'Midnight Rider': Gregg Allman's Public Plea Blindsided Producers

Gregg Allman

Producer-director Randall Miller and producer-writer Jody Savin were "surprised" he made his feelings known in such a public way, a source tells THR.

This story first appeared in the May 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

When singer Gregg Allman released a pointed statement April 25 begging the producers of Midnight Rider not to resume production on the film, producer-director Randall Miller received it in his inbox just like everyone else. A source close to the Allman biopic -- which suspended production in February following the on-set train accident that took the life of crewmember Sarah Jones -- says Miller and producer-writer Jody Savin were taken off guard by the public plea (sample line: "I am writing to you as one human being to another").

STORY: Gregg Allman Begs 'Midnight Rider' Director Not to Resume Filming

Says the source: "They were aware of his feelings, but were surprised that he did it in the manner he did." The producers hadn't formally committed to restart the film, as some guilds have speculated, but the exit of Allman, an executive producer on the project, as well as star William Hurt, pretty much means the cameras won't roll anytime soon. 

STORY: A Train, a Narrow Trestle and 60 Seconds to Escape: How 'Midnight Rider' Victim Sarah Jones Lost Her Life

A spokesman for Allman could not be reached for comment; the producers had no comment. A spokesman for the production said, "The production of the film remains indefinitely suspended as everyone involved continues to deal with this horrible tragedy."