Gregg Allman has called for production of his biopic to be shut-down following the death of a production worker in February.
When Sarah Jones was killed on a railroad trestle in Doctortown, GA during production of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider, the film was temporarily shut down.
As word leaked out that there may not have been permission to shoot on such a dangerous location, the Hollywood community started to question whether the production should go forward with trade unions taking up the cause of better set safety. That didn’t deter director Randall Miller, who once again started recently working on the film aiming for a June restart.
Earlier this week, William Hurt, who was cast as Allman, announced that he was dropping from the picture. The actor had previously told the Los Angeles Times that he had questioned the safety of shooting on the bridge and was told that the crew would have sixty seconds to vacate the trestle if a train came along. “I said, ‘Sixty seconds is not enough time to get us off this bridge.’ There was a communal pause. No one backed me up. Then, we ….. Just went ahead. I took off my shoes, got on the heavy, metal hospital bed and began preparing.” He went on to say they had less than thirty seconds when they realized a train was approaching.
Now, Gregg Allman has called on Miller to shut down production. In a letter to the director, he said:
I am writing to you as one human being to another, and appealing to you from my heart. I am asking you from a personal perspective not to go forward.
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. Unfortunately, all of that changed for me on February 20th 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.
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.
Whether Miller and, more specifically, the production company (Unclaimed Freight) are willing to shutdown the film will depend on pressure from backers and insurance companies.
Read more at VVNMusic.com
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