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Alec Baldwin


  1. Joe Polis, The Thing, 1981.   For his unwanted re-hash of the (so-so) 1950 original, director John Carpenter looked over Baldwin for Fuchs…
  2. David Clennon, The Thing, 1981.   … and also for Palmer. Buty Clennon pinched that when given Benninbs tro play and asking to be Pal mer - “much more intereting and… fun!”
  3. John Laughlin, Crimes of Passion, 1984.   So, OK, he made the appalling Marrying Man, 1991, but at least Baldwin passed on twaddle. Jeff Bridges and Patrick Swayze were also seen for the square Bobby Grady getting love and sex lessons from Kathleen Turner’s part-time hooker in Ken Russell’s most outlandish film - although the reason could be the mass of cuts made to get an R and not an X rating. Roger Ebert said that. And this: “You know you're in trouble in a sex movie when you spend more time thinking about the parts they left out than the parts they put in.”
  4. Mel Gibson, Lethal Weapon, 1986.      In all, 39 possibilities for the off-kilter, ’Nam vet cop Martin Riggs - not as mentally-deranged as in early drafts (he used a rocket launcher on one guy!) Some ideas were inevitable: Alec Baldwin, Michael Biehn (shooting Aliens), Jeff Bridges, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Al Pacino, Sean Penn, William Petersen, Dennis Quaid, Christopher Reeve, Kurt Russell, Charlie Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Bruce Willis. Some were inspired:  Bryan Brown, Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum (he inherited Gibson’s role in The Fly), William Hurt (too dark for Warner Bros), Michael Keaton, Michael Madsen, Liam Neeson, Eric Roberts. Some were insipid: Jim Belushi, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline, Stephen Lang, Michael Nouri (he joined another cop duo in The Hidden), Patrick Swayze. Plus TV cops  Don Johnson, Tom Selleck… three foreign LA cops: Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dutch Rutger Hauer and French Christophe(r) Lambert. And the inevitable (Aussie) outsider Richard Norton.
  5. Roddy Piper, They Live, 1987The pitch was fine: Drifter finds some sunglasses that let him to see that aliens have taken over the Earth. And, apparently, the film.  Lousy! Which is probably why 18 other big guns, said nadato being Nada: Baldwin, Michael Biehn, Jeff Bridges, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Christophe(r) Lambert, Dolph Lundgren, Bill Paxton, Ron Perlman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Swayze, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis (plus three mere pistols: Brian Bosworth, Bruce Campbell, Stephen Lang). And the less said about Russell’s wrestler replacement, the better.“Just John Carpenter as usual,” said the Washington Post, “trying to dig deep with a toy shovel.”
  6. Harrison Ford, Working Girl, 1988.     Suggesting it to Ford for the sixth time in two years, his manager, Patricia McQueeney, finally got an OK on  the romantic comedy the night before producer Larry Mark was to offer it to the #1 Baldwin bro. He  was compensated  with the smaller role of Melanie Griffith's fella.
  7. Kurt Russell, Tequila Sunrise, 1988.  Producer Thom Mount recalled that Baldwin had been first choice for LA cop Nick Frescia. He was so keen, he auditioned a second time. Fine, but Mount and Chinatown scenarist Robert Towne changed directions and got Russell to base Frescia on another contender for the role - Pat Riley, coach of the LA Lakers basketball team. “Riley’s look was right… arrogantly confident but not offensive,” said Russell. So he used it again as Fast and Furious 7 and 8’s Mr Nobody in 2014 and 2016.
  8. Michael Keaton, Batman, 1988.
  9. Adam Baldwin, Next of Kin, 1989.   Baldwin (no kin to Adam), Robert De Niro, Michael Keaton, Ray Liotta, John Malkovich, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Ron Perlman, Tim Robbins were seen for mobster Joey Rossellini in the hillbillies v the Mafia re-run of the same UK director John Irvin’s tons better Raw Deal, 1985.
  10. Adam Coleman Howard, Slaves of New  York, 1989.     Attended a crowded reading session with director James Ivory.

