This charge dropping is the latest development in the long and tragic case of Hutchins’ death. As previously reported, the October 2021 incident happened in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on the set of the western “Rust.” Baldwin was operating a real Colt .45 pistol seemingly emptied of its rounds, but one live round seemingly discharged upon firing, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed have provided conflicting reports on who they considered more responsible for the mismanagement.
Regardless, the decision to drop the enhancement charge not only helps Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed from seeing a lengthy sentence, but it also could help “Rust” actually get back on track with filming. Producers on the film recently announced that they intend to resume filming in the spring of 2023, with a documentary on Hutchins’ life and career coinciding with it. If things go to plan, Baldwin is expected to return, while Bianca Cline will take over cinematography duties. It is unknown whether Gutierrez-Reed is expected to return as the film’s armorer, although Tenet Production Safety was hired to provide safety officers.
“Though bittersweet, I am grateful that a brilliant and dedicated new production team joining former cast and crew are committed to completing what Halyna and I started,” wrote Souza in a statement. “My every effort on this film will be devoted to honoring Halyna’s legacy and making her proud. It is a privilege to see this through on her behalf.”