Gregg Allman Files Suit To Block Biopic Following Tragedy
Gregg Allman has taken legal action to shut down the production of his biopic Midnight Rider following the February 20th death of camera assistant Sarah Jones while on location Georgia. The cast and crew had been shooting a dream sequence on an active railroad trestle when Jones was killed with six other crew members injured as the train flew through down the track. A Facebook campaign is urging the shutdown of the production, and William Hurt -- who was to star as Allman -- quit the movie citing the recklessness leading up to the tragedy. The film is reportedly gearing up to begin filming again in June.
Last month, Allman called upon director/producer Randall Miller to scrap the entire production, writing in part: "Your desires as a filmmaker should not outweigh your obligations as a human being. I am asking you to do the right thing and to set aside your attempts to resume the production out of respect for Sarah, her family and the loss that all of us feel so deeply."
Vintage Vinyl News reported that "on April 28th Allman filed suit against Miller and screenwriter wife Jody Salvin's production company Unclaimed Freight, claiming that they did not start production on the film by a February 28th deadline, ending the agreement for rights to Allman's autobiography, My Cross to Bear, on which the movie is based. The key to whether this is successful, if it gets to court, is that the judge must acknowledge that Jones' death on February 20th was during pre-production and that actual production of the film had not started by the end of that month."
Allman’s lawsuit states that due the missed deadline: "Allman requests that the Court enter an Order declaring that the Defendants' Option has expired and directing the Defendants to cease all efforts to make a motion picture based upon the life of Gregg Allman and/or his autobiography."
The suit also claims that Unclaimed Freight also shorted Allman a check on February 27th for the rights to his book by $9,000, which underlines their breaking of the agreement.
The Hollywood Reporter posted that a hearing is scheduled on May 12th "to consider a temporary restraining order."
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