The family of Halyna Hutchins, the Ukrainian cinematographer who died in 2021 from an accidental shot by Alec Baldwin during the filming of the film Rust, has reached an agreement with the actor to withdraw his claim in the involuntary manslaughter lawsuit, according to reports. informed both parties in separate communications. Matthew Hutchins, widower of Halyna Hutchins, will become executive producer of the film under the deal and will receive an undisclosed share of the profits. The agreement in the civil lawsuit does not imply the file of the criminal investigation, in which the prosecution has not yet decided whether to file charges.
Halyna Hutchins, 42, died in October in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, on the set of a western after being shot by Alec Baldwin with a prop gun, which was supposed to be loaded with blank cartridges. Also injured was the film’s director, Joel Souza, 48, who was taken to a Santa Fe hospital and immediately released.
Hutchins’ family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against not only the actor, but also the producers, the companies behind the film, and other crew members. He reported numerous violations of industry safety standards and regulations.
“We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, in 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. Filming on Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume with all original lead actors in January 2023. I have no interest in recriminating or assigning blame (either to the producers or to Mr. Baldwin). We all believe that Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s latest work,” Hutchins said in a statement first published by Deadline.
“Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained a desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son. We are grateful to everyone who has contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation,” Alec Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas, said in a separate statement.
The actor himself has stated on Instagram: “We are pleased to announce today the resolution of the civil case brought on behalf of the family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Throughout this difficult process, everyone has held a specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s child. We are grateful to everyone who has contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”
The Hutchins family’s lawsuit was filed in February. Matthew Hutchins and his infant son then accused Baldwin and other members of the production of criminal negligence. “They failed to do security checks and comply with the rules on handling real weapons, which had fatal consequences,” the indictment stated. This process also pointed to the person in charge of the film’s armory, Hannah Gutiérrez Reed, and the assistant director, David Halls, through whose hands the pistols used in the fiction pass.
The deal announced Wednesday takes some of the pressure off Baldwin, who has argued the revolver only accidentally went off without him pulling the trigger. This has been refuted by FBI investigators, who determined that it was triggered.
The New Mexico District Attorney finalizes the final details before presenting the Rust case in court. At the end of September, the Santa Fe County Prosecutor began the process to secure the necessary budget to begin four legal proceedings against members of the production. “One of the possible defendants is the renowned actor Alec Baldwin,” the Prosecutor’s Office indicated in a document in which it was announced that he will need $635,000 to proceed with these cases in court. A spokesman confirmed this morning to the Los Angeles Times that the agreement between the parties in the civil trial “will have no impact” on the prosecutor’s decision to file charges.
With the resolution reached this week, Baldwin will be able to realize one of his most unlikely ideas after the accident. That is, that the film sees the light as a form of homage to Halyna Hutchins. Industry experts considered it unlikely to happen given the excessive litigation burden that was going to be launched against those in charge of production. Now, with the favorable opinion of the victim, it is easier to conclude the shooting.
In May, Baldwin and one of his co-producers, Anjul Nigam, told The Hollywood Reporter that they would present a project from production company Persona Entertainment to conclude the low-budget western at the Cannes Market. “Obviously, there will be people who have a negative opinion, but we hope to finish the film and make other quality films,” said Nigam. For that they must wait for the final report from the Santa Fe County Sheriff.