Alec Baldwin addresses Rust settlement after fatal on-set shooting of Halyna Hutchins

Rust will resume production after a settlement was reached with the estate of Halyna Hutchins, who was killed on set.

The western film’s production was shut down after cinematographer Hutchins was shot and killed on the film’s set on 21 October 2021 in New Mexico.

Alec Baldwin, the film’s lead star, was the one who was holding the gun when it discharged. The weapon is believed to have been loaded with dummy rounds instead of gunpowder and a projectile.

The bullet hit Hutchins, as well as the shoulder of the film’s director, Joel Souza. According to onlookers, a horrified Baldwin repeatedly yelled: “What the f*** just happened”.

Souza and the film’s “principal players”, which includes Baldwin, are returning to the film, and will resume production from January 2023. Souza said the film would be completed “in honour” of Hutchins.

Addressing the news on Instagram, Baldwin wrote: “We are pleased to announce today the settlement of the civil case filed on behalf of the family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. 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.”

Matthew Hutchins, Halyna’s husband, said on Wednesday (5 October): “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.”

Deadline reports that the settlement will see Matthew named as the film’s executive producer.

Alec Baldwin is believed to be returning to complete ‘Rust’ (Getty Images for NBC)
Alec Baldwin is believed to be returning to complete ‘Rust’ (Getty Images for NBC)

Matthew added: “I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr Baldwin). 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.”

Meanwhile, Souza continued: “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. 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 honouring Halyna’s legacy and making her proud. It is a privilege to see this through on her behalf.”

He continued: “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. I only wish the world had gotten to know her under different circumstances, as it surely would have through her amazing work.”

In response to Baldwin’s Instagram post, Frances Fisher, who appears in the film, wrote: “Alec, this miraculous resolution is such a relief. So glad that Halyna’s work will be seen. Blessings to all of you.”