“The family of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who was fatally shot by Alec Baldwin on the set of the movie “Rust” last year, has reached a settlement in its wrongful-death lawsuit against producers, including Mr. Baldwin, lawyers for the parties said on Wednesday.
Production of the film will resume in January, with Matthew Hutchins, Ms. Hutchins’s widower, as executive producer, according to the terms of the settlement. The film will be directed by Joel Souza, the movie’s original director.
Ms. Hutchins was killed when Mr. Baldwin was practicing with a gun he had been told was not loaded with live ammunition; it went off, striking her and Mr. Souza, who was wounded. Up to four people could face criminal charges, the Santa Fe County District Attorney’s Office recently indicated.
The suit, which was filed in February by Ms. Hutchins’s husband, her young son and the personal representative of her estate, accused Mr. Baldwin and the other defendants of reckless conduct and cost-cutting measures that endangered the crew, including failing to follow basic industry standard safety checks and gun safety rules.
‘The filming of Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board, in January 2023,’ Mr. Hutchins said in a statement about the settlement that was released through his lawyer. He added, ‘I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.’
Ms. Hutchins, 42, was fatally shot on Oct. 21, 2021, as Mr. Baldwin practiced drawing an old-fashioned revolver from a shoulder holster. Mr. Baldwin has insisted that he was not to blame in the fatal shooting, saying in a television interview last year that he did not pull the trigger of the gun when it fired a live round.
Other civil lawsuits have been filed against the production by crew members, and the Santa Fe County District Attorney’s Office recently requested additional funds to cover costs if charges were brought, which could result in several high-profile trials.
In its request for funding, the office said that up to four people — including Mr. Baldwin — could be charged if prosecutors decided criminal charges were warranted. It remains unclear why live bullets were on the film set and how at least one got into the gun that Mr. Baldwin was handling.
Lawyers for Mr. Hutchins said they were not sharing any further details of the settlement. Several others beyond the production company and Mr. Baldwin were named in the original lawsuit, including Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armorer; Dave Halls, the first assistant director; and Seth Kenney, a supplier of guns and ammunition for the film.
But the lawyers for Mr. Hutchins would not comment on whether they were included in the settlement, nor whether Mr. Baldwin would star as his original character, Harland Rust, when production resumes.
A lawyer for Mr. Baldwin, Luke Nikas, said: “Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”
A lawyer for Rust Movie Productions, Melina Spadone, said the resolution “marks an important step forward in celebrating Halyna’s life and honoring her work.”
In a statement, a lawyer for Ms. Gutierrez-Reed, Jason Bowles, said that his client was grateful the settlement would benefit the Hutchins family and that they were “hopeful that the district attorney’s office will also recognize that a measure of justice has been achieved in regards to this tragic accident, and that they will opt not to pursue criminal charges.” Mr. Bowles said he was not certain whether a dismissal of the settled lawsuit would apply to his client.
In Mr. Hutchins’s statement on Wednesday, he said he had “no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame” to Mr. Baldwin or any other producers.
“All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident,” the statement said.
Your Reaction to the Baldwin and Hutchins deal?
I find it intriguing that a financial settlement of sorts caused the lawyer for the movie’s armorer would say “a measure of justice has been achieved.”
Justice usually is a process, and it usually involves finding culpability, among other things. (So far, no one’s been found culpable in this case.) Moreover, the emotional pain and suffering aspect of this case hasn’t been addressed, especially regarding Halyna’s son, one of the main victims in this episode.
Do you like that ‘Halyna Hutchins was killed on set when a gun held by Alec Baldwin went off, and a settlement with producers, including Mr. Baldwin, means the film will resume production in January?’
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