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Producers confirmed that the western movie “Rust” is scheduled to resume filming in 2023 and that Alec Baldwin will continue in the lead role.
The news comes just after Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter stemming from the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021. Hutchins was killed on the New Mexico set during a scene rehearsal when a bullet discharged from a gun Baldwin was holding. The actor maintains that he never pulled the trigger. However, an FBI forensic report concluded that the firearm in the fatal shooting could not have fired without the trigger being pulled.
Melina Spadone, an attorney for Rust Movie Productions LLC, told Fox News Digital that the movie is “on track to be completed with Mr. Baldwin in the lead role and Joel Souza as director.”
Souza was hit with the same bullet that killed Hutchins and was hospitalized but released the day after the shooting.
Spadone also said the project would include “on-set safety supervisors and union crew members, and will bar any use of working weapons or any ammunition.”
Filming won’t take place in New Mexico, however, as Spadone previously told the news outlet. She said producers were “considering other locations, including in California, but no decisions have been made.”
Last week, Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, slammed the charges brought against his client.
“This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice,” the attorney said in a statement.
“Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set,” the statement added. “He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”
The charges are considered a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison. But because a firearm was involved, a guilty conviction could result in up to five years of jail time for Baldwin.
Hutchins’ family also released a statement thanking the Santa Fe Sheriff and the District Attorney for deeming the incident worthy of charges being filed, especially due to the “conscious disregard for human life.”
“Our independent investigation also supports that charges are warranted. It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law,” they said. “We support the charges, will fully cooperate with this prosecution, and fervently hope the justice system works to protect the public and hold accountable those who break the law.”
Baldwin has been adamant about his innocence since the incident occurred.
“I feel that someone is responsible for what happened and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me,” the 64-year-old actor told ABC News in December 2021.