Alec Baldwin has lost roles to Harrison Ford more than a few times. There’s the time the then-hot Mr Baldwin lost the role of Dr. Richard Kimble to in “The Fugitive” to the carpenter-turned-actor, but more famously, most might recall that Ford took over the role of Jack Ryan from Baldwin after only one movie, 1990’s “The Hunt for Red October”.
The story, as far as the archives of the internet are concerned, is that Baldwin was simply busy – with a play – and couldn’t reprise the role for the sequel, “Patriot Games”. When it was clear it just wasn’t going to work out, Paramount Pictures went to guaranteed box-office champ Harrison to fill the spot. Ford would play the role in two films.
Apparently there’s more to the story though, and Baldwin touches upon it in his new book.
According to the “30 Rock” actor, “Hunt for Red October” director John McTiernan informed Baldwin of the news that he was being replaced in the sequel.
“John told me he spoke with Ford and asked if he was aware that Paramount was in active negotiation with me,” Baldwin writes. “Ford’s reply, according to John, was ’Fuck him.’”
Clearly hurt by the experience, Baldwin goes on to insult Ford himself. “I realized then that the movies really do enhance certain actors, making them seem like something they really aren’t at all. Ford, in person, is a little man, short, scrawny, and wiry, whose soft voice sounds as if it’s coming from behind a door.”
In a recent article, studio exec David Kirkpatrick said the only reason Baldwin wasn’t cast in “Patriot Games” is because he took too long to make his mind up as to whether or not he wanted to do it not.
“Fundamentally, the reason that Alec Baldwin and I ended our relationship over the character of the Jack Ryan franchise was an issue of trust. We did not trust one another to continue in the enterprise. The negotiations to continue as Jack Ryan had drawn out for almost a year and he was nervous over controls, as he was the man on camera and he had a right to be; yet, I had a responsibility, working for a publicly traded company to keep the franchise alive…
Alec Baldwin withdrew from the project, Patriot Games, over an issue of script approval: I wanted him to approve a script and he refused.”
Baldwin went on to have a role – albeit a memorable role – in “Glengarry Glen Ross” the year he would’ve been headlining “Patriot Games”, so it wasn’t all bad news for the actor. Ford reprised Ryan for “Clear and Present Danger” before running into issues with the franchise himself, ultimately seeing Ben Affleck inherit the role in the early noughties.
Baldwin’s memoir is called “Nevertheless“.