Gregg Allman Begs 'Midnight Rider' Director Not to Resume Filming (Exclusive)
Midnight Rider subject Gregg Allman, a founding member of the iconic Southern rock group The Allman Brothers Band, is urging director Randall Miller not to proceed with production on the controversial biopic after the tragic death of camera assistant Sarah Jones.
Allman sent Miller a personal letter asking him to not move forward with the film amid reports that the director was looking to resume shooting in L.A.
“I am writing to you as one human being to another, and appealing to you from my heart,” Allman began. “I am asking you from a personal perspective not to go forward.”
Allman says he was initially excited about the film, which is based on his best-selling autobiography, My Cross to Bear, but his feelings have changed after Jones’ death.
“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 Feb. 20 of this year,” he wrote. “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.”
Allman continues by urging Miller to not continue out of respect for Jones, indicating he should view the situation as a human being, not a filmmaker.
“Your desires as a filmmaker should not outweigh your obligations as a human being,” Allman writes. “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.”
Jones was killed when she was struck by a train during filming on a narrow trestle bridge in Doctortown, Ga.
Local and national authorities are now investigating her death, with Miller suspending production in the wake of the accident.
Star William Hurt, who was set to play Allman and was on set during the accident that killed Jones, has already pulled out of the project.