While jamming a scene on the New Mexico set in October 2021, the Baldwin Prop Revolver held fire, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. It is unclear why a live bullet was in the gun.
Details of the settlement remain confidential by court order. According to the statement, filming will resume in January with Matthew Hutchins, the late cinematographer’s husband, serving as executive producer.
“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or blaming (the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” Hutchins said in a statement. “We all think 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.
Souza said in a statement that “all of his efforts” on the film “will be devoted to honoring Halyna’s legacy and making him proud”, and described the film’s ending as “a privilege”.
“Those of us who were lucky enough to spend time with Halyna knew that she was extremely talented, kind, creative and an incredible source of positive energy. I only wish the world had gotten to know her in different circumstances, as surely would have been due to his incredible work,” Souza said. “In my own attempts at healing, any decision to come back to complete the making of the film could only make sense to me if it made with input from Matt and the Hutchins family.”
In February, Hutchins filed a civil suit on behalf of himself and his son, Andros Hutchins, against the film’s production companies, several crew members, and Baldwin himself. They sought compensatory and punitive damages.
The suit argued that Baldwin “recklessly shot and killed” Hutchins, that the defendants “failed to perform industry-standard safety checks and follow basic gun safety rules,” and that the production[cut] corners on security producers where human lives were at stake, rushing to meet the schedule and [ignored] numerous complaints of breaches of security.
In April, a report from the New Mexico Department of the Environment’s Office of Occupational Health and Safety found that the film crew violated safety rules and “showed complete indifference to regard to employee safety”, and Rust Movie Productions, LLC was fined nearly $137,000, the maximum amount allowed by New Mexican law.
“Our investigation has determined that this tragic incident would never have happened had Rust Movie Productions, LLC followed national motion picture industry standards for gun safety,” said James Kenney, Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico environment, told CNN at the time. “This is a complete failure by the employer to follow recognized national protocols that keep employees safe.”
The civil lawsuit settlement, which is pending court approval, was one of many filed following the shooting. At the Boulder International Film Festival in March, Baldwin suggested the costumes were motivated by money, though he didn’t specify which costumes he was talking about. “What you have is a certain group of people, litigants and regardless of whoever side it is, what their attitude is, ‘well, people who seem negligent probably don’t have any money and people who have money are not careless,'” he said. according to CNN.
Baldwin, in particular, took to national media to repeatedly insist that he was not responsible for Hutchins’ death. Two months after the incident, he appeared on ABC News say that although he cocked the gun, “the trigger was not pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger. The actor and producer said he believes “someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who it is, but I know it’s not me.”
“I would never point a gun at someone and pull the trigger, ever,” he said, adding, “Someone put a live bullet in the gun, a bullet that didn’t wasn’t even supposed to be on the property.”
In August, FBI forensic reports released suggesting that the revolver would not have discharged without its trigger being pulled while the gun was cocked.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the case remains open.