Alec Baldwin will return for the title role in the feature film “Rust” despite double charges of manslaughter filed by the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney on Thursday.
Melina Spadone, an attorney for Rust Movie Productions, LLC, confirmed to Fox News Digital that the film is “on track to completion with Mr. Baldwin in the title role and Joel Souza directing.”
Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of the western in New Mexico, and Souza was injured by a gunshot when Baldwin accidentally loaded live ammunition into a fired gun while rehearsing a scene in a church on Oct. 21, 2021. The actor has already that he denied pulling the trigger of the gun that killed Hutchins.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who served as a gunsmith in the film, was also charged with two counts of manslaughter.
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Spadone also confirmed that the project will include “on-set security supervisors and union crew members, and will prohibit any use of work weapons or ammunition.”
Live ammunition was reportedly prohibited on the set of the movie “Rust.” The Motion Picture Association has actively campaigned to update firearms safety requirements.
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If Baldwin is convicted, he could face up to 18 months in prison.
Baldwin’s attorney called the charges a “terrible judicial error” in a statement provided to Fox News Digital.
“This decision misrepresents the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice,” said Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel. “Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun, or in any part of the film set. He relied on the professionals he worked with, who assured him that the gun had no live bullets. We will fight against these charges, and we will win.”
Hutchins’ family thanked the sheriff’s office and the prosecutor after the charges were announced.
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“We want to thank the Santa Fe Sheriff and District Attorney for concluding their thorough investigation and determining that manslaughter charges are justified for the murder of Halyna Hutchins with knowing disregard for human life,” said a statement issued on behalf of the Hutchins. family through attorney Brian J. Panish, founding partner of Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi LLP.
“Our independent investigation also supports that the charges are justified. It’s a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law. We support the charges, will cooperate fully with this prosecution, and fervently hope that the justice system works to protect the public and hold those who break the law accountable.”
While “Rust” will resume production in 2023, the teams will not return to New Mexico.
In October, Spadone confirmed to Fox News Digital that production was “considering other locations, including California, but no decisions have been made.”
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