People are “absolutely” going to see the western Rust, even though lead actor Alec Baldwin is being charged in the death of the film’s cinematographer, some observers say.
Melina Spadone, attorney for Rust Movie Productions, confirmed to Fox News Digital that the film is “on track to be completed, with Mr. Baldwin starring and Joel Souza directing.”
Spadone also confirmed that the project will “include on-set security supervisors and union members and will ban any use of working guns or ammunition.” Live ammunition was reportedly banned on the set of the “Rust” film.
One expert told Fox News Digital the tragedy on the “Rust” set could actually result in much bigger box office numbers.
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“In fact, because of this terrible tragedy, a much, much larger audience is aware of ‘Rust,'” Red Banyan senior vice president Kelcey Kintner told Fox News Digital. “I’m sure people will be curious as to how the producers are handling the film given the tragic circumstances, and they will also be interested in seeing Alec Baldwin’s performance as he is burdened with this very serious charge.”
However, trademark expert Eric Schiffer noted that the film is untouchable for a majority of people.
“For those who brake during freeway crashes and spend time turning 90 degrees and being glued to the scene, they’re going to see it,” Schiffer told Fox News Digital. “But to millions of others, ‘rust’ is dust. They wouldn’t touch it. You would get as close to him as you would to a dirty bomb in your neighborhood.”
Experts agreed that despite the tragic shooting on the original set in 2021, guns would likely continue to be used in the film.
“I think they’re going to try to find a way to capture the thirst for the experience that some want — the thirst for the horrible — with respect for those who should still be here and on this planet,” noted Schiffer.
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Kintner added, “The film is a western about an outlaw trying to break his grandson out of prison, so guns and violence will certainly still be a part of the film. But one thing is certain, serious security measures are in place to ensure there is no live ammunition on set.
“In fact, one would hope that all film sets would have reviewed and evaluated their safety protocols in the face of this very avoidable accident. In the end, it would be fitting if Halyna Hutchins was remembered not only for her work, but for making changes that made film sets safer.”
It was announced that Rust would be completed after Halyna’s family settled a legal dispute against Baldwin and other members of the production. The film will not be completed in New Mexico.
“Halyna’s widower is now executive producer on the film and understandably wants the final product to pay tribute to his late wife’s final work,” said Kintner. “Given his dedication and commitment to completing Halyna’s final production, it makes sense to continue.”
Schiffer called the train a “disgusting money heist.”
“It shows a great disrespect for Halyna, all for Hollywood profits, at a time when the star may face jail time,” Schiffer told Fox News Digital.
Baldwin faces double manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Hutchins. The cameraman died on October 21, 2021 after Baldwin fired a gun on set.
Souza was also injured in the shooting at a church at Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico.
Baldwin’s attorney called the decision to charge the actor a “miscarriage of justice.”
“This decision distorts the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins and constitutes a horrific miscarriage of justice,” Quinn Emanuel’s Luke Nikas told Fox News Digital in a statement. “Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the film set. He relied on the professionals he worked with to reassure him the gun had no live cartridges. We will fight these allegations and we will win.”
Involuntary manslaughter is a Class D felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Baldwin’s second count is negligent homicide in the commission of a lawful act that “requires proof that more than simple negligence was involved in a death,” according to the prosecutor’s office. It is also punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
However, this fee includes a firearm upgrade. If convicted of the enhancement, Baldwin faces a mandatory five-year sentence.
Fox News Digital’s Tracy Wright contributed to this report.