Guy Ritchie says he won’t be using real guns on his movie shoots in the wake of the fatal shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in 2021.
“That whole thing has changed now, the whole game has changed,” Ritchie told Newsweek in an interview ahead of his latest movie, Afghan War drama The Covenant, hitting theaters this weekend.
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Ritchie’s action drama, in which Jake Gyllenhaal plays a U.S. Army sergeant who returns to Afghanistan to honor a debt to a military interpreter, has its share of shootouts, for which Airsoft pellet guns — which fire small, biodegradable plastic pellets rather than traditional bullets — were used out of safety concerns.
“We haven’t used a real weapon since then. So there were no real weapons. It’s the first shoot that we had, which I have to tell you, it’s a tremendous relief for all of us,” Ritchie said of how things have changed after the Rust shooting.
In October 2021, a prop revolver held by Alec Baldwin on the New Mexico set of Rust, an indie Western, discharged, killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. Baldwin has maintained that he didn’t pull the gun’s trigger. Involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin were dropped by New Mexico prosecutors this week.
Ritchie said of the Airsoft pellet guns used on set, “They’re as good as, they look as good as real weapons, they do all the functions as a real weapon. You get a gas discharge. It all seems as authentic as it can be.”
“No one can get into trouble,” Ritchie added of the replica pellet guns, which look real enough during action scenes and can be augmented in postproduction.
A representative for Ritchie confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that no real weaponry was used on the set of The Covenant, which was shot in the mountainous landscapes of Alicante, Spain, to double as Afghanistan.
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