AceShowbiz - "Rust" is scheduled to resume production in California because it is "too emotionally difficult" for the cast and crew to return to New Mexico. Filming on the western was halted last October after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was accidentally shot and killed by a prop gun being held by lead actor Alec Baldwin but work is due to start again on the project in January.
Producers are plotting to scout locations in California next week, near Palm Springs and the Nevada border because it doesn't felt appropriate to go back to the original filming cites. "It's emotionally difficult for the crew and the cast to return to the same place," a source told Deadline.
Melina Spadone, the attorney for Rust Movie Productions LLC, confirmed, "The production of 'Rust' will not return to New Mexico. The production is considering other locations, including in California, but no decisions have been made."
A government source warned that if bosses on the film - which is being directed by Joel Souza - did decide to return to New Mexico, there are various hurdles needing to be cleared, including a fine of $136,793 handed out by the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau for the "Rust" production's "willful and serious" violation of workplace safety procedures, which is currently being disputed.
A new line producer still needs to be hired for production, as well as a new armorer, assistant director, and director of photography.
After Alec - who is also a producer on the movie - and Rust Movie Productions LLC recently reached a settlement with Halyna's estate, it was also agreed the late crew member's widower, Matthew Hutchins, will serve as an executive producer.
Matthew previously said he has "no interest" in apportioning blame for his wife's tragic death and wants to pay tribute to Halyna's "final work."
In a statement, he said, "We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, for our wrongful death case against the producers of 'Rust', including Alec Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions, LLC. As part of that settlement, our case will be dismissed."
"The filming of 'Rust', which I will now executive produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board in January 2023."
"I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin). All of us believe Halyna's death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna's final work."