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Hollywood creatives in the worlds of film and television are promising to do better with regards to onscreen depictions of firearms after an accidental shooting left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead on the set of a new Alec Baldwin project last week. For example, Eric Kripke, showrunner on Amazon's The Boys (a project known for its over-the-top violence), pledged to remove all practical gun blanks in favor of VFX muzzle flashes added in post-production moving forward.
"Someone hurt or killed on my set is my worst nightmare," Kripke (creator of fan favorite TV series like Supernatural and Timeless) tweeted Friday. "Sending love to Halyna Hutchins' family, Jensen Ackles, cast and crew of Rust. I'm so sorry. In her memory, a simple, easy pledge: no more guns with blanks on any of my sets ever. We'll use VFX muzzle flashes. Who's with me?"
James Gunn, writer-director of Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad, expressed the need for a complete overhaul of the current system of safety protocols (not just those related to fake guns). "The discussion around on-set firearms is valuable," he said. "But my fear is it’s now obscuring discussing the many ways dozens have died or been grievously injured on movie sets because of irresponsibility, ignoring safety protocols, improper leadership, and a set culture of mindless rushing."
ABC wasted no time in reacting to the incident by removing all "live" guns containing quarter or half loads from The Rookie, a cop drama starring Firefly's Nathan Fillion. "As of today, it is now policy on The Rookie that all gunfire on set will be with Air Soft guns with CG muzzle flashes added in post,” showrunner Alexi Hawley told the crew in a memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “There will be no more ‘live’ weapons on the show. The safety of our cast and crew is too important. Any risk is too much risk."
The Rust tragedy has drawn many comparisons to 1994's The Crow, whose 28-year-old star, Brandon Lee, was accidentally killed with an improperly checked prop gun. "Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on Rust," Lee's family said on Twitter. "No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period."