The cast for the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider is coming together. In December, Tyson Ritter from the band All-American Rejects was cast to play the young version of Allman. Now, Oscar winning actor William Hurt is set to play the modern-day version of the legendary founder of the classic rock-southern blues band The Allman Brothers.
The screenplay for the film is based upon Allman’s biography, My Cross to Bear. Shooting is set to begin in Savannah, Georgia this February. Randall Miller will direct. Several original Allman Brothers’ songs will be included in the film as well as re-recorded tracks from the actual musicians and actors.
The 66-year-old singer-songwriter has certainly had his personal share of highs and lows. Allman battled serious drug and alcohol problems his whole life, his alcoholism was so severe that he needed a liver transplant in 2010. His big brother and Allman Brothers’ co-founder Duane was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident in 1971. There was also a highly publicized marriage and separation from Cher. However, Gregg Allman still continues to play and perform his music live on stage today.
Last night, an impressive group of musicians, including Vince Gill and Jackson Browne, held a tribute concert for Allman in Atlanta. Allman was truly humbled by the outpouring of love and support. “I try not to think about it just directly. It’s kind of like we all came to the gig together. It’s pretty overwhelming but I’ve got the music to hang onto, to keep me on the ground. Otherwise they’d have to take me out of here on a string, like a balloon.”
The Allman Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Their biggest hits include Ramblin’ Man, Melissa, Whipping Post and of course Midnight Rider. Rolling Stone Magazine ranks the band as Number 53 on their 100 Greatest Artists ever list.
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