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Alec Baldwin has returned to the set of Rust to wrap up shooting the movie after New Mexico prosecutors dropped involuntary manslaughter charges against him, at least for now, in the 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Filming on the low-budget Western resumed last week at Yellowstone Film Ranch in Montana. In an Instagram post on Monday, Baldwin confirmed he was on set. “Now outside of Bozeman to complete RUST,” he said. “Montana is stunning.”
Production is expected to be completed by the end of May, according to Melina Spadone, a lawyer for Rust Movie Productions. Shooting was suspended in October 2021 after a revolver Baldwin was holding discharged, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. Hutchins’ widower, Matthew Hutchins, is an executive producer on the movie under a settlement he reached with the production to resolve a wrongful death suit, along with a documentary on the life and work of the cinematographer.
“The production will continue to utilize union crew members and will bar any use of working weapons and any form of ammunition,” Spadone said in a statement. “Live ammunition is — and always was — prohibited on set.”
Prior to clearing its members for work on the production, the Directors Guild of America said in a statement that the group “insisted upon extensive additional safety requirements, including dedicated safety personnel to assess risk and be present on-set throughout the production.” The guild stressed that, “Only once these conditions were met did we allow our members to work on the project.”
SAG-AFTRA, which said in a statement that it has “tentatively safety-cleared Rust,” also underscored additional safety requirements on set, like the production barring live ammunition and weapons capable of firing ammunition of any kind as well as the presence of union field representatives making regular visits to the production.
A spokesperson for the union added, “two highly regarded industry safety veterans, one a longtime stunt coordinator, are overseeing all aspects of safety as Set Safety Supervisors and will be on location throughout and available to us as necessary.”
Baldwin’s arrival in Montana to resume shooting last week coincided with prosecutors on Friday formally dropping involuntary manslaughter charges against him over the death of Hutchins, who was killed in New Mexico, where the movie initially filmed at Bonanza Creek Ranch. The special prosecutors, who were named to the case in April after the former lawyer overseeing criminal charges was forced to step down, wrote in a court filing that they were pulling the charges “since new facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis.” They clarified in a statement that charges could be refiled.
During a hearing on Friday over charges against armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who loaded the gun that Baldwin was holding when it discharged and was responsible for weapons and ammunition for the production, the judge overseeing the case pushed back a preliminary hearing to Aug. 9 to allow prosecutors to subpoena additional witnesses.
Additionally, Rust Movie Productions has announced that Patrick Scott McDermott will play the role of Lucas Hollister in the film.
In a statement, director Joel Souza said, “Though bittersweet, I am grateful that a brilliant and dedicated new production team is joining former cast and crew to complete what Halyna and I started.”
Katie Kilkenny contributed to this report.
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