Ahead of a sheriff’s press conference about the investigation into the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, producers on the film “Rust” have hired the law firm Jenner & Block to conduct an independent investigation, a representative of the production told TheWrap.
That decision comes just hours after the Santa Fe County District Attorney told the New York Times that “everything at this point, including criminal charges, is on the table.”
“In addition to cooperating with authorities, we hired a legal team from Jenner & Block to conduct an investigation of the events. We have stressed that they will have full discretion about who to interview and any conclusions they draw,” producers said in a message to “Rust” cast and crew. “They may reach out to you over the next week as well. Because we want to reduce the amount of times you are inconvenienced, when allowed, Jenner & Block will join you for the OSHA interview.”
Deadline first published the memo regarding Jenner & Block.
It’s still unclear precisely what set of process failures or working conditions led to Hutchins’ death. She was killed when star Alec Baldwin, rehearsing a shot that required him to face the camera, drew a prop gun that appears to have been loaded with real ammunition. It’s now known that the set had very lax safety standards, with prop guns being used for recreational target practice, and a mass walkout by several “Rust” crew members on the morning before Hutchins’ death.
One key detail that emerged Monday is the inexperience of the shoot’s armorer, 24-year-old Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. As TheWrap exclusively reported, Gutierrez-Reed was the subject of numerous complaints on her previous film after she discharged weapons without warning and infuriated star Nicolas Cage, according to a crew member on the film.