Dwayne Johnson Will No Longer Use Real Guns on Set After Alec Baldwin Shooting Accident

Dwayne Johnson attends the World Premiere of Netflix's "Red Notice" at L.A. LIVE on November 03, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
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  • Dwayne Johnson will only use rubber guns on his sets after the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins by Alec Baldwin on the set of "Rust" last month.
  • Johnson said he will enforce this new rule with any studio he and his production company Seven Bucks Productions work with going forward.

Dwayne Johnson, one of Hollywood's biggest action stars, will only use rubber guns on his sets after the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of "Rust" last month.

"I can't speak for anyone else, but I can tell you, without an absence of clarity here, that any movie that we have moving forward with Seven Bucks Productions — any movie, any television show, or anything we do or produce — we won't use real guns at all," Johnson told Variety during a red carpet interview at Wednesday's premiere of "Red Notice" in Los Angeles.

Johnson said he was "heartbroken" when he heard that a prop gun fired by Alec Baldwin led to the death of Hutchins and also injured "Rust" director Joel Souza. The incident led the actor to alter on-set protocol for his future films. Johnson said he will enforce this new rule with any studio he and his production company work with going forward.

"We're going to switch over to rubber guns, and we're going to take care of it in post," he said. "We're not going to worry about the dollars; we won't worry about what it costs."

The term prop gun includes a wide swath of firearms, including nonfunctioning guns, cap guns, fake guns made of wood, plastic or rubber and antique guns that have been modified to shoot blanks or hold dummy rounds.

Live ammunition is rarely used on scripted TV shows or films and are typically only utilized on reality shows like "Mythbusters," where they are used to test scientific theories or "Top Shot," where they are used for a marksmanship competition.

In most cases, productions utilize blank rounds in prop firearms to imitate the sound and physical appearance of a real gun. These shell casings are loaded with gunpowder but do not have a projectile like a bullet. Instead, they are usually replaced with cotton or paper wadding. Blanks can still be dangerous if discharged too close to another person.

It appears Johnson means to ban all prop weaponry that discharges any material, and utilize non-firing props that will have special effects like sound and muzzle flashes added in post production. Representatives for Johnson did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for clarification.

Hollywood productions typically adhere to strict safety measures for stunt work, particularly when it comes to weapon and prop safety. The Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee has written and distributed safety bulletins on best practices for television and movie productions.

In fact, the last high profile gun-related incident on a movie set was the death of Brandon Lee on the set of "The Crow" in 1993.

Since 1990, the film industry has seen 47 fatalities among 250 film production accidents, according to data from the Occupation Safety and Health Administration. These incidents include car accidents, injuries sustained from heavy equipment and falls from scaffolding.

"I love the movie business," Johnson said. "There are safety protocols and measures that we have always taken in the movie business and we take very seriously, and these sets are safe sets, and we're proud of that."

"But accidents do happen," he continued. "And when something like this happens of this magnitude, [that is] this heartbreaking, I think the most prudent thing and the smartest thing to do is just pause for a second and really re-examine how you're going to move forward and how we're going to work together."

Seven Bucks Productions, founded by Johnson and his business partner Dany Garcia, has worked with major studios like Sony, Disney and Universal to bring major blockbusters like "Jumanji," "Jungle Cruise" and "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw" to the big screen.

"Any movie we do that Seven Bucks does with any studio, the rule is we're not going to use real guns. That's it," he said.

"The Rookie," an ABC show produced by Hasbro's eOne, has also banned all gunfire on set in the wake of the "Rust" set shooting. The production will utilize Air Soft guns and add computer generated muzzle flashes during post production.

Additionally, dozens of cinematographers have signed a petition asking the entertainment industry to ban "functional firearms" on productions.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal produces and distributes the Fast & Furious franchise.

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