With the producers of Rust determined to complete the Alec Baldwin-led western, Cinematographer Bianca Cline has stepped in to finish the indie film, picking up the torch left behind by Halyna Hutchins, who was tragically shot and killed during production in October 2021.
Cline recently shot Marcel the Shell With Shoes On with Eric Adkins, and she has decided to donate her salary to charity in Hutchins’ memory.
Joel Souza, who was struck in the shoulder during the incident, is returning to direct Rust, which has added veteran producer Grant Hill (Titanic) to the producing team, which should benefit from his industry experience. He has also been in the same boat as them, having worked on The Crow, where Brandon Lee was also tragically killed by a firearm on set.
To that end, there will be two new safety officers on set — Gary Jensen and Paul Jordan — and the production will no longer use functioning firearms, so there won’t be any blanks on set, where the crew will be largely new. After all, the producers are still facing lawsuits from original crew members as well as Hutchins’ sister and parents.
“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 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.”
Rust had been slated to resume filming in January, though filming is now expected to restart in the spring. The production will be changing locations, however, as the producers decided against returning to New Mexico, where the state’s division of OSHA seeks to impose a fine of $136,793 for “willful” violations of workplace safety rules.
Additionally, the Rust producers announced that a documentary will be made about Hutchins’ life and work, as well as the completion of the film. Rachel Mason (Circus of Books) will direct and Julee Metz will produce the documentary, which has the “full support” of Hutchins’ widower, Matthew, who is now an executive producer on Rust after reaching a settlement with its producers. The agreement reportedly allows Matthew and his and Halyna’s son to obtain both an insurance payout and a portion of the film’s profits.
Baldwin is still set to star in Rust despite being charged last month with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly pulling the trigger of the gun that fired the deadly shot that killed Hutchins after recklessly aiming the weapon in her direction. Baldwin claims he didn’t pull the trigger and that the gun went off when the hammer was released. The film’s Armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, will not return to the production, as she is also being charged in Hutchins’ death, though she, too, has denied wrongdoing. Both Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed are due to be arraigned in court next week.