Alec Baldwin and the estate of Halyna Hutchins have settled their dispute after nearly a year of investigation and heartache. As you may recall, Hutchins died on the set of Baldwin’s Western film Rust when Baldwin fired a Colt .45 revolver that was supposed to be “cold.” Tragically, the discharge from the weapon struck Hutchins, and she passed shortly after that.
“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,” said Matthew Hutchins, husband of the late Halyna Hutchins, this morning.
Under the settlement, Hutchins will receive an executive producer credit on the film. Additionally, in what some have called a ghoulish move, production will resume on the cursed project in January 2023, with principal players returning.
“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” Hutchins explained. “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.”
Reports indicate that Baldwin got in front of the situation early and tried to compensate the Hutchins before things could escalate. Baldwin planned to repay the Hutchins through insurance and a portion of the film’s earnings. Baldwin wanted to settle early because an actor in the movie was in danger of aging out of the role. There are other, classier reasons, but nothing ever came of this attempt.
“Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the resolution of this tragic and painful situation,” said Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas, in a statement.
Rust director Joel Souza, also injured in the incident, said, “Those of us who were lucky enough to have spent time with Halyna knew her to be exceedingly talented, kind, creative, and a source of incredible positive energy. I only wish the world had gotten to know her under different circumstances, as it surely would have through her amazing work.”
Souza continued, “In my own attempts to heal, any decision to return to finish directing the film could only make sense for me if it was done with the involvement of Matt and the Hutchins family. Though certainly bittersweet, I am pleased that together, we will now complete what Halyna and I started. My every effort on this film will be devoted to honoring Halyna’s legacy and making her proud. It is a privilege to see this through on her behalf.”
Aspects of the incident still hang in the balance, including whether prosecutors in New Mexico will charge Baldwin and other crew members with more involvement in the tragedy.