When Alec Baldwin decided to do Prelude to a Kiss instead of a follow-up to The Hunt for Red October it was a colossal mistake. It took a long time for the damage his career sustained to be rebuilt. Even now as he’s ubiquitous and doing some of the best work of his career there’s an almost gimmicky nature to why he has mainstream success. I truly feel that until he did comedy in 30 Rock and had a juicy role in The Departed the masses either judged him based on his offscreen shenanigans or simply didn’t realize the breadth of his talent. Even though the guy’s career is loaded with great performances in great movies and great performances in bad movies. And his Saturday Night Live contributions are the stuff of legend.

Which is why news that he has dropped out (per THR) of Rock of Ages saddens me. A musical with Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, my lifelong friend Bryan Cranston, and Baldwin would have been huge. Even with Russell Brand (who plays a major role much to my chagrin). Even with Adam Shankman directing. A dream cast for a musical.

Now, no Alec. This may not be as big a mistake as his 90’s faux pas but it’s a biggie. This is a movie that is based on a musical that will surely bubble over with unwanted 80’s nostalgia but one that has legitimate “must see” value. Tom Cruise, love him or hate him, is going to knock it out of the park. Giamatti, are you kidding me? Alec belongs here. This is one of those great flicks for him.How do you not want to see these folks onscreen together belting out hard rock tunes?

The article shares that the silver lining is that Alec doing Woody Allen’s next flick. No offense because I love the old man… but we’re a few decades past Woody Allen being the silver lining to much of anything.