Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ to Resume Filming With New and Old Crew, Producers Claim (Exclusive)
Rust will resume filming this spring with a mix of new and old crew members, including embattled star and producer Alec Baldwin, The News84Media has learned. The plans from the production to finish the film come amid the prosecution of Baldwin for manslaughter, multiple lawsuits from former members of the crew against the movie’s producers and an investigation into alleged systemic safety issues on set.
Bianca Bline (Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, American Horror Story) will join the film as its cinematographer in Halyna Hutchins’ stead, according to Rust Movie Productions. A documentary on her life, including her work on Rustspearheaded by director Rachel Mason and producer Julee Metz will also begin shooting with the “full support” of the production and Halyna Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, who will serve as an executive producer on both titles.
“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. ,” said Rust Movie Productions in a statement.
Additionally, the scene in which Halyna Hutchins was shot has been rewritten, said Melina Spadone, a lawyer for Rust Movie Productions. She declined to comment on the nature of the changes.
The announcement follows the filing of criminal charges against Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. New Mexico prosecutors in January charged the pair with two counts each of involuntary manslaughter in the killing of Halyna Hutchins, who was shot on the set of the film in October 2021 when an old-fashioned revolver being handled by Baldwin went off.
The resumption of filming was first announced last year when a settlement was reached between Rust Movie Productions and the family of Halyna Hutchins. Under the deal, the movie would be completed with Matthew Hutchins’ blessing. The film team originally planned to resume production in January, with early plans forming to scout locations in California.
Grant Hill (The Thin Red Line, (The Tree of Life) and Stephen Marinaccio (Jack Ryan) will join Matthew Hutchins as producers on the movie, according to Spadone. Other new crew members include safety officers Gary Jensen and Paul Jordan of Tenet Production Safety and production designer Christine Brandt (Card Counter).
Cline, who will finish the movie with Matthew Hutchins’ “blessing and support,” will donate her salary to charity, according to Rust Movie Productions.
The production will feature enhanced on-set safety protocols, including safety supervisors and a prohibition against any working weapons or ammunition. Live ammunition has always been barred.
All of Rust‘s original producers are also returning, according to Spadone. They include Ryan Donnell Smith and Allen Cheney of Thomasville Pictures, Nathan Klingher and Ryan Winterstein of Short Porch Pictures, Anjul Nigam of Brittany House Pictures, Matthew Delpiano of Calvary Media and Gabrielle Pickle, Ryan Dennett-Smith and Katherine Walters of 3rd Shift Media.
Allan Graf (stunt coordinator), Terese Davis (costume designer), Stacy Lockhart (makeup department head) and Anna Williams (hair department head), are among other original crew members coming back to complete the movie alongside director Joel Souza.
“Though bittersweet, I am grateful that a brilliant and dedicated new production team joining former cast and crew are committed to completing what Halyna and I started,” Souza, who also suffered an injury in the shooting, said in a statement. “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.”
The production’s armorer, props master and assistant director were not named. An ammunition supplier is no longer necessary since the shooter will no longer use working weapons.
In the criminal cases over the shooting, former assistant director Dave Halls signed a plea agreement to settle the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. The terms include a suspended sentence and six months of probation.
Spadone said the production has been cleared by all of Hollywood’s unions and guilds for their members to work on the movie. She noted that more crew members will be hired as principal photography approaches.
For union crew, working non-union jobs without permission can lead to fines, suspension and expulsion. A worst-case scenario for the production would have involved a critical mass of Hollywood’s major unions and guilds refusing to grant permission to restart shooting with their members, which could’ve led crew members to mount a boycott against the movie. That scenario played out in 2014 when producers for Midnight Rider announced they planned to restart filming months after camera assistant Sarah Jones was killed while shooting on a train track.
Rust Movie Productions is appealing a fine assessed by the New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau for allegedly knowing that firearm safety procedures weren’t being followed on set and demonstrating a “plain indifference” to the welfare of cast and crew.
Production for Rust was suspended in October 2021 after the fatal shooting. Baldwin still has scenes that need to be filmed, Spadone noted. She declined to comment on how the prosecutors’ case against him will impact filming.
All of the movie’s principal cast, including Jensen Ackles, Travis Fimmel and Frances Fisher, will be returning, producers claim.
The documentary on Halyna Hutchins will explore her youth living on a remote Soviet naval base and in Kyiv, Ukraine to become a celebrated cinematographer, according to a press release for the project.
“We embarked on this endeavor to shed light on Halyna’s life and to honor her achievements. We refuse to shy away from any aspect of this story, no matter how difficult — and if that includes the effort to complete Halyna’s final film, it is our duty to document the process,” Metz told THR. “The experience of those who are working to complete Rust involves many hard decisions. As people who loved Halyna we hope to capture everything that we can in order to understand this incomprehensible situation in all its complexity.”
Last Thursday, Halyna Hutchins’ parents and sister filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin, Rust‘s producers and other crew members. The suit. filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and loss of consortium, which recovers damages for relationships that are mutually dependent.
Gloria Allred, a lawyer for the parties, also represents script supervisor Mamie Mitchell in an identical case.
Brian Panish, a lawyer for Matthew Hutchins, said in a statement after the announcement of the new suit: “We do not believe any other family members have a claim under New Mexico or California law. Neither Mr. Hutchins nor his attorneys were made aware of the family’s intention to file a lawsuit before today.”
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