As perhaps befits the title of the film, Alec Baldwin has surprised many by departing the Rob Reiner movie Shock And Awe, for which principal photography has already begun. The politically controversial project – which concerns the legality of the case for the 2003 Iraq war – is expected to move forward with Rob Reiner taking the supporting role that Baldwin was originally cast to play.
Written by Joey Hartstone (LBJ), Shock And Awe chronicles the efforts of a real group of journalists – led by Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay – who were working for Knight Ridder newspapers in the build up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In covering the story, the journalists began to question the veracity of the claims put forth by George W. Bush and his administration that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.
The cast includes James Marsden, Milla Jovovich, Jessica Biel, Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, and Richard Schiff, among others, and would have included Alec Baldwin in the role of Knight Ridder Washington Bureau Chief, John Walcott. An accomplished actor in his own right, Rob Reiner is thought to be poised to step into the role, in addition to fulfilling his directorial duties on the film.
With filming for Shock And Awe underway now, it is not entirely clear whether the success and popularity of Baldwin’s Saturday Night Live parody of Donald Trump has any bearing on his exit from Rob Reiner’s movie – but it is safe to say that the Presidential candidate has certainly provided Baldwin with enough material to keep him busy on the weekly comedy show for the time being. While the departure of the actor from Shock And Awe is certainly a loss, Rob Reiner will undoubtedly turn in a great performance himself – keeping production on track for an anticipated 2017 release date.