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The Hunt for Red October: Alec Baldwin’s ‘Beady-Eyed’ Producer Responds

Yesterday Alec Baldwin described how he was forced off the sequel to The Hunt for Red October in 1991.

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?

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  • Pat

    OK so they do indeed offer you the job, but with certain terms, and you think you’re calling their bluff by refusing, and then finding out they’re serious? Typical Alcoholic thinking.It’s they’re fault because they didn’t recognize my Godhood.

    • Heh. Well, I’m sure he pushed it pretty far… but then, surely that’s also par for the course in Hollywood? You’re the star of a smash-hit movie that’s about to become a lucrative series, and you try to grab what you can. The studio sure as heck is doing the same. Those kinds of negotiations aren’t rare, and nobody’s feelings get hurt if a star asks for a lot of perks.

      Was Baldwin supposed to be a heavy drinker back then?

      I think Baldwin was wronged and double-crossed, in the sense that he thought he had a deal — but that said, what he is angry about seems to basically be show business: the money boys found a hugely bankable star to put in their movie, and they calculated that having Ford’s name on the movie would boost their income more than losing Baldwin would hurt their income. Seems like they were right — even though I vastly preferred Baldwin’s younger and peppier Jack Ryan to Ford’s older and martyr-ish one.

      • Pat

        Yeah he was, and still is to this day. This was during the time period where he was just hooked up with Basinger. They were both total divas on the set of their movie. It was a perfect melding of two real a-holes. He was throwing chairs at people, threatening them.She was doing the Nobody can look at me thing. There’s a famous quote from a staffer that said something along the lines of “If I was homeless and starving, and they offered me a million dollars to work with those two, I’d refuse” so yeah, he was winning over the hearts and minds of everybody.

        • I do remember a story from ‘The Marrying Man’ where Kim Basinger said something like, “Whoever wrote this doesn’t know anything about comedy.” Which is pretty funny, the author being Neil Simon.

          Granted that Neil Simon by that point *was* pretty far past his prime. But I also have doubts about Kim Basinger being the world’s top judge of comedy, of course. I do remember having a giant movie star crush on her at the time, which absolutely affects my judgment.

          I guess I like Alec Baldwin’s acting and onscreen persona enough that I’m not willing to take his offscreen persona too seriously. I used to work in film and video, and while chair-throwing and fisticuffs are unusual, angry divas of all ages and genders are not unknown.

          • Pat

            Yes well they were into all sorts of nutty stuff together. I guess she made a habit of stating what she was going to do to him sexually right in front of the cast and crew in that movie. And do you remember they bought a town together? Well that financially devastated both of them, and that’s what all the barn burning arguments were over between them. People forget all the hi-jinks he’s been involved in.

          • Riiiiiight. I remember hearing about them buying a whole town, but I never really understood how you could buy a whole town.