The more we discover about the circumstances surrounding the death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, it’s beginning to sound more like an entirely preventable tragedy than an unpredictable accident, with investigations still ongoing.
It was recently reported that assistant director David Halls was fired from Freedom’s Path in 2019 after a similar incident saw a prop gun discharge a live round and cause minor injury, and now it transpires that Nicolas Cage blew his top at the Rust‘s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, due to her unprofessionalism on the set of his recent Western The Old Way.
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As per The Wrap, key grip Stu Brumnaugh disclosed that when The Old Way was shooting this past summer, Gutierrez infuriated Cage and other crew members after failing to announce the arrival of weapons onto the set, with the actor losing it after she fired a gun in close proximity to him twice in the space of three days without warning.
As per Brumbaugh, Cage berated the armorer by saying, “Make an announcement, you just blew my f*cking eardrums out”, before storming off the set. Brumbaugh voiced his own concerns, telling The Old Way‘s AD that she was too inexperienced for the position, urging director Brett Donowho to let her go. It’ll be a while before we get the full story on the Rust situation, but it’s set to cause an industry-wide shift on how firearms are handled and used to prevent anything like this ever happening again.