Joel Souza: who is Rust movie director as Alec Baldwin injures him with prop gun - and what is the film about?

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According to reports, Souza has now been discharged from hospital - but who is the director?

A prop firearm discharged by veteran actor Alec Baldwin, who is starring and producing a Western movie, killed his director of photography and injured the director, police have said.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza were shot on the set of Rust, which was filming in the desert on the southern outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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The 42-year-old Hutchins was airlifted to a hospital following the incident on the set of Western movie Rust, on which Baldwin is also a producer, but was pronounced dead by medical staff.

While Hutchins was killed in the tragic accident, the film’s director Joel Souza was also injured.

But who is he, and is he OK?

Here is everything you need to know.

Who is Joel Souza?

Souza - a 48-year-old filmmaker based in the San Francisco Bay Area where he lives with his wife and two children - was taken by ambulance to Christus St Vincent Regional Medical Centre, where he was undergoing treatment.

According to reports, Souza has now been discharged from hospital.

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His first credited film, 2010’s Hanna’s Gold, was a treasure hunt adventure featuring Luke Perry.

He made his big-screen directorial debut with 2019’s Crown Vic, a crime thriller following one memorable night in the life of an LAPD officer hunting two cop killers on the loose.

Baldwin also served as a producer on that film.

Rust was to be Souza’s second big-screen directorial effort; the movie is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to fend for himself and his younger brother following the death of their parents in 1880s’ Kansas, according to the Internet Movie Database website.

The teen goes on the run with his long-estranged grandfather (played by Baldwin) after the boy is sentenced to hang for the accidental killing of a local rancher.

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Filming for Rust was set to continue into early November, according to a news release from the New Mexico Film Office. Production has been halted on the film.

How is Baldwin doing?

The incident took place on the set of Rust (Photo: Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)The incident took place on the set of Rust (Photo: Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)
The incident took place on the set of Rust (Photo: Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic) | Getty Images

Baldwin is cooperating with authorities on the matter; photographs published by The Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper show an emotional Baldwin doubled over and apparently in tears outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.

Attempts to get comments from him were unsuccessful.

In a statement to AFP news agency, a Santa Fe sheriff spokesperson said Mr Baldwin had spoken with detectives: “He came in voluntarily and he left the building after he finished his interviews.”

“This investigation remains open and active,” Rios said in a statement. “No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives.”

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