A lawyer for the company that produced “Rust” confirmed that it will continue filming the western with Alec Baldwin continuing to star, days after a prosecutor announced it would charge the Hollywood star in the shooting that killed cinematographer Helena Hutchins.
Baldwin will continue to play Grandfather Harland Rust, while Joel Sousa will return to direct “Rust” after he was injured in the October 2021 shooting, Melina Spadoni, a lawyer for Rust Movie Productions, said.
Spadoni said Matt Hutchins, husband of the late photographer Helena, would become the executive producer.
“The film is in the process of being completed,” she added in a statement.
Helena Hutchins was killed on set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, while Baldwin was practicing firing a gun when a live bullet fired, also hitting Sousa.
U.S. Attorney Mary Carmack Altoise, the chief prosecutor in Santa Fe, said Thursday she intends to charge both Baldwin and gun handler Hannah Gutierrez Reed with involuntary manslaughter.--
Baldwin settled a lawsuit filed by the Hutchins family in October, under which Hutchins’ husband will take a producing role on the movie, which resumes shooting this month.-
Baldwin denied responsibility for the shooting and said that live ammunition should never have been allowed on set and that it was up to those responsible for the safety of firearms.
It has not yet been revealed how the real weapons got into the film’s set.
Legal analysts said prosecutors face an uphill battle to convict Baldwin of criminal charges without evidence he knew there were live ammunition and took no precautions. Some believe they are seeking a plea bargain with the Emmy Award-winning “30 Rock” star in exchange for reduced charges.
Negligent manslaughter is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. If the prosecution proves that the matter goes beyond mere negligent use of a firearm, the penalty could be up to five years in prison.