Lynyrd Skynyrd 1977 Plane Crash Biopic ‘Street Survivors’ Begins Filming
Filming has begun on Street Survivors:The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash, which finds Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle telling the story of the Oct. 20, 1977, tragedy from behind the camera.
“When that plane crashed, we were at the top of the world, man,” Pyle tells Deadline. “I think of that accident every day and what we might have accomplished if we’d have 10 more years ... We want this to be a good movie that tells a very passionate, intimate story about the music and the band and a rise and fall that happened so suddenly."
Street Survivors -- named for the album that Lynyrd Skynyrd released just three days before the deadly plane crash -- will focus primarily on Pyle's recollection of the tragedy, which occurred when his band boarded a chartered Convair CV-240 aircraft that had been refused by the band Aerosmith due to safety issues only a week before. The drummer painstakingly recounted the terrible accident with director Jared Cohn in order to get the story right.
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"I want the movie to portray my band members the way they were: real, funny people who loved the music, loved the success that allowed us to be able to travel the world and play for kings and queens all over this planet," Pyle explains. "It’s incredibly personal and passionate to me, and I want the movie going public to be able to share the laughs and the tears.”
According to Variety, the cast of Street Survivors includes Taylor Clift as Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zandt, Samuel Kay Forrest as guitarist Steve Gaines, Rich Dally III as guitarist Allen Collins, Hudson Long as keyboard player Billy Powell and Nick Cairo Chandler as bassist Leon Wilkeson; Ian Shultis will portray Pyle. The cast also features Neill Byrnes and Anthony Rocco Bovo, who will portray Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry; Byrnes fronts an Aerosmith tribute band named Draw the Line.
“This is a much-deserved movie for the fans of Skynyrd, and for people who’ll become fans after they see it," Pyle says, "and I”m grateful that Cleopatra [Films] is stepping up the way it has, when nobody else was willing to go against the powers that be, to get this story told."
Release details for Street Survivors:The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash have not yet been announced.