On October 21st, 2021 on the set of the film “Rust,” actor Alec Baldwin discharged a Colt .45 prop revolver. Assistant director David Halls had assured Baldwin, who is also a producer on the film, the weapon was “cold.” Unfortunately, this was not the case, and the bullet struck and killed Halyna Hutchins, cinematographer. The shot also hit director Joel Souza, seriously injuring him. On February 15th, Hutchins’ family filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging the shooting was the result of negligence and cost-cutting on the part of “Rust”’s production team.
The production team for the movie “Rust” has reached a settlement with Halyna Hutchins estate. The movie will resume filming, with all the original principal players on board in January 2023.
“We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, for our wrongful death case against the producers of Rust, including Alec Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions, LLC. As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed,” Halyna’s husband, Matthew Hutchins, said. As part of the settlement, Halyna will also be named as an executive producer for “Rust.”
Matthew Hutchins went on to say he has “no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin). All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”
As for the somewhat surprising decision to begin filming again, Souza explains, “In my own attempts to heal, any decision to return to finish directing the film could only make sense for me if it was done with the involvement of Matt and the Hutchins family. Though certainly bittersweet, I am pleased that together, we will now complete what Halyna and I started. My every effort on this film will be devoted to honoring Halyna’s legacy and making her proud. It is a privilege to see this through on her behalf.”
Prosecutors in New Mexico, where “Rust” was being filmed, have yet to decide if they want to file charges against Baldwin or any other crew members involved in the shooting. Back in August, District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies requested $635,500 in emergency funding to pay for up to 4 criminal trials. This request was approved in September by the state Board of Finance.
Hutchins is survived by her husband and 9-year old son. Our thoughts are with them through this heartbreaking tragedy.