Alec Baldwin and the production company behind Rust have reached a settlement with the family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was tragically killed during production in October 2021.
As a result of the settlement, Rust will resume filming in January with the original cast, and Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, will come aboard as an executive producer to see Halyna’s vision through to the end and ensure the safety of the set.
“I have 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,” Matthew Hutchins said in a statement that confirmed the settlement.
As part of that settlement, which was the result of weeks of negotiations, the Hutchins family has agreed to drop the wrongful death lawsuit it filed in February.
“We are pleased to announce today the settlement of the civil case filed on behalf of the family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins,” Baldwin wrote on Instagram. “Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”
“Those of us who were lucky enough to have spent time with Halyna knew her to be exceedingly talented, kind, creative, and a source of incredible positive energy. I only wish the world had gotten to know her under different circumstances, as it surely would have through her amazing work. 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,” added Rust director Joel Souza. “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.”
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office is expected to soon hand over the results of its investigation to local District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, who hasn’t charged anyone in connection with the Rust shooting yet, though a New Mexico OSHA report appeared to exonerate Baldwin of any criminal negligence.
There are, however, ongoing civil lawsuits in both New Mexico and California that were filed by several crew members on Rust, including armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who is alleged to have not followed basic rules of gun safety while on the set, where Baldwin claims he never even pulled the trigger while rehearsing a quick-draw move in a church.
While there will likely never be justice in this case, I’m glad that this tragic matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of Halyna’s family, who will now attempt to move on with their lives while honoring her memory.