People will “definitely” watch the western Rust, though lead actor Alec Baldwin faces charges in the death of the film’s cinematographer, some observers say.
Melina Spadone, attorney for Rust Movie Productions, confirmed to Fox News Digital that the film is “on track to be completed, with Mr. Baldwin starring and Joel Souza directing.”
Spadone also confirmed that the project will “include on-set security supervisors and union members and will ban any use of working guns or ammunition.” Live ammunition was reportedly banned on the set of the “Rust” movie.
One expert told Fox News Digital that the tragedy on the “Rust” set could actually lead to much bigger box office numbers.
Experts told Fox News Digital that although lead actor Alec Baldwin faces charges and jail, people will “definitely” watch the finished Rust movie. (Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
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“In fact, because of this terrible tragedy, a much, much larger audience is aware of ‘Rust,'” Red Banyan senior vice president Kelcey Kintner told Fox News Digital. “I’m sure people will be curious as to how the producers are handling the film given the tragic circumstances, and they will also be interested in seeing Alec Baldwin’s performance as he is charged with this very serious charge.”
However, trademark expert Eric Schiffer noted that the film is untouchable for a majority of people.
“For those who are braking in freeway crashes and spending time turning 90 degrees and sticking to the scene, they’re going to see it,” Schiffer told Fox News Digital. “But to millions of others, ‘rust’ is dust. They wouldn’t touch it.
Experts agreed that despite the tragic shooting on the original set in 2021, guns would likely continue to be used in the film.
“I think they’re going to try to find a way to capture the thirst for the experience that some want — the thirst for the horrible — with respect for those who should still be here and on this planet,” noted Schiffer.
Alec Baldwin will complete the film adaptation of Rust as the lead in the western. (Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office)
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Kintner added, “The film is a western about an outlaw trying to break his grandson out of prison, so guns and violence will certainly still be a part of the film. But one thing is for sure, serious security precautions will be taken to ensure there is no live ammunition on set.
“In fact, one would hope that all film sets would have reviewed and evaluated their safety protocols in the face of this very avoidable accident. In the end, it would be fitting if Halyna Hutchins was remembered not only for her work, but for doing something that has made film sets safer.”
It was announced that Rust would be completed after Halyna’s family settled a legal dispute against Baldwin and other members of the production. The film will not be completed in New Mexico.
“Halyna’s widower is now executive producer on the film and understandably wants the final product to pay tribute to his late wife’s final work,” said Kintner. “Given his dedication and commitment to completing Halyna’s final production, it makes sense to continue.”
Schiffer called the step a “disgusting money robbery”.
“It shows a great disrespect for Halyna, all for Hollywood profits, at a time when the star may face jail time,” Schiffer told Fox News Digital.
Alec Baldwin shoves an envelope in his face as he entered a building in New York City on January 20. This was the first time Alec Baldwin has been seen in public since it was revealed he’s facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter against Halina Hutchins. (Dario Alequin for Fox News Digital)
Baldwin faces double manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Hutchins. The cameraman died on October 21, 2021 after Baldwin fired a gun on set.
Souza was also injured in the shooting at a church at Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico.
Baldwin’s attorney called the decision to charge the actor a “miscarriage of justice.”
“This decision distorts the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins and constitutes a horrific miscarriage of justice,” Quinn Emanuel’s Luke Nikas told Fox News Digital in a statement. “Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the film set. He relied on the professionals he worked with to assure him the gun had no live cartridges. We’re going to fight fees and we’re going to win.”
Involuntary manslaughter is a Class D felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Baldwin’s second count is negligent homicide in the commission of a lawful act that “requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in a death,” according to the prosecutor’s office. It is also punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
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However, this fee includes a firearm upgrade. If convicted of the enhancement, Baldwin faces a mandatory five-year sentence.
Fox News Digital’s Tracy Wright contributed to this report.