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'Rust' producer clarifies comments on his hopes for movie's completion

"My statement that I was confident the film could be completed was just my optimism, and not an actual plan," he said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., on Oct. 23, 2021.
The set of "Rust" on the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., on Oct. 23.Jae C. Hong / AP file

Anjul Nigam, one of the producers of "Rust," told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday that he is "confident" the film will get finished after the investigation into a fatal on-set shooting concludes.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed on the set of the film in New Mexico last year after Alec Baldwin accidentally discharged a prop firearm. The Oct. 21 incident, in which the film's director, Joel Souza, was injured, remains under investigation by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’re confident we’ll be able to complete the movie," Nigam, who is taking a new film to the Cannes Film Festival in France with Baldwin, told The Hollywood Reporter.

“‘Rust’ is obviously a horrific tragedy,” Nigam said. “The investigation will hopefully be resolved soon and will unveil what happened. Obviously, there will be people out there who will have negative perspectives, but we’re confident about continuing to make quality movies.”

In a statement on Tuesday, Nigam clarified the comments he made to The Hollywood Reporter.

"My statement that I was confident the film could be completed was just my optimism, and not an actual plan," he said. "Many of those who were involved hope to honor Halyna by completing her last work, but at this point it is just hope."

Representatives for Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions did not respond to requests for comment.

The production of “Rust” was shut down after the shooting.

In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in early December, Baldwin said he “didn’t pull the trigger." He said in January that he is cooperating with authorities.

Baldwin said in an Instagram video in January: “The best way, the only way, we can honor the death of Halyna Hutchins is to find out the truth. That’s what I’m working toward, insisting on, demanding that the organizations involved in this investigation do everything in their power, everything in their power, to find out what really happened. That’s all that matters.”

The Associated Press reported last month that New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau has asked Rust Movie Productions to pay $139,793 for firearms safety failures on the set.

“Our investigation found that this tragic incident never would have happened if Rust Movie Productions, LLC had followed national film industry standards for firearm safety,” Environment Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said in a news release. “This is a complete failure of the employer to follow recognized national protocols that keep employees safe.”

A spokesperson for Rust Movie Productions said in a statement that it disagreed with OSHA's findings.

“While we appreciate OSHA’s time and effort in its investigation, we disagree with its findings and plan to appeal. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Halyna’s family.”