‘Rust’ Producer ‘Confident’ Movie Will Be Completed Following Halyna Hutchins Shooting Investigation

by Leanne Stahulak

Seven months after the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, one “Rust” producer believes the film will move forward once the shooting investigation wraps up.

Anjul Nigam, one of the film’s producers, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about “Rust’s” progress.

Rust is obviously a horrific tragedy,” Nigam said. “The investigation will hopefully be resolved soon and will unveil what happened. Obviously, there will be people out there who will have negative perspectives, but we’re confident about continuing to make quality movies.”

He added, “We’re confident we’ll be able to complete the movie.”

Production ground to a halt in October when Hutchins died. Alec Baldwin, the film’s star, was holding a reportedly non-lethal prop gun. It misfired and killed Hutchins while injuring director Joel Souza. This took place at the “Rust” set at Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department is leading the investigation.

A few weeks ago, the department released “all files” from the “Rust” shooting investigation thus far. They said the investigation was still “open and ongoing.”

Per Sheriff Adan Mendoza, the files are “all related to the ‘Rust’ movie set investigation” from earlier. And they include “lapel/dash camera footage from deputies and detectives, incident reports, crime scene photos, examination reports, witness interviews, set video, and staff photos collected.”

As of April 25, the sheriff’s office is waiting on several components of the investigation. These include “FBI firearm and ballistic forensics. Along with DNA and latent fingerprint analysis, Office of the New Mexico Medical Examiner findings report and the analysis of Mr. Alec Baldwin’s phone data extracted by Suffolk County Sheriff’s investigators.”

Per Mendoza, “Once these investigative components are provided to the sheriff’s office, we will be able to complete the investigation to forward it to the Santa Fe District Attorney for review.”

Alec Baldwin Reveals That ‘Rust’ Shooting Investigation ‘Exonerartes’ Him

Last month, Alec Baldwin took to Instagram and Twitter to share pieces of the official report released by the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau. This report, which included details of the “Rust” shooting investigation, apparently “exonerated” him.

“We appreciate the report exonerates Mr. Baldwin by making clear that he believed the gun held only dummy rounds,” Baldwin said in a statement through his attorney.

“Additionally, the report recognizes that Mr. Baldwin’s authority on the production was limited to approving script changes and creative casting,” the statement continued. “Mr. Baldwin had no authority over the matters that were the subject of the Bureau’s findings of violations. And we are pleased that the New Mexico officials have clarified these critical issues.” 

On Twitter, Baldwin shared a portion of the report. The section in the screenshot reads, “Alec Baldwin, Actor and Producer, and Joel Souza, Director, negotiated with various producers to help create and fund the Rust project. Alec Baldwin’s authority on the set included approving script changes and actor candidates.”