‘Rust’ filming to restart after Alec Baldwin charged over shooting

Actor Alec Baldwin and on-set weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were formally charged with involuntary manslaughter in late January following the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of western movie “Rust” in 2021.

Now the film’s producers, Rust Movie Productions, are looking to resume production in the spring after confirming on Tuesday that Bianca Clines will replace victim Halyna Hutchins as cinematographer.

Director Rachel Mason and producer Julee Metz will continue to work on the project, and are also making a documentary celebrating the life and work of Hutchins.

“Both Mason and Metz were close friends with Halyna, and they look forward to working with the production to honor their friend and show the brilliance and depth of Halyna’s talent while conveying what her loss has meant to her friends, colleagues and the entire film industry,” Rust Movie Productions said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

The news comes just two weeks after court documents were filed by prosecutors in regards to the death of the cinematographer.

The filing came soon after Santa Fe District Attorney, Mary Carmack-Altwies, first announced that Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed would be prosecuted for what authorities said was a pattern of negligence relating to the death of Halyna Hutchins.

“Today we have taken another important step in securing justice for Halyna Hutchins,” Carmack-Altwies said Tuesday. “In New Mexico, no one is above the law and justice will be served.”

The death of Halyna Hutchins on a New Mexico movie set has been described as a “tragic accident” by Baldwin.

What happened on the ‘Rust’ set?

The Hollywood actor was handling a vintage Colt .45 revolver when a lead projectile was discharged and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

Souza was standing behind Hutchins at the time.

According to a written affidavit contained in court records, Baldwin was informed by assistant director David Halls that the weapon was “cold” indicating it was safe and not loaded with live ammunition. The gun was grabbed from a cart used by the set’s armorer, Gutierrez-Reed.

Baldwin also disputes having pulled the trigger of the gun in the affidavit, saying he pulled back and released the hammer and the weapon fired.

And what are the defense lawyers saying?

Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas has vowed to beat the charge, which he called a “terrible miscarriage of justice,” adding his client “had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked.”

Lawyers for Gutierrez-Reed said Tuesday that prosecutors had “completely misunderstood the facts” and had “reached the wrong conclusions.”

“We will fight these charges and expect that a jury will find Hannah not guilty,” said Jason Bowles and Todd Bullion.

What happens next?

Baldwin, a co-producer of the movie, and Gutierrez-Reed have both been charged with two alternative counts of manslaughter, each involving different levels of negligence.

Both counts entail a maximum 18-month jail term, but one of them includes an added mandatory five-year sentence because a gun was involved.

New Mexico prosecutors will summon the accused to appear in court within a month.

jsi/msh (AP, Reuters, AFP)

Author: editor

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