The Boys Showrunner Bans Blanks From Future Productions After Alec Baldwin Accident

By Erika Hanson | 1 month ago

the boys

America is still reacting and responding to the tragic events last week that took the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust. The incident, which involved actor Alec Baldwin using a prop gun assumed to be loaded with blanks, took the life of Hutchins, and wounded director Joel Souza. Since the incident, America has turned to gun legislation debates as many wish to see stricter laws put forth on stage sets. Joining those voices is Eric Kripke, the creator of The Boys television series

In a tweet, The Boys showrunner made a pledge to ban guns from his sets going forward by replacing them with VFX muzzle flashes. Kripke said the incident that happened last week was his “worst nightmare”, something many other filmmakers in the industry can surely identify with. The Boys VFX supervisor Stephan Fleet responded to Kripke’s tweet with consensus while also citing his frustrations on how a completely fake handgun has not been created for sets in this day and age. This news came shortly after Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) who also stars in Rust, wrapped up his work on the third season of The Boys.

Joining The Boys creator in expressing the need to ban prop guns was filmmaker Craig Zobel, producer of the HBO series The Mare of Easttown. Zobel confirmed that all gunshots in his series are digital, adding that it probably is easier to tell it’s fake but completely safe unlike what happened with Alec Baldwin and the prop gun. According to an investigation done by the Associated Press in 2016, there have been at least 43 deaths on sets since 1990, and more than 150 life-altering injuries. 

Other film directors were quick to defend the current gun regulations on stage sets, such as director James Gunn. In tweets, Gunn stressed that the tragedy wouldn’t have happened — whether they went the direction of Kripke on The Boys or not — if everyone involved had been properly following safety protocols. These safety protocols, reformed after the tragic death of Brandon Lee in 1993 on the set of The Crow, determine when and how prop guns can be used on sets.

The prop guns, containing gunpowder but no bullet, are typically harmless from longer ranges but can cause serious injury or death if fired too close to someone. A weapons master or armorer is also required on sets to oversee all weapons that will be used on productions. But even with safety protocols, mistakes happen, and many directors such as The Boys creator want to make sure that a mistake like this may never happen again. 

It is becoming increasingly more common for gunfire to be added in post-production through visual effects. But because visual effects can be expensive, the easier and cheaper method of using prop guns is often chosen as an alternative. Other filmmakers argue that they prefer props guns with blanks since they can get an authentic reaction from the actor. Police are still investigating the incident as not all the facts are clear yet. Alec Baldwin has responded to the incident, tweeting his condolences to the family and letting the world know that he is cooperating with investigations.