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Gregg Allman Sues to Regain Movie Rights to Life Story

The Georgia musician, whose life story is being made into the film “Midnight Rider,” wants to regain control over the movie. A crew member was killed and others hurt in a February accident on the set.

Gregg Allman performing, Gregg Allman Facebook
Gregg Allman performing, Gregg Allman Facebook
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Georgia musician Gregg Allman is suing producers of the troubled movie “Midnight Rider” -- based on his long and winding music career -- to take back movie rights for his life story.

The production came to a halt in February when a freight train plowed into the set, injuring six members of the crew and killing camera assistant Sarah Jones.

A previous Patch story reported that Jones, 27, died Feb. 20 on location near Savannah after she was struck and killed by a freight train that came through the bridge during filming.

Jones’s death was honored by friends and family around the world through a social media campaign “Slates for Sarah” where crew members anywhere from Germany to Australia, to New York and Hollywood wrote Sarah’s name on film slates and posted pictures on Facebook and Twitter.

Shows such as the British hit “Downton Abbey,” the Kevin Bacon series “The Following,” the CBS hit “Blue Bloods,” and the “Vampire Diaries,” a series that Jones had worked on for several years, all posted pictures of slates -- the board that claps together to mark the beginning of a scene -- on social media.

During the initial investigation of the accident, Wayne County Sheriff’s Department had told the Los Angeles Times that he believed there would be an issue whether or not the crew had permission to be on the tracks.

Allman’s attorneys have requested that a Chatham County Superior Court end work on the project, saying that director Randall Miller’s actions have hurt Allman’s reputation, Savannah Now reported.

“Mr. Allman is not well and he ought to have the right to decide who tells his story in his lifetime,” Long-Daniels told Savannah Now. Allman was not in court on Monday.

Miller’s attorney, Donnie Dixon, claims Allman is simply trying to back out because of the tragic accident.

“Just because the going gets rough, just because it gets inconvenient, that doesn’t mean Mr. Allman can pick up his marbles and go home,” Dixon said, according to Savannah Now.

Miller testified on Monday that location permits and safety precautions were the responsibilities of his assistants. He also claimed that Allman was completely aware of the scene that involved having a bed placed across train tracks, the newspaper reports.

“I read the script to him for four and a half hours on Monday,” director Randall Miller testified in the Savannah courtroom. “It says there’s a bed in the middle of a track. Again, I hadn’t been to the location. The location was picked a week beforehand.”

According to investigators, Miller, the crew, and actor William Hurt -- starring as Allman -- had been filming on a railroad bridge over the Altamaha River when the train crashed into them at 55 mph. Investigators said the production did not have permission from CSX Railroad to be on the tracks. Miller told Allman’s lawyer, David Long-Daniels, that it was not his job to secure the permit from CSX.

Despite the tragedy, the newspaper reports that Allman’s lawsuit claims are based on contract violations rather than the train crash. Allmain claims that Miller did not meet a key production deadline that passed after filming stopped because of the accident.

Lxix Isee May 14, 2014 at 07:04 PM
He has to run to keep from hiding, but he's bound to keep on riding.
Bonnie Moss May 14, 2014 at 07:24 PM
AND he's got one more silver dollar, but he's not gonna let them catch him, no, not gonna let them catch the Midnight Rider.
Kim A May 14, 2014 at 07:52 PM
Hes not well? Then what is he doing touring..
Donna May 15, 2014 at 08:25 AM
Shouldn't Allman be able to pick up his marbles and go home if he doesn't like the way his life story is being handled by Hollywood? And, sorry, Millar but the buck stops with you. Can't just blame the incompetence of your employees on the lack of a permit. How many other shortcuts does your crew take and how often? Might want to look into that more closely if you're interested in avoiding future such circumstances. Not sure I'd want to work on your film sets.
Lone Stranger May 15, 2014 at 02:14 PM
This whole deal is a mess. If he indeed sold the rights then its a nonissue. He can't put that toothpaste back in the tube. Plus Im not sure this is going to be a Hollywood Blockbuster either.

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