  11. Brad Johnson, Always, 1989.     Steven Spielberg's next choice after failing to Cruise with Tom in the pointless re-make of  an old Spencer Tracy movie, A Guy Named Joe, 1943.
  12. Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society, 1989.     The actor that director Oliver Stone calls “the working-class Cary Grant” was first favourite for teacher John Keating. As directors changed from Jeff Kanew to Peter Weir - Baldwin, Mel Gibson, Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray and Mickey Rourke backed off. Williams’ co-star, Ethan Hawke, called the film: One Flew Over the Robin's Nest… with Wlliams as Jack Nicholson, Norman Lloyd as Nurse Ratched and Robert Sean Leonard as Brad Dourif.
  13. Richard Gere, Internal Affairs, 1989.    UK director Mike Figgis said Paramount wanted Mel Gibson or Kurt Russell (big hits in ’88’s Tequila Sunrise) as the badass cop-cum-hit man. “If we’d hired a movie star to play Peck,” noted producer Frank Mancuso Jr, “we might not have been able to so successfully explore the darkness of the character.” Some 19 other stars, Baldwin, Tom Berenger, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Ed Harris, William Hurt, Don Johnson, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Christopher Reeve, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta - and three outsiders Richard Dean Anderson, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Ron Silver - all passed Peck to Gere for a double whammy comeback with Pretty Woman. “I’ve never been away,” snapped Gere. Oh, but he had. Almost to Palookaville.
  14. Patrick Cassidy, Longtime Companion, 1990.    With colleagues running scared, due to the low money and high risk “mistaken for sick” image, Baldwin  was first to sign for the AIDS drama - until asked to substitute  Harrison Ford in The Hunt For Red October.  He made up for it by repeating his stage role in the same writer's Prelude To A Kiss.
  15. Fred Ward, Henry and June, 1990.     Film was delayed five weeks for him.  “I like to be naked  in movies. I've a reputation to uphold.”  He still pulled out - rehearsal problems plus exhaustion from hunting Red October.  Took a break, apart from a ghost in Woody Allen's Alice, as writer-director Philip Kaufman went back to his originally tied-up choice
  16. Tim Robbins, Jacob's Ladder, 1990.     Good decision. The movie  never really worked.  Nor did the other bad choices he did make - “to get some short-end money… I did The Marrying Man, that bombed. I did Prelude To A Kiss, that bombed. I did Malice, that might have made a couple of nickels. I made The Shadow, that bombed. I did Heaven’s Prisoners, that bombed...”
  17. Jim Belushi, Curly Sue, 1990.    “What I thought would be this cute, sweet little movie experience ended up going on for something like five months,” reported Kelly Lynch. “So much money was spent. It was insane! But a great experience. It was originally going to be me, Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey, which would've been a whole different situation. [They left for stage dates].  Those were two guys I knew really well, but I'd never met Jimmy [Belushi] before, and then he and [director John Hughes] didn't get along. I kinda felt like a mom dealing wredited]. ith two 12-year-old boys. They, uh, definitely weren't the best of friends.“   [Quotes va IMDb; no other soruce credited].
  18. Patrick Swayze, Ghost, 1990.     Me, a ghost? Get outa here.
  19. Brad Pitt, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
  20. Andy Garcia, The Godfather: Part III 1991.

  21. Kevin Costner, JFK, 1991.
  22. Gary Oldman, JFK, 1991.
  23. Stuart Wilson, Lethal Weapon 3, 1991. Not only a Brit (like the best villains) but born in   the finestg UK county of Surrey, Wilson stole the villain, crooked ex-cop Jack Travis from some powerful A-Listers: Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman Jack Nicholson. Plus four candidates for Mel Gibson’s titular cop in the first of the franchise quartet: Baldwin, Michael Keaton, Al Pacino, John Travolta.
  24. Gary Oldman, Bram Stoker's Dracula, 1992.   Baldwin joined the Drac auditions, mainly at Francis Coppola’s Nappa Valley estate. Losing his favourites - Jeremy Irons, Daniel Day-Lewis - Francey looked at everyone else.. Baldwin, Armand Assante, Antonio Banderas, Nick Cassavetes, Nicolas Cage, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Andy Garcia, Hugh Grant, Ray Liotta, Kyle MacLachlan, Costas Mandylor, Viggo Mortensen, Dermot Mulroney, Michael Nouri (a long way from Flashdance), Adrian Pasdar, Jason Patric, Aiden Quinn, Keanu Reeves, Alan Rickman, Christian Slater and Sting.

