Alec Baldwin to star in film about Kent State shootings in 1970

Actor Alec Baldwin attends the 2019 PEN America Literary Gala at the American Museum of Natural...
Actor Alec Baldwin attends the 2019 PEN America Literary Gala at the American Museum of Natural History on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in New York. Baldwin is set to star in a film about the Kent State shootings after charges were dropped in the accidental shooting of a cinematographer on the set of "Rust" in 2021.(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)(Evan Agostini | Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Published: May. 21, 2023 at 3:44 PM CDT
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(AP) - A year and a half after the fatal shooting of its cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, the Alec Baldwin Western “Rust” is back on the market at the Cannes Film Festival, shopping for international buyers.

Last month, “Rust” resumed shooting in Montana to finish the independently financed production that shut down following Hutchins’ death in October 2021. Matthew Hutchins, her widower, is serving as an executive producer on the film as part of a settlement over a wrongful death lawsuit.

The Cannes film market, which is in centered in the Palais des Festivals but has no relation to the official festival lineup, is where “Rust” was first formed as a production in 2000. Goodfellas, a sales company formerly known as Wild Bunch International, is handling sales.

“Rust” still lacks North American distribution.

New Mexico prosecutors dropped criminal charges against Baldwin in April. Involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin were abandoned three weeks after a new prosecutor team took over the case, though the same charge currently remains for weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. Assistant director David Halls has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon.

Now, producers are seeking buyers for a film synonymous with Hutchins’ on-set death. Director Joel Souza was also wounded.

“This is an unprecedented film in regards to the circumstances,” producer Ryan Donnell Smith told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re trying to keep realistic expectations but shepherd this in the best way we can.”

Baldwin, though, has booked another film circulating the Cannes market. The actor is to join the cast of “Kent State,” a dramatization of the 1970 killing of four students by the National Guard protesting the Vietnam War on the Ohio college campus. In the film, written and to be directed by Karen Slade, Baldwin is to play Robert I. White, Kent State’s then president.