In the wake of Rust producers being hit with two lawsuits stemming from the fatal shooting of that film’s DP Halyna Hutchins, Variety reports this morning that producer Ryan Donnell Smith is co-financing a Dustin Hoffman-Sissy Spacek movie entitled Sam & Kate.
Deadline has reached out to the Rust producer’s reps for comment. We will update the story should they return calls.
Smith’s company Thomasville Pictures, which he co-owns with Allen Cheney, another Rust producer, will co-back Sam & Kate which is scheduled to start production in mid-February in Thomasville, GA. Reportedly Smith will serve as EP on the film, but not be involved in physical production. Another source tells Deadline this morning that Smith is investing an estimated $900K into Sam & Kate.
Endeavor Content is also handling domestic financing with Volition Media Partners producing, and Bankside Films handling foreign sales.
Variety reports that the producers had early conversations with the city’s film manager about production, but haven’t applied for a permit application yet.
Sam & Kate is also set to star Hoffman’s son, Jake Hoffman. They’ll play father and son in the film. Likewise, Spacek’s daughter, Schuyler Fisk, will play daughter onscreen to her mother. Darren Le Gallo wrote the screenplay and is set to direct. His wife, Amy Adams, is reportedly an EP.
Meanwhile, the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office and OSHA continue their investigation into the Rust fatality, which had Alec Baldwin discharge a prop gun that took Hutchins’ life and injured the pic’s director Joel Souza in the shoulder.
Rust gaffer Serge Svetnoy, and script supervisor Mamie Mitchell have instituted lawsuits against star/producer Baldwin, the low budget Western’s producers and production companies, armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, first assistant director David Halls, property master Sarah Zachry and others.
Halls admitted to police not long after the shooting that he did not properly check the 1880s-era gun he handed to Baldwin before declaring it a “cold gun.” Gutierrez Reed and Mitchell and others have described at least two previous unintended discharges of weapons on the set before the Oct. 21 shooting. Both Halls, who was fired from a previous film over gun safety issues, and Gutierrez Reed have retained counsel.
The armorer’s lawyer has been postulating a “sabotage” theory in media appearances and press releases to explain the tragedy that took Hutchins’ life. The whole premise of that theory, which the local D.A. has vocally rejected for lack of evidence, hangs on the notion that something or someone took some sort of revenge. Gutierrez Reed’s attorneys have repeatedly pointed to the fact that just hours before the killing of Hutchins, several members of that camera crew resigned from Rust, citing safety and financial reasons.
The Rust production itself hired law firm Jenner Block to conduct an internal investigation into the events of that tragic day. As Deadline reported, Hutchins’ ashes were interred last weekend at an undisclosed location.
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