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Published: 2014/04/25

Gregg Allman Begs Midnight Rider Director Not to Resume Filming

Following the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones, Gregg Allman is urging director Randall Miller not to resume production on the Allman biopic Midnight Rider. Allman sent Miller a personal letter asking him not to move forward, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed.

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

William Hurt, who was slated to play Allman, has pulled out of the project due to the death of Jones.


There are 20 comments associated with this post

Jordan April 25, 2014, 15:13:56

I think they should do just the opposite. If Sarah died doing something, they should finish the job in honor of her memory. Otherwise, it almost seems like her death was in vain. It seems silly to say that over a movie, but nonetheless she was working on this. In reality, my opinion obviously doesn’t matter, so maybe they should ask the family for their approval and take actions based on that.

John April 25, 2014, 15:28:47

The issue is that the director and the production company are under fire in regards to her death. It was a preventable accident. Bad decisions, potential negligence, etc…Keep in mind there is an investigation involved in what led up to them being on a railroad trestle that they had no permission to be on. There very well may be charges filed against this man/production company. People in the film industry will not work with this man and are boycotting the production because of this.

Susan April 25, 2014, 15:33:35

I agree with Jordan…Sarah was working on something she was interested in and loved. It would be a disgrace to her if her work was not carried on, even if it was working one of the cameras.. You can always credit her work and life at the end of the film.
She would be honored.
As this article doesnt tell the whole story, “Injury to the Others” something really aweful must have happened…

me April 25, 2014, 15:52:03

There was a facebook page started urging no one to go to work on this… and it was started by Sarah’s peers… Seems reasonable that she would not want her coworkers to go back on that job given the incredible amount of stupidity displayed by not clearing that site before attempting to shoot there… Maybe one day in the future, with an entirely different set of circumstances it could be revisited and maybe dedicated in her honor… but so soon after, and being run by the same people who made such a horrific mistake… just doesn’t seem right…

Redwood April 25, 2014, 16:23:57

The issue in my mind, and evidently in the minds of many in the film industry, isn’t whether production should procede, but rather whether Randall Miller should have anything to do with it. While I hope to see this film some day, I have the greatest respect for Gregg at this time in pulling the plug on Miller. Gregg is doing the right thing by disassociating himself from those who were negligent and responsible for this tragedy. Hopefully he can pick up the pieces and move on with it in the future but for now this was the right thing to do.

Aron Manger of Aron Magner Presents Aron Magner's The Disco Biscuits April 25, 2014, 16:28:57

hmmm…weird that the Hollywood Reporter reported this at 11am this morning with the same exact subject line.

Dr dog April 25, 2014, 16:31:40

Make a movie about Sarah and for us Allman fans dig out Almost Famous and enjoy again!

Duane April 25, 2014, 16:57:39

How would be continuing production of the movie be honoring Sarah Jones death. It should not have happened. The production people, producer, or whatever tried to do the movie on the cheap. The procedure was not done to clear the tracks for filming, that is to say if there is such a thing. :(

MarZaPhiGar April 25, 2014, 19:37:23

You better do as he says.

yelnick Mc wawa April 25, 2014, 21:14:26

Gregg and the other people should have a sitdown while in the midst of a few Real Fat ones courtesy of B.E. SMITH and realize the right thing would be fuck the almighty dollar and look at the human end. There are way way to many things that get done for all the wrong reasons,and it all reverts back to money.

yelnick Mc wawa April 25, 2014, 21:14:26

Gregg and the other people should have a sitdown while in the midst of a few Real Fat ones courtesy of B.E. SMITH and realize the right thing would be fuck the almighty dollar and look at the human end. There are way way to many things that get done for all the wrong reasons,and it all reverts back to money.

kate April 25, 2014, 22:46:36

they obviously cared about this a lot. you now need to finish them in their honor.
for them and their family. It’s what they would have wanted. She cared about her career so deeply if you don’t finish it truly all would be in vain.

Nathan Hale April 26, 2014, 00:08:46

There is no need for actors in a movie making an attempt to portray the Gregg Allman story. All you need to do is listen to his music. That tells it all.

Darren Winter April 26, 2014, 03:03:40

Wow! I can’t believe any reputable film industry professional could, would or conceive of not using either an abandoned line or getting clearence before attempting such a scene. I am disgusted, and as a former member of the film community, I am ashamed. Allowing this production company to exist let alone keep working should be the issue. You honor no one by associating yourself with people who play fast and loose with other’s lives. Boycott this production and save yourself from getting any stink on you.

shinymetalass April 26, 2014, 03:41:44

man, u all must intimately know members of the bands extended family with all this inside notions. and thank you Darren for you so translucent clarity of judgement. Yeah, like anyone who produces movies and other such events go to all the lengths to secure such things. lol reality bud check in! money talks and your BS walks 21st century bud… no one cares about what your inciting (i’m sorry to say) and no one intended the death of this individual, I’m sure gregg and everyone involved is devastated.

Sonic Sinner April 26, 2014, 06:32:59

The project, as someone said is not flawed, it is the production company. I believe an appropriate period of respectful grieving must be given and then, after, if Gregg and the others involved wish to start again with a different production company, they can do so. If and when going forward, I truly hope that Sarah’s memory is honored by showing exemplary passion and care for both the material, as well as towards the cast and crew. If it was me, it is what I would want.
No one thinks that evil was at the root of this tragedy. Unfortunately the idea of being a “maverick” film maker does not agree with a pragmatic approach where caution and costly considerations are applied and it is this philosophy by the powers that be that created a scenario where an easily avoidable tradegy unfolded.
A film production is a tight family and I know everyone is devastated.
Ultimately it must be Gregg’s and those other’s whose story is being told’s decision as to whether or not to revisit this project at a later time. The music the man makes informs of us all as to the depth he feels things, and right now he wants to put a stop to it and that should be respected.

DANKERATOR April 26, 2014, 09:17:15

I think if gregg doesn’t approve of doing it and he goes ahead that is wrong! HOWEVER IF GREGG CHANGES HIS MIND THEY NEED TO GET KEIFER SUTHERLAND HE LOOKS LIKE GREGG!!! WILLIAM HURT WAS A SHITTY CHOICE!!!

Thom Shepard April 26, 2014, 09:20:34

Jordan and Susan, The only “work” the only film shot is when cameras were rolling on the train barrelling down on the crew leading to horrible crash and death of Sarah Jones. There is no “work” completed other than this shot. There is NOTHING about allowing Unclaimed Freight, who conspired over weeks to to undermine law and accepted standards and to intentionally put a whole crew in grave danger, to continue their film project that could possibly honor Sarah Jones. Please do more research on such a tragic topic before making such horribly insensitve comments.

Steven Anthony April 26, 2014, 18:38:50

Just more of the ABB curse. Gregg turning rat stool pigeon is bad karma too.

Stacie April 26, 2014, 23:50:11

How many people have to die that are connected to the Brothers?! Far to many have lost their life. And why make a movie that is not telling the whole truth?!

Truth May 10, 2014, 20:39:30

I agree. How many more people have too die, and I don’t believe a word in his book my opinion, cant tell you why it s just what it is

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