When rising-star cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed on the set of Rust last month, ripples were felt throughout the movie industry and beyond. While the investigation into the tragedy continues, some industry insiders are already making changes.
The Rock, otherwise known as Dwayne Johnson, used his interview with Variety to make a major announcement. Seven Bucks Productions, the production company the former WWF wrestler founded in 2012, will now swap real guns for rubber versions on all movie sets. Johnson explained that the “no real guns” rule will also extend to any studios the company partners with on future projects.
“We’re going to switch over to rubber guns, and we’re going to take care of it in post,” promised Johnson, referring to the editing process that helps props look more realistic. “We’re not going to worry about the dollars. We won’t worry about what it costs.” He offered more insight into the move and his reaction to friend Alec Baldwin’s involvement in the fatal accident, saying, “First of all, I was heartbroken. We lost a life. My heart goes out to her family and everybody on set. I’ve known Alec, too, for a very long time.”
It’s a big move for the A-list star, whose movies include action-packed flicks like Skyscraper, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Snitch, Rampage, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. The mandate joins an increasingly long list of new regulations sweeping the film industry in the wake of the horrible Rust tragedy, which also saw director Joel Souza take a bullet to the shoulder. Similar promises have come from Eric Kripke, showrunner for The Boys on Amazon, and the team behind ABC’s police drama The Rookie.
Interestingly, some gun professionals argue that swapping out real guns for Airsoft rifles and sound effects added during the editing process will compromise the integrity of the storyline. But for actors and producers like Johnson, the payoff simply isn’t worth the risk.
“I love the movie business,” Johnson told Variety. “There are safety protocols and measures that we have always taken in the movie business and we take very seriously, and these sets are safe sets, and we’re proud of that. But accidents do happen. And when something like this happens, of this magnitude, this is heartbreaking, I think the most prudent thing and the smartest thing to do is just pause for a second and really re-examine how you’re going to move forward and how we’re going to work together.” Johnson’s latest project, Red Notice, hits Netflix later this month.