‘Rust’ to resume production with Alec Baldwin despite impending involuntary manslaughter charges

Increased legal battles surrounding Alec Baldwin and the “Rust” movie isn’t stopping production from seeing the film through to the end.

Melina Spadone, attorney for Rust Movie Productions, LLC, confirmed to USA TODAY Monday that filming for “Rust” is on track to be completed with Baldwin in the lead role and with Joel Souza returning as director.

Spadone also confirmed there will be on-set safety supervisors and union crew members on set and that working weapons and ammunition will be barred. Spadone clarified live ammunition was always prohibited from the “Rust” set.

It’s unclear whether Baldwin is still a co-producer in the film or if cinematographer Halyna Hutchins‘ widower, Matthew Hutchins, will be involved. Last fall, Hutchins’ family settled a lawsuit against producers and agreed to restart filming with Matthew’s involvement as executive producer.

USA TODAY has reached out to reps for Matthew Hutchins.

Alec Baldwin will continue to star as the lead in Western film

Alec Baldwin will continue to star as the lead in Western film

Halyna Hutchins, 42, died shortly after being wounded by a gunshot while setting up a scene at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe on Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin was pointing a prop pistol at Hutchins when the gun went off, killing her and wounding Souza.

Last week, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and Special Prosecutor Andrea Reeb announced that Baldwin, 64, who was holding the gun at the time it fired, and “Rust” armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed will be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Hutchins. No charges will be filed in the shooting of Souza.

After the impending charges against Baldwin and Guiterrez-Reed were announced, attorneys for the Hutchins family – Matthew Hutchins and son Andros – thanked the Santa Fe sheriff and the district attorney for the charges in a statement shared with USA TODAY, calling them “warranted for the killing of Halyna Hutchins with conscious disregard for human life.”

“It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law. We support the charges, will fully cooperate with this prosecution, and fervently hope the justice system works to protect the public and hold accountable those who break the law,” Hutchins’ attorney Brian J. Panish said in a statement.

Halyna Hutchins was killed on set while filming the movie

Halyna Hutchins was killed on set while filming the movie

Baldwin’s attorney, however, said the charges represented “a terrible miscarriage of justice.”

The actor “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, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win,” Luke Nikas said in a statement sent to USA TODAY.

Carmack-Altwies and Reeb said they’ll file charges with New Mexico’s First Judicial District Court by the end of the month. After that, Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will be formally arraigned and the judge will decide if the case moves forward to trial.

According to the DA’s office, the two charges of involuntary manslaughter are differentiated: one determines if there was underlying negligence and the other requires that there was more than simple negligence in Hutchins’ death.

Both charges are fourth-degree felonies, punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. The latter charge also includes a firearm enhancement penalty, which is punishable by a mandatory five years in jail.

Take a deep dive on the ‘Rust’ tragedy

Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff, Marco della Cava, Maria Puente, USA TODAY, and The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Alec Baldwin movie ‘Rust’ to resume production amid shooting charges

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