Michael Shannon is suggesting guns be removed from movies following the tragic death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Michael Shannon guns

The accidental death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust raised necessary discussions on gun safety protocol on film sets. Now that star Alec Baldwin is facing involuntary manslaughter charges, the topic is again at the forefront, with many more chiming in. Actor Michael Shannon is now suggesting that the death could have been avoided if the film had a bigger budget, even further saying there should be no more guns in movies.

In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, Michael Shannon made a bold call for the future of guns on sets, saying, “Take the frickin’ gunplay out of movies in general. I mean, enough, already. You want to watch somebody shoot somebody? There are 500,000 movies already with plenty of it.” He added, “It’s something to think about. Sometimes I wish or wonder if it’ll ever get old.” But don’t worry about Shannon coming off like a hypocrite, as he says, “most of the time I was using a sword” in Bullet Train.

The idea stems from the on-set death of Hutchins on Rust and gun safety protocols in general. Michael Shannon said checking the safety of guns and props is normally a “meticulous” process. However, when films have smaller budgets, cost-cutting measures can result in mismanaged sets and tragic decisions. Rust reportedly began production in 2021 with a $7 million budget.

“On smaller productions, independent productions, the producers keep wanting more and more for less and less. They don’t want to give you enough money. They cut corners, ridiculously, every which way…They whittle the budget down to the bare minimum — but the one thing you can’t cut corners on is your armorer. If you have guns in your movie, that’s no place to cut corners. The person on Rust clearly was not qualified for the job. She should not have been there,” he said, referring to armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who is also facing charges. “This is what happens when you lowball and cut corners and hire people that may not be qualified, and pay them next to nothing, and make the movie on the cheap.”

In addition to properly checking the firearm, Michael Shannon says it should have been confirmed once more to Alec Baldwin by the armorer. “You never settle for walking up to an actor and handing the gun over without showing them what’s inside of it. Ever. That was the cataclysmic event on Rust.”

Michael Shannon has certainly had time to consider guns’ role in our culture. He is set to make his directorial debut with Eric Larue, about the mother of a school shooter who tries to cope with the actions and community.

What do you think of Michael Shannon saying the industry could be better served by removing guns from movies? Does he raise any strong points here? Let us know your take in the comments section below.


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