'Rust' shooting: From Brandon Lee to Joi Harris, fatal tragedies on movie sets
The tragic killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the forthcoming movie ‘Rust’ has shocked the whole of Hollywood. Hutchins reportedly died after actor Alec Baldwin accidentally fired a prop gun which unexpectedly launched a projectile or projectiles at ‘Rust’ crew members on Thursday, October 21, at Bonanza Creek Ranch outside Sante Fe in New Mexico.
After the accident, a spokesperson for Rust Movies Productions LLC said: “The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones. We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation.”
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The death of Hutchins also brought back the horrifying memories from the past that happened on other Hollywood movie sets over the years. Below is the list of those tragedies.
The 1993 death of Brandon Lee on the set of ‘The Crow’
Brandon Lee, son of martial arts icon Bruce Lee, was shooting for ‘The Crow’ in 1993 when his life was cut short tragically. Brandon was just 28 at the time. The fatal accident reportedly happened when the rising star while filming for a scene walked into his house and found his on-screen fiancée getting beaten and raped before an actor playing the role of a thug fired a Smith & Wesson Model 629 .44 Magnum revolver at Brandon.
It has been said that the prop gun did not contain any powder cartridge, but it had the primer that the crew failed to remove. And, before filming that scene, one of the rounds was fired, which removed the bullet from the casing and sent it up into the gun barrel where it got lodged. But due to negligence at the set, the firearm was not checked thoroughly and the .44 bullet inside the gun was discharged and hit Brandon in the abdomen. Despite six hours of emergency surgery at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, he couldn’t be saved and was declared dead.
The 2018 death of Michael Davidson on the set of ‘Motherless Brooklyn’
‘Motherless Brooklyn’ was the first film of Edward Norton as a director, but a fire erupted on the set in March 2018 during the shooting. For help, the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) was called to the scene but the department’s decorated 37-year-old fireman Michael Davidson was killed.
The 1984 death of Jon-Erik Hexum on the set of ‘Cover Up’
In October 1984, the shooting of the seventh episode of the TV series ‘Cover Up’ was going on when actor Jon-Erik Hexum tragically lost his life. During one of the scenes on October 12, Hexum was supposed to simulate Russian Roulette when a cartridge in the deadly weapon was fired, hitting him in the head. The 26-year-old was immediately taken to Beverly Hills Medical Center, but he died on 18 October.
The 1982 deaths of Vic Morrow and kids, Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, on the set of ‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’
The 1982 incident on the set of ‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’ was so disturbing that it led to legal action that lasted for more than ten years and resulted in safety regulations policy changes. During the filming, actor Vic Morrow’s character had to be flown back to Vietnam, where he was supposed to save the characters of child actors -- Myca Dinh Le, 7, and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, 6.
But a helicopter that had to be used for the scene, lingered over a mortar effect, which detonated over the rotor and resulted in its crash. The helicopter's main rotor blade decapitated Morrow and Le while crushing Chen to death.
The 2017 death of Joi 'SJ' Harris on the set of ‘Deadpool 2’
Stuntwoman Joi 'SJ' Harris lost her life while filming for the highly-anticipated Deadpool sequel. The 40-year-old motorcycle racer lost her balance while shooting a stunt scene at Vancouver’s Shaw Tower and crashed into a plate glass window. Due to the sequence’s demand, she was not wearing a helmet at the time.
The death of Mike Nichols on the set of ‘Catch-22’
The 1970 movie witnessed the death of aerial photographer Mike Nichols, who lost his life while capturing footage from a B-25 Bomber over the Gulf of Mexico.
The 1989 death of H.B. Halicki on the set of ‘Gone in 60 Seconds 2’
The decades-old incident claimed the life of not a crew member or an actor, it actually killed the movie’s director H.B. Halicki when a water tower, which was supposed to fall down on the ground, tumbled upon him. Halicki died within seconds.
The 2007 death of Conway Wickliffe on the set of ‘The Dark Knight’
Stuntman Conway Wickliffe lost his life while rehearsing a scene in the Batmobile. During the practice, he leaned out of the window when the driver crashed into a tree at 20 miles per hour. The severe head injury took Wickliffe’s life away from him.
The 1994 death of Sonja Davis on the set of ‘Vampire In Brooklyn’
Sonja Davis was working as Angela Basset's stunt double in the film when she fell 42ft to her death in front of her mother and siblings.