  25.  Harrison Ford, Patriot Games, 1992. 
    Starring in Broadway’s Streetcar NamedDesire cost him  the rest of the Jack Ryan franchise - created by Baldwin hunting the Red October. Having rejected the  first film, Ford wanted a return to action.  He was paid $9m to be Ryan, while Baldwin had been on $4m - for the two films. At least that was the ’92 story... It was another 19 years before Baldwin  told the full story on the Huffinghton Post website, March 12, 2011.    “The truth is the studio cut my throat   Or, more specifically, an executive at the studio named David Kirkpatrick who was, as studio executives are on their way both up and down the ladder, eager to prove he had that special quality that studio executives are eager to display... an utter lack of sentimentality while transacting deals around a business built on sentimentality.
    “The run of events in 1991 went like this. John McTiernan, who directed The Hunt For Red October told me,he had been negotiating to do a film with a very famous movie star who had dropped out of his film days so that he could go star in the sequels to Red October. John further told me that Paramount owed the actor a large sum of money for a greenlit film that fell apart... and pushing me aside would help to alleviate that debt and put someone with much greater strength at the box office in the role. I sat there mildly stunned because not only was I in an active negotiation with Paramount, but for them to negotiate simultaneously with another actor was against the law."
    His next call came from  the film’s producer , Mace Neufeld. “The call resembled that final scene in Sorry, Wrong Number (great film), where Burt Lancaster exhorts Barbara Stanwyck to get out of bed and scream for help lest she be killed by emissaries of Lancaster, himself. Neufeld told me to sign whatever deal they were offering and ‘the rest would take care of itself.” Baldwin was then asked to call Kirkpatrick  who told him  he had to decide
    “if I would agree to an open-ended clause relating to dates and thus completely give up the chance to do one of the greatest dramas in the American theatre, or he would rescind my offer.  They had the other guy    They were looking for a way to
    gut me.  I thought he wasn’t serious at first. Then, when I realized he was, I chose A Streetcar Named Desire. And I do not regret it. The movie and television business are filled with some of the most wonderful and talented people you could ever know. It is also the rock under which you find the biggest, lyingest, thievingest scumbags on Earth. (They tend to be the ones that are not in any craft or union related to actually making a movie).”

  26. Harrison Ford, The Fugitive, 1993.     “The minute Harrison Ford shows up, they drop everything and sign up Harrison Ford.” Baldwin complained about also losing Dr Richard Kimble. (So did Kevin Costner, Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia and  Nick NolteWorking Girl). Long Beach auteurWalter Hill  was friendly with Baldwin. Indeed, Mrs Hill, Hildy Gottlieb, ran the actor’s Meadowbrook Productions  in the 90s - and planned to have Walter helming Alec in the film version of David Janssen’s 1963-1967 series.   They made The Getaway, instead, leaving Dr Kimble and the one-armed man to Ford and director Andrew Davis.
  27. Jason Patric, Geronimo: An American Legend, 1993.      Patrick Swayze was also in  the running.   
  28. Keanu Reeves, Speed, 1993. There were 30 stars queuing for Die Hard On A Bus. From A Listers Jeff Bridges, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Swayze, even Mr Die Hard, himself, Bruce Willis… to the B group: Kevin Bacon, three Baldwin brothers (Alec, Stephen and William), Michael Biehn, Bruce Campbell, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Richard Dreyfuss, Michael Keaton, Christophe(r) Lambert, Viggo Mortensen, Dennis Quaid, Mickey Rourke, Tom Selleck… and two also-rans Bruce Campbell and Chuck Norris. All beaten by a whippersnapper!
  29. John Travolta, Pulp Fiction, 1993.  
  30. Harvey Keitel, Pulp Fiction, 1993.

