Gregg Allman is pleading with director Randall Miller to cease production of Midnight Rider, a biopic about the Allman Brothers Band leader’s life, following the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones, who was struck by a train while filming a scene in February. Actor William Hurt, who was to portray Allman, has since pulled out of the project. The rocker put his thoughts in a letter to Miller, which The Hollywood Reporter quotes, as the director looks to resume filming in Los Angeles.
“I am writing to you as one human being to another, and appealing to you from my heart,” Allman wrote. “I am asking you from a personal perspective not to go forward.”
Although Allman was initially excited to relive his memoir, My Cross to Bear, as a spectator, Jones’ death has chilled his enthusiasm. “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,” Allman wrote. “Unfortunately, all of that changed for me on February 20th of this year. 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 then appealed to Miller’s better interests. “Your desires as a filmmaker should not outweigh your obligations as a human being,” he wrote. “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.”
Curiously, Allman could cease the production himself at any time. Earlier this year, he told Rolling Stone he had “veto rights over everything,” in regard to the movie. “If you had them doing your life story on the big screen, wouldn’t you want to be able to erase anything out of there that you didn’t want?” he asked. “I can pull the plug on it any time.”