Baldwin settles wrongful death suit with Hutchinson family

AP Photo/John Minchillo

It hasn’t been a great year for Alec Baldwin over the last 12 months. In October of last year, he apparently shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust. Over that 12-month span, Baldwin has faced potential legal consequences in the form of charges and a wrongful death suit filed by Hutchins’ family.

Now, the actor at least has one less worry.

The family of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who was shot and killed on the set of the movie “Rust” last year, has reached a settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit filed earlier this year against the movie’s producers, including Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin.

The settlements were announced in statements reported by Deadline. As part of the agreement, Halyna’s widower, Matthew Hutchins, will executive-produce “Rust,” which will reportedly return to production in January 2023 with the original cast.

“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,” Hutchins said Wednesday morning.

“The filming of Rust, which I will now executive-produce, will resume with all the original principal players on board in January 2023,” he added.

Rust Movie Productions LLC released a statement through its attorney on the settlement: “We are pleased the parties came together to resolve this matter, which, subject to court approval, marks an important step forward in celebrating Halyna’s life and honoring her work.”

So Matthew Hutchins gets to be an executive producer and Baldwin gets a pass.

Well, maybe.

There are still potential criminal charges pending for Baldwin and then there’s the fact that his story just isn’t holding water upon more detailed examination.

In fact, this lawsuit may well have been settled because it just didn’t look like Baldwin did things right. Settle the suit to make it go away and get back to making the movie.

After all, they need to get this finished before any potential murder trial for Baldwin can get in the way.

However, as critical as I want to be with this, I don’t know that I can blame the Hutchins family. They’re already in enough pain and a legal battle isn’t exactly a healing endeavor. If the settlement is big enough, there’s more than enough reason for them to go along with it. Also, with an executive producer credit, Michael Hutchins will get residuals from the movie–assuming it makes money, which apparently no movie does with Hollywood accounting–and that may well also help going forward.

Obviously, nothing will bring Halyna back, but if there’s enough money, her son can have all of his needs taken care of for the rest of his life.

The true shame here, though, is that Baldwin’s apparent irresponsibility with a firearm led to any of this being necessary in the first place. Since he’s still not able to admit he made a mistake there–either is physically unable to do so or unwilling due to potential legal ramifications–this is probably as close as we’re going to see him come to it.