EW has confirmed that the series has banned "live" weapons on set, effective immediately, in the wake of the fatal shooting accident on the Santa Fe set of Alec Baldwin film Rust.
As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the Nathan Fillion-led series will only use realistic-looking airsoft guns and add computer-generated muzzle flashes in post-production. Airsoft guns fire nonlethal BBs or pellets instead of blanks or bullets.
Showrunner Alexi Hawley announced the change in a memo that went out to all cast and crew Friday. "The tragic events in New Mexico yesterday have shaken us all, and our hearts go out to the friends and family of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza," he wrote. "There will be no more 'live' weapons on the show. The safety our cast and crew is too important. Any risk is too much risk."
Eric McCandless/ABC Nathan Fillion on 'The Rookie'
Hawley also encouraged cast and crew members to report anything that they witness on set that feels unsafe or concerns them.
The decision comes on the heels of the Rust accident, in which cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza wounded when a prop firearm was discharged by Baldwin, a cast member and producer on the film. The incident is under investigation by local authorities, and the production company behind the film said it will conduct an internal review.
"Someone hurt or killed on my set is my worst nightmare," he wrote. "Sending love to Halyna Hutchins' family, @JensenAckles, cast & crew of 'Rust.' I'm so sorry. In her memory, a simple, easy pledge: no more guns with blanks on any of my sets ever. We'll use VFX muzzle flashes. Who's with me?"
Someone hurt or killed on my set is my worst nightmare. Sending love to Halyna Hutchins' family, @JensenAckles, cast & crew of "Rust." I'm so sorry. In her memory, a simple, easy pledge: no more guns with blanks on any of my sets ever. We'll use VFX muzzle flashes. Who's with me?
— Eric Kripke (@therealKripke) October 22, 2021
Many movie and television sets have already opted for muzzle flashes and gun effects created with CGI, but it remains to be seen how many more in the industry will commit to making that the new standard.