'Rust' to Resume Production Soon Amid Criminal Charges

The cast and crew of Rust will reportedly get back to work this spring even as the criminal case against some of its producers moves forward. Rust is an indie Western that halted production in October of 2021 when Alec Baldwin accidentally fired a live round on set, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. In spite of all this, the movie will still be completed.

Rust Movie Productions confirmed on Tuesday plans to return to set, according to a report by Deadline. Cinematographer Bianca Cline has joined the crew, along with a mix of other new crewmembers joining the previous staff. Cline recently worked on Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, and she reportedly intends to donate her salary from this movie to charity in Hutchins' honor.

Hutchins' husband, Matthew Hutchins, will also be joining the crew as an executive producer. He joins Souza and other returning staff such as stunt coordinator Allan Groff, costume designer Terese Davis, makeup department head Stacy Lockhard and hair department head Anna Williams. Grant Hill is the only other new producer, while Baldwin and several others will return in that capacity as well.

The production company also confirmed that it will support director Rachel Mason and producer Julee Metz who are making a documentary about Hutchins' life and her work, including her work on Rust. Her husband has supported that team as well. Matthew Hutchins previously filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin and the producers over his wife's killing, but they settled out of court in October. Hutchins' role as EP on the movie was a part of that settlement.

That wasn't the end of the legal battle. On Jan. 31, 2023, the Santa Fe District Attorney's office charged Baldwin and former armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed with involuntary manslaughter. Baldwin could face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison if found guilty. His lawyer told reporters from CNN that he intends to plead not guilty. He is due in court on Feb. 24 to begin those proceedings.

Of course, the trial could impact Baldwin's availability to continue work on Rust, but the crew apparently intends to go forward regardless. Souza issued a statement saying: "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. 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."