The estate of Halyna Hutchins has reached a settlement with “Rust” producers, including its star, Alec Baldwin, who was holding the gun when it fired and killed the cinematographer and injured director Joel Souza last October.
On February 15, the Hutchins family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin and the rest of the “Rust” producers after production AD David Halls told Baldwin that the weapon was “cold.” Instead, the weapon contained live rounds; an investigation into how live rounds ended up on a film set is still ongoing.
On Wednesday morning, Deadline reported that the Hutchins’ estate had reached a settlement with “Rust” producers, allowing the film to resume filming. Halyna’s husband, Matthew Hutchins, will serve as executive producer of the film, which will return to production in January 2023 with the original cast.
Alec Baldwin Is ‘Pleased’ ‘Rust’ Will Continue Filming After Halyna Hutchins Settlement
View this post on Instagram
Shortly after the news broke, the “30 Rock” actor took to Instagram to make a short statement alongside a screenshot of the Deadline article that first broke the news.
“We are pleased to announce today the settlement of the civil case filed on behalf of the family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins,” Baldwin wrote. “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.”
Many of his social media followers had mixed feelings about the news that the film will resume filming. “I hope everyone can move forward now and find peace,” one fan commented. “Kinda can’t believe the movie will be finished but I’m sure it’ll be dedicated to her which will be nice for her legacy.”
Matthew Hutchins Make Statement Over ‘Rust’ Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In a statement, Matthew Hutchins said, “We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, for our wrongful death case against the producers of Rust, including Alec Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions, LLC. As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed.”
“The filming of Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board in January 2023,” he continued.
“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” Hutchins added. “All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”
Director Joel Souza and Others Release Official Statements
Director Joel Souza, who was injured in the incident, also released a long statement honoring the late Halyna Hutchins while revealing that he will continue to direct the film.
“Those of us who were lucky enough to have spent time with Halyna knew her to be exceedingly talented, kind, creative, and a source of incredible positive energy,” Souza said. “I only wish the world had gotten to know her under different circumstances, as it surely would have through her amazing work.”
“In my own attempts to heal, any decision to return to finish directing the film could only make sense for me if it was done with the involvement of Matt and the Hutchins family,” he continued. “Though certainly bittersweet, I am pleased that together, we will now complete 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.”
Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, also made a short statement. “Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son,” Nikas said. “We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”
Rust Movie Productions, LLC also made a statement through its attorney, Melina Spadone of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, saying, “We are pleased the parties came together to resolve this matter, which, subject to court approval, marks an important step forward in celebrating Halyna’s life and honoring her work.”
Although it’s been close to a year since the incident, no one has yet to be criminally charged in her death, but it’s possible that charges are coming soon. Last month, Deadline reported that Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies had sent a letter to the New Mexico Board of Finance requesting $635K to prosecute as many as four individuals with criminal and homicide charges related to the Rust tragedy. Ultimately, the DA was only granted $317,750.
In the letter, the DA said, “one of the possible defendants is well-known movie actor Alec Baldwin.”
However, Baldwin’s attorney fired back at the letter, saying “that it would be premature to discuss the case because they had not yet reviewed the file or deliberated about their charging decision.”
“It is irresponsible to report otherwise,” Nikas added. “The DA has made clear that she has not received the sheriff’s report or made any decisions about who, if anyone, might be charged in this case.”
Alec Baldwin recently welcomed his eighth child, his seventh child with his wife Hilaria Baldwin, on September 22.