The story behind ''Shortcut to Happiness'' -- Why you won't be seeing Alec Baldwin's movie directing debut

By Erin E. Stevenson
Updated July 27, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

Alec Baldwin’s at the top of his game with a recent Emmy nomination for his tightly wound exec on NBC’s 30 Rock. So why is his film-directing debut showing at a theater nowhere near you? Shortcut to Happiness is The Devil and Daniel Webster in disguise. Filmed in 2001, Devil, which stars Baldwin as a writer who sells his soul to Satan (Jennifer Love Hewitt), was vexed by alleged money problems and the FBI’s bank-fraud investigation of a reported investor. Now the supernatural comedy has been rescued by Yari Film Group, which is releasing the renamed film in five cities (Las Vegas and Fort Myers, Fla., among them), thanks in part, no doubt, to Yari’s chief creative officer Devil producer David Glasser. Baldwin, who requested that his name be removed as director and producer, has reportedly warned fans to stay away. ”We spent a lot of time and effort shooting the movie,” Baldwin’s producing partner Jon Cornick told EW in 2003. ”It’s not the movie that we intended to make.”

The Devil and Daniel Webster

  • Movie
  • Alec Baldwin