Rust Settlement; Will Smith and Brad Pitt Double Standard, Our Bond Pick

Alec Baldwin and the Rust producers reach a settlement with the estate of the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins; the making of Pearl; Nicolas Cage got stiffed for an Oscar winning performance; is there a Brad Pitt-Will Smith double standard? Plus: Our suggestion for the new Bond.

Rust Settlement: The producers of Rust and star Alec Baldwin have reached a settlement with the estate of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed when a gun Baldwin was holding accidentally discharged with live ammunition, Deadline reports. “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,” announced Halyna Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins. “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.”

Producing Pearl: Here’s our interview with executive producer Peter Phok, who is having an amazing year: He produced X, which came out in March, and its prequel Pearl, out now. And he’s ramping up for MaXXXine, the third film in the X trilogy. In our detailed talk, he shoots down a bogus budget story, explains how he oversaw post production from Los Angeles while Pearl shot in New Zealand, and talks about his career white whale: a Ti West movie in space. You can watch on YouTube — and please subscribe?:

Lawtey. Harry Lawtey: The producers of the James Bond franchise say the next Bond will be in his thirties, but we think they shouldn’t overlook 25-year-old Harry Lawtey, one of the star’s of HBO’s phenomenal Industry. The show’s creators agree. 

Nicolas Cage Underpaid: Leaving Las Vegas director Mike Figgis says he and Nicolas Cage never received the $100,000 each they were to be paid for the 1995 film. But at least Nicolas Cage won a Best Actor Oscar for this role as a self-destructive alcoholic who falls for a sex worker named Sera (Elisabeth Shue.) “They said the film never went into profit,” Figgis said of Lumiere Pictures, which financed the $4 million film, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Figgis shot the film using handheld 16 mm cameras on the streets of Las Vegas, and it went on to earn $32 million. But he’s not bitter about not getting paid:  “Whatever,” he says. “I mean, my career then took off again, and the next film I did, I got really well paid. And within a year [Cage] was earning $20 million a film, so that was quite good.”

Okay, But: Nicolas Cage told us in our spring cover story that starting in the 2000s, he went “through an incredible financial strain that lasted for 13 years” and worked his way out of it. I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded $100,000, plus interest.

Black Panther: Ryan Coogler, director of Black Panther and the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, says in a new EW interview that he almost left the industry after the unexpected death of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman in 2020. “I was at a point when I was like, ‘I’m walking away from this business,'” Coogler said. ‘I didn’t know if I could make another movie period, [let alone] another Black Panther movie, because it hurt a lot. I was like, ‘Man, how could I open myself up to feeling like this again?'”

Brad Pitt: In court filings related to a dispute over the French winery they purchased together in 2008 — and where they later got married — Angelina Jolie accuses Brad Pitt of violent behavior toward her and their children during a flight from Paris to Los Angeles in 2016. “Pitt choked one of the children and struck another in the face” and “grabbed Jolie by the head and shook her,” the filing states, adding that at one point Pitt also “poured beer on Jolie; at another, he poured beer and red wine on the children.” Federal authorities investigated the incident at the time but did not bring criminal charges. Jolie filed for divorce days after the trip. A lawyer for Pitt, Anne Kiley, told The New York Times that Pitt had accepted responsibility for some things he had done in the past, but that he would not accept responsibility for things he did not do. Pitt told the Times in 2019 that after Jolie filed for divorce, he took part in Alcoholics Anonymous and committed himself to sobriety.

Any Career Fallout? Not so far. Many on social media detected a double standard in the public reaction to The Slap and the Brad Pitt accusation.

May I Editorialize? There’s truth there. But at the same time, of course the public is going to react differently to something we all saw with our own eyes, live at the Oscars a few months ago, and something that’s alleged to have happened on a private flight six years ago. The double-standard argument, like so many Twitter arguments, starts with a presumption of guilt.

Main image: Alec Baldwin discusses the tragic accidental shooting of Halyna Hutchins on Good Morning America.