As New Mexico police continue to probe the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and the injuring of Rust director Joel Souza on Thursday by a prop gun held by the film’s star and producer Alec Baldwin, Santa Fe’s top prosecutor is taking a wait-and-see approach on whether charges will be coming.
“This case is still in its preliminary states of investigation,” First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies told Deadline on Friday.
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“We are assisting the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and have offered our full support to them,” she added. “At this time, we do not know if charges will be filed. We will look into all facts and evidence of the case with great discretion and have further information at a later time. Our thoughts are with all affected by this tragedy.”
Before any criminal homicide charges or otherwise are filed, if they are, law enforcement sources tell us there has to be a determination of whether a prop gun is considered a deadly weapon. Carmack-Altwies’ office told Deadline it believes it could be, but want to see what the cops discover — if it was blanks or live rounds in the prop gun — before making any final decision.
Earlier Friday, Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Juan Rios said that the department expects “to have more information next week as our investigation continues.”
Obviously, production on Rust has been suspended.
Hutchins was killed by the weapon Baldwin “discharged” on Thursday afternoon on location at the Bonanza Creek Ranch just outside Santa Fe. Initially injured, Souza was taken to a local hospital and has since been released. As with others on the scene, Baldwin was questioned by police after the tragic shooting and released later yesterday. “No arrests or charges have been filed,” the sheriff’s department has said.
Rust stars Baldwin and was written and directed by Souza. Travis Fimmel, Brady Noon, Frances Fisher and Jensen Ackles also star. Souza and Baldwin wrote the story.
The film’s plot centers on Harland Rust (Baldwin), an infamous Western outlaw who has had a bounty on his head for as long as he can remember. When his estranged 13-year-old grandson Lucas (Noon) is convicted of an accidental murder and sentenced to hang, Rust travels to Kansas to break him out of prison. Together, the two fugitives must outrun the legendary U.S. Marshal Wood Helm (Ackles) and bounty-hunter Fenton “Preacher” Lang (Fimmel) who are hot on their tail. Deeply buried secrets rise from the ashes and an unexpected familial bond begins to form as the mismatched duo tries to survive the merciless American Frontier.
CAA Media Finance is handling domestic sales for the pic, with Highland Film Group repping international.
Baldwin is also producing under his El Dorado Pictures banner along with Matt DelPiano through his Cavalry Media, Ryan Donnell Smith through Thomasville Pictures, Anjul Nigam of Brittany House Pictures and Ryan Winterstern and Nathan Klingher of Short Porch Pictures. Allen Cheney, Emily Hunter Salveson, Christopher M.B. Sharp, and Jennifer E. Lamb are EPs. BondIt Media Capital and Hunter Salveson and Donnell Smith’s Streamline Global are financing.
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