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Alec Baldwin's first movie role since Rust shooting raises eyebrows – see why

The Rust actor's previous manslaughter charges were dropped in April 2023

Alec Baldwin attends The Roundabout Gala 2023 at The Ziegfeld Ballroom on March 06, 2023 in New York City
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz ColonOnline News WriterNew York
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Alec Baldwin is moving on from the tumult of the set of Rust – which initially led to involuntary manslaughter charges against him for the shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins – and onto another film set. 

The movie of choice, Kent State, is already raising some eyebrows, as it is set to depict the infamous Kent State shooting in 1970 at the hands of the Ohio National Guard. 

His casting in the inevitably intense, violent historical drama has raised questions on social media, with netizens writing on Twitter: "Too soon?" and: "Tone deaf," as well as: "Um, maybe give Alec a comedy or a cartoon to work on."

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MORE: Alec Baldwin no longer facing involuntary manslaughter charges after rust shooting

The Kent State shooting, also known as the May 4 massacre and Kent State massacre, was the aftermath of a peace rally on the Ohio college campus, where students were expressing their opposition to the US expanding its already controversial involvement in the Vietnam War.  

Students Allison Krause, 19, Jeffrey Glenn Miller, 20, William Knox Schroeder, 19, and Sandra Lee Scheuer, 20, died at the hands of the Ohio National Guard – nine more were injured – when soldiers fired approximately 67 rounds over 13 seconds. 

MORE: Alec Baldwin determined to 'fight' against 'terrible' criminal charges against him

It marked the first time a student was killed in an anti-war gathering in United States history and produced protests of up to 4 million students across the country afterwards, the famous Pulitzer Prize-winning photo by John Filo of student Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling over the body of Miller, and the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song "Ohio."

Alec Baldwin on the set of Rust. © Rex
Filming of Rust wrapped up earlier this year

The film marks Alec's first film role since he misfired a gun on the set of rust in October of 2021, killing the cinematographer as well as injuring its director, Joel Souza.

MORE: Exclusive: Hilaria Baldwin reveals Alec's heartfelt gesture at Thanksgiving and joy of celebrating with a big family

MORE: Alec Baldwin reaches settlement with Halyna Hutchins' family after tragic shooting on set

Since then, on January 19 of this year, the actor had manslaughter charges brought against him by Santa Fe County prosecutors, after two months of deliberation and a year-long investigation. 

This aerial view shows buildings at the Bonanza Creek Ranch film set, near where a crew member was fatally shot during production of the western film "Rust", on October 28, 2021 in Santa Fe, New Mexico© Getty
Rust was filmed in New Mexico

At the time, his attorney Luke Nikas maintained their position of fighting the charges in court in a statement to People, which read: "Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun – or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win."

Alec's charges were subsequently dropped in April, and another statement from his attorneys read: "We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and we encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident."

Attorneys representing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins family, Randi McGinn, left, Brian Panish, Kevin Boyle and Jesse Creed announce a wrongful death lawsuit during a press conference on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA© Getty
The late cinematographer's family also sued Alec for wrongful death, though it was later settled

Details of the new movie were first shared amid the Cannes Film Festival, where Rust producers are currently actively trying to find international buyers for its distribution. 

The new film is written and directed by Karen Slade (she first directed The Failure in 2017), and Alec is set to star as Robert I. White, Kent State's president at the time of the tragedy. Actors Durmot Mulroney, Clancy Brown, Jacqueline Emerson, and Andrew Ortenberg have already also been casted.

Locals and members of the local film community mourn the loss of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died after being shot by Alec Baldwin on the set of his movie "Rust" at a vigil in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S., October 23, 2021© Getty
Vigils for Halyna Hutckins were organized by the film community following her death
George Stephanopoulos interviewing Alec Baldwin© Jeff Neira
Alec previously maintained his innocence in an interview with George Stephanopoulos
Hilaria Baldwin and Alec Baldwin on a walk in Manchester, Vermont© Getty
Alec is married to Hilaria Baldwin

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