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Gregg Allman Takes Legal Action to Stop Biopic

Gregg Allman
Taylor Hill, Getty Images

Gregg Allman is opposing the filming of his biopic, ‘Midnight Rider,’ and now the singer has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop production of the movie.

Allman reached out to the director, Randall Miller, to stop making the movie after camera assistant Sarah Jones was killed on set, when she was struck by a train while filming on a narrow bridge in Georgia.

“I am writing to you as one human being to another, and appealing to you from my heart,” Allman wrote in a letter to Miller. “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 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.”

When Miller refused to stop filming, Allman filed a lawsuit against Unclaimed Freight Productions, the company making ‘Midnight Rider,’ asking for an immediate end to the production of the movie.

According to court documents, “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 ‘Ramblin’ Man’ singer further alleges that Unclaimed Freight Productions has not paid for the rights to the film, claiming that all but $9000 was wired to him, and that checks sent to cover the balance were returned and never repaid.

Allman isn’t the only one protesting the making of ‘Midnight Rider.’ Actor William Hurt, who was slated to play the tunesmith in the film, dropped out of the film after Jones’ death, citing the unsafe procedures that led to the accident.

“I said, ‘Sixty seconds is not enough time to get us off this bridge,’ he recalls of the tragic event. “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 … We didn’t have sixty seconds. We had less than thirty.”

A hearing will be held on May 12 to determine if a temporary restraining order can be placed on production of the film.

While ‘Midnight Rider’ may not ever be seen, an all-star concert special, ‘All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman’ honoring Allman’s legendary career, will air on AXS TV on Sunday (May 11) at 8PM ET. More than a dozen artists performed for the tribute, including Martina McBride, Eric Church, Zac Brown and Vince Gill.

Next: The Top 10 Allman Brothers Band Songs

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