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Gregg Allman Urges ‘Midnight Rider’ Director to End Production

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Gregg Allman at the Beacon Theatre March 8, 2014 (Maria Ives for Radio.com)

Gregg Allman at the Beacon Theatre March 8, 2014 (Maria Ives for Radio.com)

By Kevin Rutherford

Gregg Allman was initially excited at the prospect of a film about his life, but now he’s ready for the team behind it to shut it down.

According to the The Hollywood Reporter, Allman has called for the canceling of production on Midnight Rider following a fatal accident on set that killed camera assistant Sarah Jones and injured others.

In a personal letter send to Randall Miller, the director of the project, Allman appeals to the director “from my heart” to stop production, rather than continue as has been rumored.

“I am writing to you as one human being to another, and appealing to you from my heart,” Allman wrote. “I am asking you from a personal perspective not to go forward.”

Related: Gregg Allman on the Allman Brothers Band: ‘We Are Not Breaking Up’

Allman said his feelings changed on the film following the accident, which took place Feb. 20 of this year. The crew was filming on a train bridge over the Altamaha River in Wayne County, Georgia, when a train bore down on them, leaving little time to escape. Jones was struck by flying debris, and following the incident it was unclear if the crew even had the proper clearance to be filming there.

“When the idea of you producing the film first came about, I was genuinely excited about the possibility of sharing my story with fans around the world,” Allman continued. “Unfortunately, all of that changed for me on February 20 of this year. While there may have been a possibility that the production might have resumed shortly after that, the reality of Sarah Jones’ tragic death, the loss suffered by the Jones family and injuries to the others involved has led me to realize that for you to continue production would be wrong.”

The news comes one day after William Hurt, the lead actor in the biopic cast to play Allman, pulled out of the production. The actor had been on set at the time of the incident and reportedly narrowly escaped injury.

“Your desires as a filmmaker should not outweigh your obligations as a human being,” he concluded. “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.”

In other Allman news, the singer and guitarist confirmed to Radio.com earlier this month that, contrary to earlier reports, the Allman Brothers Band would not be disbanding at the end of the year.

“We are not breaking up,” he said. “We are replacing Derek Trucks.”

 

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