CLEVELAND, Ohio — Alec Baldwin will play former Kent State president Robert I. White in a new feature film inspired by the May 4, 1970 shootings at Kent State University, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Written and directed by Karen Slade, “Kent State” is described as the story of how a family’s buried past coincides with the brutal truth of one of the most significant events in American history when the Ohio National Guard fired into a crowd of student protestors, killing four and injuring nine others, Deadline reported in September.
The tragedy will be told from the perspective of the film’s protagonist, Will McCormack, though it’s not clear if the character is based on a real person. Kent State University is not involved in the production.
“I would hope that someone of Alec Baldwin’s stature would take steps to ensure any film he’s attached to, especially one that has the historic significance of the Kent State shootings, is based on fact and not fiction,” said Roseann “Chic” Canfora, an eyewitness and survivor of May 4 and now a Professional-in-Residence at Kent State’s School of Media and Journalism. “We’ve spent far too long dispelling myths associated with May 4, 1970, when American soldiers turned their guns on American students without warning or provocation.”
Her late brother, Alan Canfora, was one of the students wounded during the confrontation, shot in the wrist by a guardsman.
Now in pre-production, “Kent State” is being shot in Columbus, Georgia. But the original plan was to film on location in Northeast Ohio. Producers applied for the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted movie and TV production across the county. But by the time the project was revived the last summer, the application window for the incentive had already passed.
A second project about the Kent State shootings, this one a television miniseries, also appears on the Ohio Department of Development’s list of productions that applied for the tax credit. Like the movie, however, it’s marked as canceled.
Baldwin joins “Kent State” three weeks after prosecutors in New Mexico dropped criminal charges of involuntary manslaughter against him in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust” in 2021.
The film does not have a release date yet.
©2023 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit cleveland.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.