Dwayne Johnson Pledges To No Longer Use Real Guns On His Sets Following Rust Shooting

One of the biggest action stars on the planet has nixed live guns on his film sets. Johnson spoke to Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of "Red Notice," Johnson's latest Netflix vehicle — purportedly one of the streaming service's most expensive projects to date. The movie, which launches on Netflix on November 12, stars three celebrities who are familiar with shoot-em-up storylines: Gal Gadot as the bullet-deflecting Wonder Woman, and Ryan Reynolds who fills montages with gunplay as the wise-cracking mercenary Deadpool. But following the accidental death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on period Western film "Rust," Johnson is making a pledge to stop using real firearms on all projects under his Seven Bucks Productions banner. After expressing his heartbreak at the shooting of Hutchins and director Joel Souza, the "Fast & Furious" star outlined the need for a shift in firearms practices on film sets.

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

The move comes amid industry-wide calls for widespread policy changes, including an open letter, signed by notable cinematographers, refusing to engage in projects that still use live guns and ammunition in production. Filmmaker Bandar Albuliwi's Change.org petition, which calls "for Alec Baldwin to use his power and influence in the Hollywood film industry to make change and ban real guns on film sets," has gathered over 107,000 signatures so far. Dave Halls, the assistant director for "Rust," has joined in calls for the industry to "reevaluate its values and practices," though his role in the tragedy is still under scrutiny.

'Learn From It and Move Forward'

Johnson went on to highlight his immediate response upon hearing the news — first of confusion, then sadness, then action. Texting mutual acquaintances for confirmation of the deadly Santa Fe incident, he then called his team to figure out the next step. For Johnson, it's the most practical way to carry on. "I can tell you what we should do in a scenario like this, is learn from it and move forward," he told Variety. "I think there are new protocols and new safety measures that we should take, especially in the wake of what just happened."

Johnson founded his production company, Seven Bucks Productions, in 2010 with Dany Garcia. It was named, as Johnson tells it, for the amount of cash he had in his pocket just prior to signing a career-launching contract with the World Wrestling Federation. Coming from such modest beginnings, the former wrestler clearly takes his professional career seriously enough to take the "Rust" incident seriously enough. Boasting such lucrative films franchises on its roster like "Jumanji" and "Jungle Cruise," it's a safe bet that Seven Bucks' industry clout and Johnson's box office power could be enough to carry a wave of revisions to on-set safety protocol.