The crew of the ill-fated western “Rust” is scouting new locations to resume filming the movie with plans to have a safety officer on set.
“The production of ‘Rust’ will not return to New Mexico,” Melina Spadone, Attorney for Rust Movie Productions LLC, told Fox News Digital late Wednesday. “The production is considering other locations, including in California, but no decisions have been made.”
The news comes nearly a year after director of photography Halyna Hutchins died when a gun held by actor Alec Baldwin accidentally discharged during a rehearsal, striking her. Director Joel Souza was also wounded when the bullet went through Hutchins, striking him in the shoulder.
Since her death, the film has been mired in investigations, litigation and controversy.
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Earlier this month, a civil settlement with her family revealed that the crew planned to continue filming in January 2023 with Hutchins’ widower Matthew Hutchins as an executive producer.
“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,” Hutchins said at the time. “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.”
Souza is reportedly set to come back and Hutchins’ statement implies that Baldwin, who was the star and a producer on the movie, will return to the set, but the actor told ABC late last year, “I can’t imagine I would ever do a movie that had a gun in it again, I can’t.”
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Baldwin has denied wrongdoing, including pulling the trigger on the gun, and has not yet faced any charges. Investigators have said the gun couldn’t have gone off without the trigger being pulled.
“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” Hutchins continued in the statement. “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.”
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However, the Santa Fe District Attorney’s office spokesperson Heather Brewer said at the time the settlement has “no impact on District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies’ ongoing investigation or her ultimate decision whether to file criminal charges in the case.”
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Brewer added, “If the facts and evidence warrant criminal charges under New Mexico law then charges will be brought. No one is above the law.”