Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Promises He’ll Stop Filming With Real Guns on Set

The biggest action star in the world refuses to use a live firearm ever again

The Rock on the set of "The Other Guys."
The Rock filming "The Other Guys" back in 2009.
Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s new film Red Notice, in which he stars alongside Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot, is a typical Netflix-distributed action comedy. Big budget, short runtime and lots of scenes with people shooting at each other. The official logline reads: “An Interpol agent tracks the world’s most wanted art thief.”

It’s the exact sort of film that keeps Johnson at the tippity top of Hollywood. He can weather lukewarm-to-negative reviews, as long he remains on billboards. Last year, the 49-year-old actor reeled in $87 million.

It’s safe to say, then, that he’s likely going to keep making these movies. You won’t see him in a Noah Baumbach divorce exploration anytime soon. But according to a recent interview with Variety, he does plan to start making his blockbusters a little differently — real guns will no longer be permitted on any movie or TV show created by Seven Bucks Productions, his production company. He says they will be replaced by rubber guns and edited in post-production.

The declaration comes in the wake of last month’s Rust shooting incident in which cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed. Speaking on the tragedy, Johnson said: “First of all, I was heartbroken. We lost a life. My heart goes out to her family and everybody on set. I’ve known Alec, too, for a very long time.”

Johnson went on to confirm that Red Notice did employ live firearms at various points throughout its filming. And while details around the Rust incident do seem abnormal — including other accidental gun discharges and labor disputes — Johnson is resolute in his decision to switch to rubber guns.

“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.” He continued on: “I love the movie business. 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. 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.”

The Rock also emphasized that this will be a personal rule outside projects with his own production company — if he’s working with a studio, they better not bring real guns to set. Ultimately, it’s tragic (and somewhat puzzling, considering how difficult it is for moviegoers to tell what’s real or not these days) that Hutchins had to lose her life for change to reverberate throughout the industry. But with one of the biggest action stars on the planet taking this stance, it sure feels like live firearms will be hard to justify in the future.

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