Ever since Rip Torn’s attempts to make a late-night withdrawal led to his being quietly pushed out of the next Men In Black film, it’s been rumored—though never officially confirmed—that Alec Baldwin would take over his role as the head of the organization. While Baldwin was being honored by the Roundabout Theatre Company last night, Vulture finally got him to talk about the project, only to find out that indeed, he was in it, but has now dropped out completely: “I'm not doing that. I'm out of it; the schedule didn't work out,” Baldwin said, and while “scheduling issues” are often code for other reasons why an actor doesn’t want to spend a few hours every day collecting a lot of money, in the case of Men In Black III he’s probably telling the truth. As reported earlier, the future of the production now hinges almost entirely on Will Smith’s “process,” the war between thick neurosis and thicker hair, and solving the little problem of time travel—and considering Baldwin barely has the patience to stick around 30 Rock and continue basking in the role of a lifetime, it’s easy to see why he’d bail.
In the meantime, Baldwin is currently preparing to join Tom Cruise in Adam Shankman’s adaptation of the Rock Of Ages Broadway musical, and is even taking some singing lessons. Although, he seems to think he’ll just be doing “something very modest…’Yeah, yeah, yeah’ or something like that,” even though his character’s big show-stopping number is supposed to be REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” And take it from anyone who’s witnessed a karaoke night: That’s gonna take more than just a couple of singing lessons.