`Rust' Producers Seek Better Discovery Answers, Fine Suit

Local 600 International Cinematographers Guild Hosts Candlelight Vigil Honoring Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Attorneys for four "Rust" film producers who were sued along with Alec Baldwin by a script supervisor who claims she suffered emotional distress during the 2021 on-set fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins want a judge to force the plaintiff's attorneys to clarify answers they gave to written questions -- and to pay a $2,130 fine.

The motion was brought Thursday in court papers filed with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Whitaker by attorneys for Rust Movie Productions LLC, Thomasville Pictures LLC, Ryan Smith and Langley Cheney, all defendants in the suit filed by Mamie Mitchell.

"(Mitchell's) responses to all 125 of the special interrogatories are evasive and incomplete and include objections that are without merit or are too general," the producers' lawyers argue in their court papers filed ahead of a scheduled June 8 hearing.

Mitchell's original suit was filed in November 2021, alleging that she was "standing in the line of fire when the gun went off." She then filed amended suits on Feb. 8 and Aug. 3 of last year.

Hutchins, 42, was killed Oct. 21, 2021, while Baldwin, himself a producer and a star of "Rust," was helping to prepare camera angles for a scene on the film's set near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Baldwin, now 64, fired a weapon which was supposed to contain only blank rounds, but instead discharged a lead bullet that struck Hutchins in the chest then lodged in the shoulder of director Joel Souza, now 49.

Mitchell's suit alleges specific wrongdoing by Baldwin, claiming he fired the weapon during the rehearsal "even though the upcoming scene to be filmed did not call for the cocking and firing of a firearm."

Baldwin has claimed that he did not pull the trigger, saying he instead tugged the gun's hammer back and released it before the weapon discharged.

Among the 125 questions posed to Mitchell's attorneys by the attorneys for Rust Movie Productions and the other three producers making the motion are what facts, witnesses and documents they have supporting their allegation that a camera operator had reported two unexpected gun discharges during a rehearsal in a cabin days before the shooting; evidence that the camera operator texted the production manager stating, "This is super unsafe"; facts supporting their allegation that every safety protocol measure aimed at ensuring that firearms would be safely used were ignored; and details to support their claim that Baldwin intentionally cocked and fired the loaded gun toward Mitchell, Hutchins and Souza.

Mitchell's attorneys repeatedly answered the questions with an objection that the inquiries were "vague, ambiguous, burdensome and overbroad" and that discovery is ongoing, the producers' attorneys state in their court papers.

"(Mitchell) cannot merely respond that discovery and investigation are ongoing," the producers' lawyers further argue in their court papers, while also stating that their clients are "entitled to all information plaintiff has or can obtain through reasonable investigation."

The proposed $2,130 fine reflects the costs and fees the producers incurred in having their attorneys prepare the current motion, according to the producers' attorneys' court papers.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content