  31. Michael Keaton,The Paper, 1993.    For another of his tepid movies, director Ron Howard mused over Baldwin, Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kurt Russell, John Travolta andRobin Williams for Henry Hackett, the New York Sun‘s metro editor...   who tells his editor-in-chief (a superb Robert Duvall - is there any other kind?): “Every day I’m behind from the minute I get up.”
  32. Sean Penn, Carlito's Way, 1994.     When Marlon Brando was still attached. Penn's salary helped finance his second film as a director, The Crossing Guard, 1995.
  33. Val Kilmer, Batman Forever, 1994.
  34. Tim Allen, The Santa Clause, 1994.   The guy who accidentally kills Santa (it wasshootinghim, but Disney wasn’t having that) and take over his duties was penned for for Bill Murray. “Not my kind of humour,” he retorted.  Next in line: Allen, Rowan Atkinson, Jim Carrey, Richard Gere, Steve Guttenberg, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams.  Plus eight Batman candidates: Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Mic hael J Fox, Mel Gibson, Kurt Russell, Patrick Swayze and the winning Michael  Keaton.
  35. Al Pacino, City Hall, 1995      When director Paul Schrader was supposed to make Nick Pileggi's  script.  “It was a miracle I got that many trips to the plate,”  continued Baldwin’s tale of woe. “In 95, I did The Juror, that bombed. I did Ghosts of Mississippi  and The Edge, and both of them were very tepid. I had a hit movie [The Hunt For Red October] and…  had eight bombs in a row.”
  36. David Caruso, Kiss of Death, 1995. Variety inevitably said that Baldwin kissed off Kiss,... letting the NYPD Blue redhead cop into cinema.  (Thankfully, not for long).
  37. Mel Gibson, Ransom, 1996.   Director Ron Howard’s initial choice for the airline owner whose son is kidnapped… didn’t approve of the character - nor of “endangering” a child.   Hi Mel, you free next month, man?
  38. Gary Sinise, Ransom, 1996.      Baldwin then  offered to play the NYPD cop when Sinise preferred Tom Clancy's Without Remorse and then  Baldwin politely  stood aside  when the Clancy project fizzled.
  39. Nicolas Cage, Face/Off, 1997.     “Since the story is too crazy to be real,” said ex-Hong Kong director John Woo, “we needed two great actors. My first choice was John Travolta. - and the studio suggested  Alec Baldwin for  the bad guy - because he had a  good body and face match for John. But Alec was busy and John suggested Nic.”
  40. Tom Cruise, Jerry Maguire, 1996.   Super-Tom One, Hanks, was into his helming debut, The Thing That You Do, 1996. Super-Tom Two, Cruise, said: “I may not be right for this but let me just read for you.” And Super-Tom-One added: “It couldn’t have been anyone but Cruise.” Except auteur Cameron Crowe had also considered Baldwin, Tim Allen (briefly, thankfully), Edward Burns (who reccommended his latest co-star, Connie Britton, for Dorothy; they both came second), Johnny Depp, Sean Penn (from Crowe’s first script, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, 1981), John Travolta and Bruce Willis.

  41. Jason Patric, Incognito, 1997.      Inherited by director John Badham when Peter Weller quit his helming debut after complaining that the producers' “idea of a budget is going to a hot dog stand.”
  42. Colin Firth, Nostromo,  TV, 1997.      When iconic director David Lean was preparing it, long before it became a TV mini.
  43. Ed Harris, The Third Miracle, 1998.      Vatican priest investigating three Brooklyn miracles.
  44. Daniel Baldwin, Vampires, 1998.      Head brother Alec changed his mind about being Montoya. He obviously had no wish to be second fiddle to James Woods’s vampire-hunter and suggested brother Daniel take over the horror movie - but which also closely resembled the Western that director John Carpenter had always wanted to make. For vampire-hunters, read gunslingers.
  45. Tom Cruise, Eyes Wide Shut, 1999.      From the outset, Stanley Kubrick told his scenarist Frederic Raphael that his stars (and he distrusted stars) should  be a real couple. First thought: Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger.
  46. Charlie Sheen, Rated X, TV, 1999.     Sean Penn’s version of the life of the porno-making Mitchell brothers collapsed - starring Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson.  So,  the Baldwin boys, Alec and William,  tried to get it rolling anew.
  47. Guy Pearce, Memento, 1999.     Christopher Nolan’s first choice for poor  Leonard suffering Anterograde Amnesia. (The inability to form new memories after hippocampus damage, OK?)  Having a less familiar face, Pearce was a perfect choice.  Baldwin would have just  shouted and hit someone.
  48. Patrick Swayze, Forever Lulu, 1999.   Baldwin was  seen about being Melanie Griffith’s old love, learning they’d had  a child together. (Antonio  Banderas also lost out, despite being wed to Griffith!).  Swayze tried hard to  fit the bill. Too hard. Ironically, Baldwin made his movie debut in a 1986 New York film called… Forever, Lulu.  (The difference is the comma).  
  49. Matthew McConnaughey, Sex and the City (Episode 43: Escape from New York), TV, 2000.    The actor-producer inviting Carrie to LA to discuss filming her column  was penned for Baldwin.  When he refused, Himself  turned  into Beatty, then  George Clooney and finally, McConaughey.
  50. Kurt Russell, Vanilla Sky, 2001.     Maybe he didn’t like the Cameron Crowe  script. While Kurt accepted without reading it.

