‘Rust’ Movie To Shoot In Montana In Spring As Alec Baldwin Criminal Case Looms – Update
UPDATED: Rust producers said Wednesday that the indie Western on which cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed by a prop gun fired by Alec Baldwin has found a new production home: the Yellowstone Film Ranch in Montana.
The production is still eyeing a spring start date to resume.
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The latest news comes after Rust Movie Productions said last week that several original crew members including director Joel Souza — who was shot and wounded in the October 2021 incident at Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico that killed Hutchins — are returning to complete the film. Among the new crew is Bianca Cline, the Marcel the Shell With Shoes On cinematographer who has come aboard as DP.
Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed have been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter by the Santa Fe D.A.’s office for the tragic incident. The first hearing in that matter is Friday.
“The dedication and passion of the entire Rust production team to honor Halyna’s vision has deeply moved us,” Yellowstone Film Ranch co-founders Richard Gray, Carter Boehm and Colin Davis said today. “We’ve learned so much about Halyna as a friend and colleague, the depth of her artistry, and the lasting impact she had on so many. We are honored to play a role in the realization of her vision and to carry forward her inspiring legacy through championing this film.”
Added Souza: “I am deeply grateful to Richie, Carter, and Colin for the invitation to the Yellowstone Film Ranch in Montana. Their unwavering friendship, support, and now partnership in completing Rust and honoring Halyna means the world to me and our entire production team. The beauty of Montana surpasses words, and the warm hospitality and kindness extended by everyone I’ve met has been both humbling and inspiring. It is a privilege to work with such great partners as we see this through on Halyna’s behalf.”
Yellowstone Film Ranch is located in Livingston, MT and since it opened in 2020 has hosted film productions including the Nicolas Cage starrer The Old Way; coincidentally, that pic marked Gutierrez-Reed’s first credit as an armorer.
PREVIOUSLY, February 14: Rust, the indie Western on which cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed by a prop gun fired by Alec Baldwin on October 2021, is eyeing a spring start date to resume production.
The film’s producers, Rust Movie Productions, confirmed the news Tuesday, saying Bianca Cline, whose recent credits include Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, has come aboard as cinematographer joining a mix of new and previous crewmembers.
Producers said that Cline will donate her salary to charity in honor of Hutchins.
Original crew members returning with director Joel Souza — who was shot and wounded in the incident in which Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed have been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter — include stunt coordinator Allan Graf, costume designer Terese Davis, makeup department head Stacy Lockhart and hair department head Anna Williams among others.
This is the second time that the producers have made a big production of asserting a resurrected Rust was happening.
Back in October of last year, they declared that filming would begin with the original cast in January 2023, a date that clearly came and went. It’s unclear exactly when or where shooting will resume based on today’s news, or who is returning from the cast.
Looking a potential five years behind bars if found guilty, Baldwin and Reed were formally charged on January 31 by the Santa Fe D.A.’s office. Baldwin has long denied he actually pulled the trigger on the 1880s prop gun that killed Hutchins and wounded Souza on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set. Souza and several members of the original Rust production are named on the D.A.’s potential witnesses list in the Baldwin and Reed criminal case, which could go to trial later this year.
The first hearing in the case is February 24.
With Baldwin attempting on various fronts to throw a spanner in the works of the Santa Fe District Attorney’s criminal case and a slew of civil cases before the courts in New Mexico and California, the timing of today’s announcement could have a bearing on what happens in front of or behind the cameras
Tuesday it was announced that Halyna Hutchins’ husband Matthew will still serve as an executive producer, as will Grant Hill (The Thin Red Line), alongside the original producers. Rust Movie Productions also said today that with Matthew Hutchins’ support that director Rachel Mason and producer Julee Metz will make a documentary about Halyna Hutchins’ life and work including on Rust.
Matthew Hutchins previously filed a wrongful death suit against Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions over the shooting; the sides reached a settlement on October 5, 2022 in a pact that included Hutchins coming aboard as EP to help finish the film.
However, when charges were unveiled against Baldwin and Reed in late January, reps for Hutchins took a very different tone. “Our independent investigation also supports charges are warranted,” said Hutchins’ family attorney Brian J. Panish on January 31. “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.”
Reps for Matthew Hutchins did not respond to request for comment on today’s news and his role in a new Rust production.
Also, Rust Movie Productions was fined $136,793 by the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau for its “willful and serious” violation of workplace safety procedures after an investigation of the shooting. Appealing that ruling, producers said today that the production “will bar any use of working weapons and any form of ammunition.”
“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,” director Joel Souza said today 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.”
Among the objections that Baldwin and his NYC-based Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan lawyers are trying to get the special prosecutor that D.A. Mary Carmack-Altwies appointed last year thrown off the case for being a recently elected GOP New Mexico state legislator. Hoping to have this addressed at the February 24 hearing, their argument is that it is unconstitutional for long time prosecutor Andrea Reeb to hold both roles in separate arms of the state government, especially as she might vote on legislation that could be related to the case.
Accusing Baldwin and his team of trying to “distract” from their “gross negligence and …reckless disregard for safety,”, a D.A. spokesperson told Deadline on February 7 “the district attorney and the special prosecutor will remain focused on the evidence and on trying this case so that justice is served.”
Citing a murder case she is working on with one of her Assistant D.A.s, Carmack-Altwies yesterday asked Judge Mary Marlowe Summer if her response to Baldwin’s motion could be pushed back until March 6. No ruling on that request has occurred yet.
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