Alec Baldwin and ‘Rust’ Producers Settle With Slain Cinematographer’s Estate; Filming to Resume in January

Nearly a year after Halyna Hutchins’ death, her widower will enter as an executive producer on the film

rust alec baldwin
Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the deadly accident on the set of "Rust" occurred; (inset) Alec Baldwin (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images; Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)

Updated with statement from attorney for script supervisor Mamie Mitchell 2:25 PM: Alec Baldwin and the production team of “Rust” reached a settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit of Halyna Hutchins on Wednesday. In the agreement, the movie established a date to return to production, and got a new executive producer — Hutchins’ widowed husband.

Halyna Hutchins, the film’s cinematographer, was killed on the set of the film nearly a year ago, after Baldwin fired a prop gun he was told was “cold.” The incident prompted a widespread investigation, and Hutchins’ family filed their lawsuit back in February.

“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,” Matthew Hutchins, husband of Halyna Hutchins, said via his attorney Brian Panish of Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP.

He continued: “The filming of Rust, which I will now executive produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board in January 2023. 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.”

The settlement comes just a few weeks after a hearing in which a New Mexico district attorney said that her office could be close to charging up to four people in the incident with criminal charges relating to homicide. However, the DA said in a statement Wednesday that the settlement between the producers and Hutchins will have “no impact” on the ongoing criminal investigation.

“The proposed settlement announced today in Matthew Hutchins’ wrongful death case against Rust movie producers, including Alec Baldwin, in the death of Halyna Hutchins will have no impact on District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altweis’ ongoing investigation or her ultimate decision whether to file criminal charges in the case. While civil suits are settled privately and often involve financial awards, criminal cases deal only in facts. If the facts and evidence warrant criminal charges under New Mexico law then charges will be brought. No one is above the law,” Heather Brewer, spokesperson for the Office of the First Judicial District Attorney, State of New Mexico, said in a statement.

The case moved forward last month when the FBI completed its forensics analysis on the bullet that killed Hutchins, which allowed the Santa Fe Sheriff’s office to resume their investigation. However at the time, law enforcement officials still needed access to data from Baldwin’s cell phone, which was turned over to authorities in New York, and results were “forthcoming.”

“Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son,” Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas said in a statement to media. “We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation.”

Beyond the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Hutchins, the fatal incident sparked several other civil lawsuits over the working conditions on the film, as well as larger industry calls for increased safety and firearm training.

Baldwin and the producers on “Rust” face at least one other civil lawsuit in relation to “Rust” that was brought by Mamie Mitchell, the film’s script supervisor. In a statement, her attorney Gloria Allred said they will continue to pursue their own civil case and will be willing to testify should a criminal case be filed but also added that she will not be returning to the set once production on “Rust” resumes.

“Mamie is committed to seeking justice in her case. She is very happy that Halyna ’s son and family have reached a settlement that they believe is fair to them. However, Mamie will continue her pursuit of justice in her civil case, and she will also be willing to testify in a criminal case if one is filed,” Allred said in a statement to TheWrap. “Mamie will not be returning to the set of the ‘Rust’ movie production when filming resumes in January. She is too traumatized to return to that set ,because she was standing next to Halyna Hutchins when Halyna was shot and killed.”

Jason Bowles, the attorney for the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, also issued a statement about the settlement.

“Hannah is grateful that this settlement will benefit the Hutchins family and that the parties were able to constructively resolve the civil lawsuit. We are hopeful that the district attorneys office will also recognize that a measure of Justice has been achieved in regards to this tragic accident, and that they will opt to not pursue criminal charges,” Bowles said.