Changes are already being made in show business after the tragic death of filmmaker Halyna Hutchins. On Thursday, Hutchins was in New Mexico working as a cinematographer for the Alec Baldwin Western movie Rust. Police are currently investigating how exactly this came to be, but the prop gun given to Baldwin for a scene was reportedly loaded with a live round that was discharged while filming. Hutchins was struck and died from her injuries with director Joel Souza also wounded.
After the news, The Rookie showrunner Alexi Hawley decided that this was not going to happen on the set of the TV series. He informed ABC executives that he would be no longer using quarter or half loads to film new episodes moving forward. In previous seasons, The Rookie has mostly used CGI to create muzzle flashes, but there were sometimes live weapons used on “big, outside set pieces.” That practice has now been banned as outlined in a memo given to staff by Hawley on Friday, which was published by THR.
“The tragic events in New Mexico yesterday have shaken us all, and our hearts go out to the friends and family of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza,” the memo reads. “As of today, it is now policy on The Rookie that all gunfire on set will be Air Soft guns with CG muzzle flashes added in post. There will be no more ‘live’ weapons on the show. The safety our cast and crew is too important. Any risk is too much risk. As always, if you ever feel unsafe or witness anything that concerns you, please don’t hesitate to report it. My door is always open.”
It remains to be seen how much the Rust tragedy will affect other movie and television productions, but The Rookie isn’t the only one to already move forward with big changes. Eric Kripke, the showrunner of The Boys on Amazon, has similarly said there will be no live guns with blanks on any more of his sets. He also called for other filmmakers to join him.
“Someone hurt or killed on my set is my worst nightmare,” Kripke wrote on Twitter. “Sending love to Halyna Hutchins’ family, @JensenAckles, cast & crew of Rust. I’m so sorry. In her memory, a simple, easy pledge: no more guns with blanks on any of my sets ever. We’ll use VFX muzzle flashes. Who’s with me?”
Alec Baldwin was highly distraught after the tragic incident and has addressed with happened with a statement released online. The actor wrote, “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
The incident is being treated as an accident and no criminal charges have been filed at this time, but the investigation is still ongoing. It’s reminding many of a similar incident with Brandon Lee during the filming of The Crow in 1993, and the late actor’s family has also spoken out about the accident. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.