All-American Rejects Singer Cast as Gregg Allman in Biopic (Exclusive)
Randall Miller and Jody Savin's adaptation of the Gregg Allman memoir My Cross to Bear has found its Allman Brothers.
Tyson Ritter, the lead singer-songwriter of pop-rock band The All-American Rejects will take on the role of young Gregg Allman while Wyatt Russell, currently shooting 22 Jump Street with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, will portray Duane Allman in the movie, whose working title is Midnight Rider.
Tyson and Wyatt will perform vocals, guitar, piano and organ throughout the film.
"The world knows Tyson as a extraordinary musician and performer; now the world will know what an amazing actor he is as well," said Miller.
Savin, meanwhile, said Russell has been a Duane Allman fan his whole life and that during the audition process he "blew us away with his total embodiment of the rock icon and his uncanny slide guitar chops."
Miller will direct Rider, which he wrote with Savin. The two are producing via their banner, Unclaimed Freight, along with their music biz partner Brad Rosenberger.
Open Road Films will be handling the U.S. domestic release and the Exchange will handle the international sales on the film.
Production is scheduled to begin in February in Savannah, Ga., at Meddin Studios. The plan is to use original Allman Brothers tracks in the film as well as rerecorded performances by the actor-musicians.
Allman was part of the Southern rock group The Allman Brothers Band, whose heyday was during the '60s and '70s when they released classics such as "Ramblin' Man," "Midnight Rider," "Whipping Post" and "Jessica."
Success, however, was mixed with tragedy. Duane Allman died in a motorcycle crash only two weeks after the band's third album went gold. Less than 13 months later, bassist Berry Oakley was killed in another motorcycle accident. Gregg Allman also had two girlfriends commit suicide. He married six times (once to Cher) and spent years in and out of rehab.
The movie will tell two stories: Gregg Allman's journey from struggling artist through the formation and subsequent success of The Allman Brothers Band; and a portrait of an older Allman, who, at 64, realizes he has to get clean for good.
Allman and his manager Michael Lehman are exec producing.
Ritter, who is repped by CAA, has acted before, notably on NBC's Parenthood.
Russell, repped by UTA, is the son of actor Kurt Russell.