IT was supposed to be the film that made the career of Brandon Lee.
But a freak accident on the set of The Crow in 1993 killed the promising young actor and martial artist – the son of legendary film star Bruce Lee.
A prop gun was improperly prepared after being used for previous shots, and as a result the 28-year-old took a "dummy" bullet to the stomach which proved fatal.
The harrowing incident is hauntingly similar to the tragedy of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was accidentally shot and killed by Alec Baldwin on set of his new movie Rust.
The tragic death was caused by a prop gun firing during filming, which also left its director and writer Joel Souza in critical condition, law enforcement exclusively revealed to The Sun.
The family of Brandon Lee instantly reached out to offer their sympathy over the incident.
Tweeting from an account in Brandon's name, the later actor's sister Shannon Lee wrote: "Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on Rust. No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.”
Shot in stomach in freak accident
Lee's shooting, which happened just over a week before the film was finished in March, 1993, is one of Hollywood's most notorious on-set freak accidents.
Brandon's character Eric Draven was involved in a scene where another actor, Michael Massee, who played "Funboy", had to fire blanks at him from a .44 Magnum.
Around midnight on the morning of March 31, the cast and crew were filming a scene at Carolco Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina.
As Lee entered a room, Massee shot him from a distance of 15 feet.
A dummy bullet from a previous scene was lodged in the barrel of the prop gun without anyone realising.
When the blank round was fired at Brandon, it shot the dummy bullet at him with virtually the same force as a live round.
He was hit in the abdomen and, despite six hours of emergency surgery, he died on the operating table.
The film was finished using material already shot, stunt doubles, and special effects.
Rumours that the film was jinxed by a curse circulated in Hollywood, but the police concluded it was no more than a tragic accident.
No charges were brought against Crowvision, the production company making the movie.
Massee, who died in October 2016 aged 64, refused to watch the film after its release, and admitted that he couldn’t get over his unwitting role in the death of his co-star.
Double tragedy for Lee family
Brandon was the only son of actor Bruce Lee, known for films such as Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon.
Bruce Lee died in 1973 at the age of 32 of cerebral edema—when fluid builds up around the brain.
The edema was possibly caused by a reaction to the painkillers Lee was prescribed to treat his headaches and seizures.
Despite being a movie star in Asia, Lee was only beginning his movie career in America, much like his son Brandon.
Today people are comparing Brandon's death to a similar freak accident that occurred on the set of Alec Baldwin's new movie Rust.
According to latest estimates, over 43 people have died on US film sets since 1990 and 150 have suffered life-changing incidents.
Other Twitter users were quick to draw comparisons with Lee's death.
One user tweeted: "Hollywood didn’t learn after the Brandon Lee accident. Truly tragic. My heart goes out of Halyna’s family."
Another added: "The fact that any firearm that has the potential to KILL SOMEONE is ever brought onto a movie set absolutely baffles me. We should’ve done better after Brandon Lee."
Alec had shot a prop gun that discharged either shrapnel or a bullet.
In a statement first given to The Sun, Santa Fe County Sheriff Juan Rios revealed: “The sheriff’s office confirms that two individuals were shot on the set of Rust.
"Halyna Hutchins, 42, director of photography and Joel Souza, 48, director, were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 63, producer and actor."
The officer also confirmed that no charges have been filed yet relating to the incident however, the investigation remains ongoing as witness' are being interviewed.
Baldwin devastated by gun accident
Alec was filming a scene on the set of his new Western movie, Rust, that required him to fire a gun that was supposed to be loaded with blanks.
However, tragedy struck when the gun discharged either shrapnel or a bullet, which hit two people on set including director of photography, Halyna Hutchins.
Shortly after the incident took place Halyna, who has a young son, was airlifted to a hospital where she died from her injuries.
Director Souza is still being treated for his injuries in hospital.
Alec was later seen outside the sheriff's office,in tears, as he talked on a mobile phone.
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