The Western film “Rust” is in production again 18 months after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed by a prop gun Alec Baldwin was holding, but this time there won’t be any real firearms on set.
The New York Times reported that real guns were prohibited going forward and have been replaced with plastic replicas and rubber bullets.
“I’ve said it, and I’m going to say it every single time: There are no weapons on set,” first assistant director Gerard DiNardi told the crew, per the Times report. “There is nothing that fires. There are a lot of facsimiles of weapons, from rubber to replicas.”
Hutchins was killed in October 2021 when the firearm Baldwin was holding discharged, fatally striking the cinematographer and also injuring movie director Joel Souza. Both the director and Baldwin are back on set.
The film’s new armorer Andrew Wert said the production would use dummy rounds made of rubber and wood, which are painted gold, the publication noted. Wert has been announcing that each weapon is a replica and will not fire whenever one is introduced on set. The new armorer also keeps the guns locked in a password-protected case between scenes.
Baldwin and former armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed were charged with involuntary manslaughter. Despite charges against Baldwin being dropped last week, special prosecutors said that the investigation remains active and that charges could be refiled.
Director Guy Ritchie said in the wake of the tragedy that he wouldn’t allow real guns on set for his projects. He told Newsweek recently that the crew used Airsoft guns on the set of “The Covenant.”
“That whole thing has changed now, the whole game has changed. We haven’t used a real weapon since [the ‘Rust’ shooting]. So there were no real weapons. It’s the first shoot that we had, which I have to tell you, it’s a tremendous relief for all of us,” Ritchie said.
“[Airsoft weapons] look as good as real weapons, they do all the functions as a real weapon. You get a gas discharge. It all seems as authentic as it can be, but as Jake [Gyllenhaal] said, it’s Airsoft though. No one can get into any trouble.”
“I’ve never liked real firearms,” the director said. “I had no idea why we carried on in the industry with real firearms. It was just one of those things that everyone did, and it’s a tremendous relief, as I’m sure it is for Jake, as much as it is for me, that you don’t have that sword hanging over us any longer.”