to have seen him as Jack Ryan in Patriot Games.
Maybe it’s not too late for everyone to bury the hatchet and have Baldwin play Ryan again in a new Red October sequel, with Kirkpatrick producing?