Harrison Ford is one of the biggest names in Hollywood. He has started some of the most well-known franchises in cinema, from Star Wars to Indiana Jones, and most recently, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On top of franchises, he has also been a part of individual films that have gained immense critical acclaim.
His 1992 film, Patriot Games, is a perfect example of such a film. Being the sequel to The Hunt for Red October, the star replaced Alec Baldwin in the role of Jack Ryan. Interestingly enough, the reason why Baldwin was replaced was because of internal disputes and scheming done by the studio in order to push the actor out and make way for the Blade Runner actor.
Alec Baldwin Was Asked to Choose
Alec Baldwin had been a part of The Hunt for Red October, he played the role of Jack Ryan. When it came to reprising the role for Patriot Games, the actor met with a specific conflict. He was committed to taking part in a play called A Streetcar Named Desire, which he called one of the greatest dramas in American theatre.
“Kirkpatrick was a beady-eyed, untalented tool who had seemed like he was up to something throughout my sequel negotiation. Now, he became vividly clear. I had to decide if I would agree to an open-ended clause relating to dates for the first sequel 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 all lined up, and 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.”
The actor claimed in a post, via Collider, that producer, David Kirkpatrick, was trying to force him out of the project. He did this by asking the actor to choose between working on the Broadway play or agreeing to open open-ended clause relating to this sequel. The reason for this, according to Baldwin, was because another actor offered to play this character, and unfortunately, he was better favored by not only the director, John McTiernan, but the studio, Paramount, as well.
Paramount Had A Debt To Pay To Harrison Ford
According to Alec Baldwin, the studio, Paramount, and the director, John McTiernan, both favored another actor, Harrison Ford, not only because of his fame and stature but also because of another reason. He revealed that the studio owed the actor to a large debt because of a green-lit film, that did not work out. This is why, the studio was actively scheming and trying to push Baldwin out from that part.
“On the phone, John [McTiernan] told me that during the period of the previous few months, he had been negotiating to do a film with a very famous movie star who had dropped out of his film days before so that he could go star in the sequels to The Hunt For Red October. John further told me that Paramount owed the actor a large sum of money for a greenlit film that fell apart prior to this, and pushing me aside would help to alleviate that debt and put someone with much greater strength at the box office than mine 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.”
While Baldwin did not necessarily name Ford or the film that caused this debt, it can be assumed from context. The film in question was Harold Becker’s film, Night Ride Down, a historical film that had cast Ford and did not enter production. Paramount, in an attempt to pay the debt that they owed the actor, tried to cast him in Patriot Games instead.