  51. Ray Liotta, Narc, 2002.      Considered by helmer Joe Carnahan for  the cop Henry Oaks. Then,  Joe walked.
  52. Philip Winchester, Thunderbirds, 2004.     One of numerous notions for live-actioning  the UK sf puppet series, 1965-66, was four Baldwins bros  (Alec, William, Daniel, Stephen) as  the Tracy brothers. Alec, obviously, as the the eldest, the Thunderbird 1 pilot, Scott (born 2039, named after NASAstronaut Scott Carpenter). Funny, but suddenly the the script never  mentioned  the fifth Tracy bro, Alan...
  53. Luke Wilson, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron  Burgundy, 2004.     Will Ferell and Adam McKay wrote Baldwin’s name alongside the Garth character in their first draft.
  54. Maurice LaMarche, Team America: World Police, 2004.      Keen to voice his own (unflattering) puppet, he  was (like all other celebs) voiced by impersonators. Baldwin could have done ‘em all. As proved on Saturday Night Live, he is a clever impressionist - he does a wicked De Niro.
  55. Bob Balaban, Lady in the Water, 2005.     For his seventh fantasy, director M Night Shyamalan finally had some humour such as Balaban’s  film critic from hell.
  56. George Clooney, Leatherheads, 2008.     Seventeen years in  the making.  Baldwin entered the mix as the 1920s ball player John “Blood” McNally when Mel Gibson voted for The Man  Without A Face.  Next stop: Michael Keaton. Clooney directed his version - a shock flop.
  57. Dennis Quaid, The Special Relationship, TV, 2009.     Baldwin, Russell Crowe, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tim Robbins were also trying to be President Bill Clinton opposite Michael Sheen, straightening his naturally curly hair to be the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for a third time - following the same scenarist Peter Morgan’s The Deal, 2003, and The Queen, 2006. This one opened with Oscar Wilde wisdom: True friends stab you in the front!
  58. Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire, TV, 2010-2014.    On the list for Atlantic City hood Nicky Thompson when HBO realised it couldn’t expect James Gandolfini to go back to the gangster well one more time. Baldwin must have realised that Martin Scorsese’s involvement as a exec producer would dissipate after directing the HBO pilot. Baldwin more closely resembled the real  Atlantic City politico-gangster Enoch ‘Nucky’ Johnson but The Sopranos writer Terence Winter didn’t want a Tony Soprano lookalike. (Just a one of his victims!) The series lost its balls when Michael Pitt’s character was killed off… for effortlessly stealing the show from Buscemi?
  59. Tommy Lee Jones, Men In Black III, 2011.    All set to be X, head of the MiB agency in the time-travel flashbacked 60s - when production delays ruled him out. Anyway, he preferred being an ex-rocker running a club in  Rock of Ages.
  60. Kurt Russell, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, 2016.   Aged between Christopher Plummer and Max Von Sydow’s 87 and Matthew McConaughey’s 47, fifteen actors were Marveled about for Ego, father of Chris Pratt’s hero, Peter Quill aka Star Lord. The others in the loop were Baldwin, Michael Biehn, Robert De Niro, Mel Gibson, Stephen Lang, Viggo Mortensen, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Ron Perlman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christoph Waltz and Bruce Willis.

  61. Josh Brolin, Deadpool 2, 2017.   With Ryan Reynolds reigning supreme as the wise-cracking, cancer-ridden, super smart-ass hero, who could oppose him as Cable, the heftily armed cyborg? (“You’re dark - sure you’re not from the DC Universe?” our Marvel hero asks him). Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld wanted Russell Crowe - and even after Brolin signed, pushed for Jon Hamm. Other Mr Impregnable ideas included Baldwin, Pierce Brosnan, David Harbour, Stephen Lang, Brad Pitt (he shot his Vanisher cameo in two hours), Michael Shannon and the wrinkly brigade (yawn) Mel Gibson, Dolph Lundgren, Ron Perlman, Kurt Russell, Arnold Schawarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis.  Already Marvel’s villain Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, Brolin had a four-film deal, to reveal more about Cable and, doubtless, extra gags about his stepmother Barbra Streisand’s 1982 Yentl.
  62. Brett Cullen, The Joker, 2018.Two days after Baldwin was announced as Batman’s father, Thomas Wayne,  he withdrew because of “sceduling.” Plus: “I’m sure there are 25 guys who can play that part.” He seemed more pissed by the stupid general assumption that his Batpop would be inspired by his Emmy-winning send-up of President Donald Trump, a succes that appeared to be turning into tyepcasting. Like Trump himself, Baldwin rushed to the social network. “Let me state, for the record, that I have notbeen hired to play a role in Todd Phillips’ Joker  as some Donald Trump manque. That is not happening. Not. Happening.” His successor had already been the father of Johnny Blaze, as played by Nicolas Cage in Ghost Rider, 2006.  And had beern on the short list for Daredevil’s dad in 2002.



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