As Alec Baldwin's Rust Manslaughter Case Looms, The Western Has Made A Big Production Change

Alec Baldwin in Mission: Impossible: Fallout
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Despite the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of Rust in October 2021, the Western movie is still moving forward. Alec Baldwin, who was holding the prop gun that discharged the live round that fatally injured Hutchins and struck director Joel Souza in the shoulder, is still attached to lead the upcoming movie as he awaits the involuntary manslaughter case leveled against him. Word has now come in that Rust has made a big production change: shifting filming locations.

When Rust began principal photography, cameras were set up at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Bonanza City, New Mexico. Production is expected to resume this spring, and the movie’s producers confirmed to Deadline that Rust will now film at the Yellowstone Film Ranch in Livingston, Montana. This news follows after it was announced that several of the crew members from Rust’s original start, including Joel Souza, will return to complete the movie. Souza expressed his gratitude to Yellowstone Film Ranch co-founders Richard Gray, Carter Boehm and Colin Davis for letting Rust film at that location in the following statement:

I am deeply grateful to Richie, Carter, and Colin for the invitation to the Yellowstone Film Ranch in Montana. Their unwavering friendship, support, and now partnership in completing Rust and honoring Halyna means the world to me and our entire production team. The beauty of Montana surpasses words, and the warm hospitality and kindness extended by everyone I’ve met has been both humbling and inspiring. It is a privilege to work with such great partners as we see this through on Halyna’s behalf.

Among the new crew members who are joining Rust as it moves to Montana is Marcel the Shell with Shoes On cinematographer Bianca Cline taking over the late Halyna Hutchins’ duties and is reportedly donating her salary to charity in honor of Hutchins. The Yellowstone Film Ranch has previously housed movies like the recent Nicholas Cage-led Western The Old Way, which is also where Rust’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, first served as a production’s armorer. Like Alec Baldwin, Gutierrez-Reed has been charged with involuntary manslaughter over Hutchins’ death.

Rust was originally set to resume filming in January of this year, and it’s unclear what unfolded behind-the-scenes that resulted in this not happening. Still, now that this arrangement with the Yellowstone Film Ranch has been set up, the movie is on track to pick up where things left more than a year and a half ago. Rust will also now see Halyna Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, acting as an executive producer. Whether Rust will be finished in time to be a 2023 new movie release or will be saved for 2024 remains to be seen.

As for Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, they were both hit with an additional “firearm enhancement” charge earlier this month, which meant they potentially faced an extra five years in prison. That particular charge was recently dropped, but Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed are still looking at a maximum of 18 months in prison if found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. The first hearing is on Friday. The Rust movie itself was fined $136,793 last April.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.