A tragic incident on a Sante Fe film set involving a prop gun and star Alec Baldwin; A look inside the meticulous production design of The French Dispatch; and Michael Bay returns with an intense looking action thriller. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
Tragedy in Sante Fe: The NY Times reports that yesterday around 1:50pm, a prop gun handled by Alec Baldwin on the set of the Western Rust “discharged,” killing the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza.
Juan Rios is a spokesman for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. “The circumstances of the shooting are under investigation,” The NY Times reports. “Mr. Rios said the shooting at Bonanza Creek Ranch, in Santa Fe County, happened in the middle of a scene that was either being rehearsed or filmed.”
A Ukrainian-American, CNN reports that Hutchins studied at AFI Institute in 2015. Hutchins was 42 at the time of her death.
“In a statement, the movie’s production company, Rust Movie Productions LLC, said: ‘The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones. We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation. We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event.’” The NY Times also reports.
Baldwin Responds: Early this morning, Alec Baldwin tweeted out the following two-part response to the prop gun incident:
There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and
— AlecBaldwin(HABF) (@AlecBaldwin) October 22, 2021
2- I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.
— AlecBaldwin(HABF) (@AlecBaldwin) October 22, 2021
Hutchins was also the cinematographer on 2020’s Archenemy. The star of that film, Joe Manganiello, tweeted this Thursday night:
I’m in shock. I was so lucky to have had Halyna Hutchins as my DP on Archenemy. An incredible talent & great person. I can’t believe this could happen in this day and age… gunfire from a prop gun could kill a crew member? What a horrible tragedy. My heart goes out to her family pic.twitter.com/W479ch56Js
— JOE MANGANIELLO (@JoeManganiello) October 22, 2021
This story is still developing.
Bay is Back: The trailer for director Michael Bay’s upcoming heist film Ambulance is live. The action thriller stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Eiza González. After some recent misfires like Songbird (which Bay produced) and 6 Underground, this has me excited for what appears to be a return to vintage Michael Bay.
Be Advised: If you’re someone who dislikes trailers that reveal a lot of the story beats including presumed key moments from a presumed third act, then maybe avoid this trailer. But you can take my word that it looks awesome.
Dispatch Design: “The internet is a great repository of things, but then very often, the internet will give you a clue. And then that thread will have to be pulled,” The French Dispatch production designer Adam Stockhausen tells MovieMaker. Oftentimes the internet will clue Stockhausen’s team onto a photo archive lead, and then they will call that museum or archive and get them to send over additional offline photos to reference.
Dune Design: Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune finally hits theaters and HBO Max today. Before you watch, check out our piece from production designer Patrice Vermette’s on designing the sci-fi epic with his fellow Canadian Villeneuve.
Loud and Large: If you’re able to see Dune safely on a large theater screen, I can’t recommend enough heading to the cinemas for this particular one. It’s a truly maximalist experience, only aided by large-format viewing.
Reading Rec: If you’re looking for a new book, might I recommend Tokyo Vice, reporter Jake Adelstein’s 2009 account working the Vice beat at Japan’s largest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun. As a “Gaijin,” or foreigner, Adelstein’s position at such a prestigious Japanese publication was very rare.
Michael Mann is presently working on an HBO Max series based on the memoir with Ansel Elgort playing Adelstein. My first instinct reading the book is that it has a perfect Scorsese cadence. As Adelstein lays out detailed yet witty accounts on the inner workings of different Yakuza factions or the politics of newspaper departments, I couldn’t help but imagine Goodfellas or Casino-esque voiceovers guiding viewers along. That being said, I’m never going to complain about Michael Mann, and I’m very excited about this adaptation.
Poster Picks: The Film Stage has a great monthly feature, Posterized, which surveys trends in poster releases. My personal favorite from this October selection is that spare The Last Duel poster.
This Ridiculous Alliteration Can’t Possibly Continue: Let’s see about that…
Trailer Time!: After starring opposite Daniel Craig in No Time to Die and in Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, Léa Seydoux leads French director Bruno Dumont’s latest satire, France. A favorite director of mine, I have fond memories of suggesting a friend watch Dumont’s Twentynine Palms. After taking me up on the recommendation, she promptly called me late that evening and yelled at me because its psychological horror so affected her. Watch the trailer here:
Main image: Alec Baldwin at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.