Alec Baldwin tried to settle ‘Rust’ shooting case to resume suspended production

Hollywood star Alec Baldwin tried to arrange a settlement with Matthew Hutchins, the widower of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was fatally shot on the sets of the Western film ‘Rust’ last October, reports ‘Variety’.

The settlement would have allowed filmmakers to complete the film. Baldwin revealed the efforts in an arbitration filing against Ryan Smith, the lead producer on the film, and against Rust Move Productions LLC, the production entity, on Friday (U.S. Pacific Standard Time).

Baldwin had two phone conversations with Matthew Hutchins in January, in which he discussed the proposed settlement using a combination of insurance proceeds and a portion of the film’s profits to compensate Matthew and his son.

However, the settlement discussions ended when Matthew filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baldwin and others in the film last month.

Baldwin’s attorneys are seeking to invoke the indemnification clause of his producer contract, which would force Smith and the production entity to assume liability for all legal claims and pay Baldwin’s defense costs. The filing also provides a detailed narrative of Baldwin’s involvement in the film.

Baldwin has emphasized that he was involved with the film in the capacity of a “creative” producer on the project, and was not involved in hiring the crew. The filing also notes that Baldwin, as an actor, would not have had any role in checking the gun to make sure it did not contain live rounds.

As per ‘Variety’, in the arbitration filing, Baldwin states that he took the lead in persuading Souza and the primary cast to complete the film, as part of a proposed settlement that would compensate Matthew Hutchins and his son. The filing also notes that the actor began discussions with other producers as early as November 3 on a possible settlement, but that the other producers – notably Smith – did not play an active role in such talks.

The filing, accessed by ‘Variety’, states, “No one who had been involved in ‘Rust’ is eager to return to New Mexico.”

“It was only after an enormous input of time and work that Baldwin was able to convince each of the primary actors needed to complete the film and the film’s director Souza – who had been injured in that day’s events – that finishing ‘Rust’ was an important step in honoring Halyna Hutchins’s memory and talent, defining her legacy, and, in turn, providing financial support to her family”, the filing further stated.

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