Gregg Allman Biopic Casts Tyson Ritter as Lead - Rolling Stone
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Gregg Allman Biopic Casts Tyson Ritter as Lead

All-American Rejects frontman joins Wyatt Russell, who will play Duane Allman

Tyson RitterTyson Ritter

Tyson Ritter

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Amazon Studios

All-American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter will star as a young Gregg Allman in the upcoming indie biopic Midnight Rider, with actor Wyatt Russell (Cowboys and Aliens) set to portray his brother Duane Allman, Variety reports.

Considering Ritter’s rock & roll background it’s no surprise that he will sing and play piano and organ in the film, while Russell reportedly showed off his slide guitar chops during his audition and will be singing and playing in the movie as well. This is far from Ritter’s first go at acting either: He recently appeared in a multi-episode arc on the NBC show Parenthood, and is  a recurring character on Betas, a new comedy streaming on Amazon.

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Midnight Rider will be directed by Randall Miller, who co-wrote the screenplay with his partner Jody Savin (the two were behind this year’s CBGB, which chronicled the famed New York City punk club). Based on Gregg Allman’s memoir, My Cross to Bear, the movie will chronicle two parts of the organist and singer’s life: His early years through the formation and massive success of the Allman Brothers Band, followed by his own struggle to get clean after years of drug and alcohol abuse. 

Production on Midnight Rider is scheduled to begin in February in Savannah, Georgia. With Allman and his manager Michael Lehman signed on as executive producers, the film will likely include original Allman Brothers tracks alongside pre-recorded performances by Ritter, Russell and the rest of the cast.

Along with the big-screen tribute to Allman’s life and music, a number of musicians including Jackson Browne, Natalie Cole, Trace Adkins, Eric Church and Taj Mahal will honor Allman at a special concert, “All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs and Voice of Gregg Allman,” set for next year. You can also watch Allman get into the holiday spirit with his performance of “Silver Bells” on The Colbert Report last night alongside host Stephen Colbert and the National‘s Matt Beringer and Bryce Dessner and Aaron Dessner. 


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