“Rust” is a western set in Kansas in the 1880s, about a 13-year-old boy who goes on the run with his estranged grandfather — a notorious outlaw named Harland Rust, played by Alec Baldwin — after the boy accidentally kills a local rancher. The movie, which was scheduled to be filmed this month and next month in New Mexico, is being directed by Joel Souza and stars Frances Fisher and Mr. Baldwin, who is also listed as one of several producers of the film.
A statement from the New Mexico Film Office on Oct. 6 said Rust Movie Productions would employ 75 crew members, 22 actors and 230 “background talent” from New Mexico. The Santa Fe Film Office told The Santa Fe New Mexican on Oct. 11 that work on the movie had been underway for a few weeks.
The movie tells the story of a teenage boy who is “left to fend for himself and his younger brother following the death of their parents,” the New Mexico Film Office said in the statement. The boy “goes on the run with his long-estranged grandfather after he’s sentenced to hanging for the accidental killing of a local rancher,” according to the statement.
According to Screen Daily, after the boy, Lucas, is convicted, Mr. Baldwin’s character breaks him out of prison, and they are pursued by a U.S. marshal, Wood Helm, and a bounty hunter, Fenton “Preacher” Lang.
The principal cast includes Mr. Baldwin; Travis Fimmel, who plays Fenton Lang; Ms. Fisher; and Brady Noon, who plays Lucas, according to IMDb. Jensen Ackles plays Wood Helm.
Mr. Souza also has director credits for the movies “Crown Vic,” “Break Night,” “Christmas Trade” and “Ghost Squad.”
Mr. Baldwin is credited with conceiving the idea for the movie with Mr. Souza. Speaking about the film in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in June, Mr. Baldwin said the idea had begun with a question about the youngest person ever to be hanged in the American West, and he explained why he was attracted to the project.
“I was just looking for something a little more cinematic with a little less talking,” he said. “There’s great dialogue, but the film is balanced by some really stunning cinematics.”
The cinematographer on the film, Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed in the shooting on Thursday. Mr. Souza was wounded.
Mr. Baldwin compared “Rust” to the Clint Eastwood movie “Unforgiven.” “That time was filled with some dark realities and some harsh realities,” he said.
Asked in the interview about his gunslinging and horse-riding skills, Mr. Baldwin said: “They’re always at the ready. I’m an actor of the old school. So if you read my résumé — my motorcycle riding, my French, juggling, my horseback riding, my gunplay — is all right at my fingertips at all times.”
According to the website of Highland Film Group, which was handling international sales of the movie, the character played by Mr. Baldwin “has had a bounty on his head for as long as he can remember, and a reputation for being a ruthless outlaw.”
The movie goes on to tell the story of their journey, when Lucas has little choice “but to follow the unpredictable patriarch on a perilous journey to a new life in New Mexico.”
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