UPDATE: This story previously said that the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office would be holding a second press conference this week. That was a mistake on our part, we apologize for the error. Deadline has confirmed that Matthew Hutchins, the husband of late Rust DP Halyna Hutchins, has hired L.A.-based firm Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi, which specializes in personal injury and wrongful death litigation, with partner Brian Panish acting as lead counsel.
A rep for the firm would not comment on Matthew Hutchins’ legal plans are going forward against the production, however, it would not be shocking if a wrongful death suit is filed.
Halyna Hutchins was shot by a prop gun discharged by Alec Baldwin on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set of Rust on Oct. 21, outside Santa Fe, NM. Hutchins in addition to her husband is survived by her 9-year-old son, Andros.
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate how a live round wound up in what was called a “cold gun” by the film’s First Assistant Director David Halls, who handed it off to Baldwin for a quick-draw scene. In addition to Halyna Hutchins being shot, the film’s director Joel Souza was also injured.
At the center of authorities investigation are Halls and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. The latter’s attorneys’ on NBC’s Today put forward their notions that a disgruntled crewmember on the set of Rust possibly put a live bullet in the box of dummies, ultimately resulting in Halyna Hutchins’ death. Gutierrez-Reed last week claimed through her attorneys that she doesn’t know how the live round wound up on set.
Per Reuters, Matthew Hutchins is an attorney, working in corporate law out of Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles.
Last week, Deadline reported that Rust EP Allen Cheney made a statement saying that he, along with Emily Salveson and her Streamline Global finance company, “received Executive Producer credit on the film Rust having no involvement with the physical and day to day production,” which is “consistent with financing partners across productions of all sizes.”
He also added, “The six credited producers on the independent film Rust, Ryan Smith, Alec Baldwin, Nathan Klingher, Ryan Winterstern, Matt DelPiano and Anjul Nigam, collectively have more than 35 years’ experience producing small to mid-level film and television projects.”
According to sources, Ryan Donnell Smith is believed to have an equity stake in Rust, and that acting as the day-to-day producer, hired 3rd Shift Media, a production services company based in Atlanta. Sources also told Deadline that 3rd Shift Media was involved in hiring Halls and armorer Gutierrez-Reed. 3rd Shift Media employees also provided services on the production, including Gabrielle Pickle, Rust‘s line producer, and UPM Row Walters.
On Tuesday, Baldwin reposted a Facebook post from Rust costume designer Terese Magpale Davis who praised the producers, vouched for the safety of the production, and cast shade on the cameramen who quit and walked away from filming over their dissatisfaction with hotel accommodations. In the wake of Halyna Hutchins’ death, Rust crew members, as well as those who turned down jobs on set, have spoken out about the production’s alleged mishandling of safety, making Davis’ voice an anomaly among the chorus that’s out there.
TMZ was first to report the law firm news.