More than six months after Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust, he is teaming up with Anjul Nigam to deliver a new film under their new production venture, Persona Entertainment.
Nigam announced this week that funding is in place to start production on False Awakening, described as a psychological thriller by Ben Tomson, who will be directing his own script. Baldwin will be starring in the film, playing a psychologist trying to help a patient plagued by sleepwalking. Nigam, who has appeared in Gray’s Anatomy, will also appear in the film, but it has not yet been determined who will be playing the leading role of the patient. Production is expected to begin this summer.
“Rust is obviously a horrific tragedy,” said Nigam. “The investigation will hopefully be resolved soon and will unveil what happened. Obviously, there will be people out there who will have negative perspectives, but we’re confident about continuing to make quality movies.”
This includes the ill-starred Rust, which Nigam is confident will be completed once authorities in New Mexico have completed their investigation about the accidental shooting. Both Baldwin and Nigam are facing a lawsuit directed against them and other producers and crew, alleging that the shooting was caused by negligence and cost-cutting. The defendants argue the case should be dismissed and treated as a workplace accident through other channels.
But last month, a workplace safety agency in New Mexico fined the producers $136.793 for safety violations, saying they acted with “plain indifference” to the cast and crew. In response, the producers argue that they were not the entity responsible for safety concerns, which they claim were properly handled.
In April, a New Mexico workplace-safety agency found that Rust’s producers demonstrated a “plain indifference” to the welfare of cast and crew and levied its maximum fine of $136,793 for safety violations; Rust Movie Productions is challenging that report, saying that it wasn’t the employer responsible for supervising the film set and that safety issues were properly addressed.
False Awakening and Rust are but two of recent collaborative projects involving Baldwin and Nigam. This fall will see the release of Super Cell by Saban Films and 97 Minutes by Vertical Entertainment. They also are working on several television projects together.