Because of the death of Sarah Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant on the set of the Gregg Allman biopic "Midnight Rider," Allman pleaded for director Randall Miller to cease production of the film, states a Hollywood Reporter exclusive.
The report says that Allman sent Miller a personal letter. He wrote:
I am writing to you as one human being to another, and appealing to you from my heart. I am asking you from a personal perspective not to go forward.
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. Unfortunately, all of that changed for me on February 20 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.
Your desires as a filmmaker should not outweigh your obligations as a human being. 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.
Jones was struck by a train on a narrow bridge in Georgia during production after the train suddenly appeared, leaving them with no room for protection and no time to exit the bridge. Other crew members were injured as well.
Allman's plea comes after actor William Hurt, cast as Gregg Allman, left the production because of Jones's death. Hurt was on the set that day and previously had sent a warning through an email correspondence that warned of filming on the bridge, saying, "Sixty seconds is not enough time to get us off this bridge." No one heeded his warning.
"Midnight Rider" is based on Allman's best-selling autobiography, My Cross to Bear. Director Miller is looking to recast the film and to resume production in L.A.