Competing documentaries detailing the Rust incident butt heads in their own duel amid Alec Baldwin trial

Alec Baldwin’s Rust has acquired much notoriety for its behind-the-scenes tragedy. As the new trial commences, two dueling productions will be following the events.

Alec Baldwin, Rust, trial

Alec Baldwin‘s fateful foray into the Western genre turns his career and his life upside down as the actor faces an upcoming trial on the tragic on-set accidental killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during the production of Rust. It’s a story that’s ripe for a documentary. And for such an incident that’s tied to a high-profile name, it’s seemingly big enough for two documentaries. The Hollywood Reporter has said that amid the start of Baldwin’s upcoming trial that takes place in Santa Fe this week, two documentaries that are following the unfolding events will be having their own duel while covering the trial for their respective features.

The first documentary comes from the director of the 2019 Netflix documentary Circus of Books, Rachel Mason. Mason also happens to be a close family friend of Hutchins and she “has been making a film about the cinematographer since Hutchins’ widower, Matthew Hutchins, recruited her and producer Julee Metz to the task in 2021 amid a flurry of media requests about his wife.” Mason proclaims about her film, “My motivation is to preserve someone I lost.” Her doc also has the approval of Rust producers and she has been able to interview members of the cast and crew, which includes director Joel Souza and cinematographer Bianca Cline, who joined the film to replace Hutchins when the film had resumed production in Montana back in the spring of 2023. 

The other documentary comes from the director of the Oscar-nominated 2014 film Last Days in Vietnam and 2007’s Emmy-winning Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, Rory Kennedy. Kennedy’s film is geared more toward Baldwin’s story, and she has been making her film with Baldwin’s participation for more than a year. There is less known about this documentary other than that Kennedy is making this film with Baldwin and business partner, Mark Bailey, under their banner, Moxie Films, which has a multiyear agreement with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment. 

The State v. Alexander Rae Baldwin trial is due to start in Santa Fe on July 9th and is expected to last around two weeks. The actor faces involuntary manslaughter charges and faces a possible 18 months in prison if found guilty.

Source: THR

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.