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'Rust' to resume filming this spring, Alec Baldwin still attached despite looming criminal trial

More than one year after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins's death, Alec Baldwin's Rust will resume production.
More than one year after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins's death, Alec Baldwin's Rust will resume production. (Photo: Getty Images)

Rust will start filming again this spring with Alec Baldwin back at the helm. The news comes two weeks after the embattled actor was officially charged in the death of the film's cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. The producers of Rust also announced who will succeed Halyna when the Western resumes production.

Director Joel Souza is among those returning to complete the film along with a mix of old and new crew, according to Tuesday's announcement by Rust Movie Productions. Bianca Cline, whose past work includes Marcel the Shell With Shoes On and American Horror Story, has been named as the film's new cinematographer.

"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, who was injured in the accidental October 2021 shooting, 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."

Halyna was killed when a gun Baldwin was rehearsing with discharged. He has repeatedly stated he did not pull the trigger. That will surely be argued at trial as Baldwin's been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors claim he failed as both an actor and producer as they've detailed numerous alleged safety issues on set.

Rust's new armorer and assistant director have not yet been named as it's safe to say Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and Dave Halls will not be back. Gutierrez-Reed, the weapons handler on set, was also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Halls, who allegedly handed the gun to Baldwin and declared it "cold," meaning it contained no live ammunition, struck a plea deal with prosecutors and will avoid jail time. Baldwin has blamed Gutierrez-Reed, Halls and others in his own lawsuit stemming from the tragedy. When Rust resumes production, it will no longer use working weapons. Two new safety officers have been appointed to supervise.

Rust Movie Productions also announced that a documentary will be made about the completion of Rust and about Halyna's life and work. The documentary has the "full support" of the production, according to a press release, and of Halyna's widower, Matthew, with whom she shared one young son. It will be directed by Rachel Mason and produced by Julee Metz, both of whom were close friends with Halyna. The documentary "will show the brilliance and depth of Halyna's talent while conveying what her loss has meant to her friends, colleagues, and the entire film industry." Matthew will serve as an executive producer.

Matthew sued Baldwin and producers for wrongful death, but they reached a settlement last year. Matthew will also be an executive producer of Rust when filming resumes and he and his son will obtain an insurance payout and a portion of the film's profits.

Baldwin's legal woes are far from over, though. Aside from his pending criminal trial, Halyna's parents and sister just filed lawsuit against the actor, producers of Rust, Gutierrez-Reed, Halls and others.