While their Dennis Wilson biopic The Drummer may never get produced, the director and writer team of Randall Miller and Jody Savin has moved forward with their next project, Midnight Runner: The Gregg Allman Story. An exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Tyson Ritter, lead vocalist and songwriter for The All-American Rejects, and Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street) have been cast as Gregg and Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers Band. The two will sing and play guitar, piano, and organ as part of their performances.
The Allman Brothers Band became famous in the last 60s and early 70s for its style of Southern Rock and with songs such as “Whipping Post,” “Midnight Rider,” “Jessica,” and their biggest hit, “Ramblin’ Man.” Gregg and Duane Allman were the band’s founding members, though tragically Duane Allman died in motorcycle accident in 1971 at the age of 24, mere weeks after the band’s live album, At Filmore East, went gold (500,000 copies sold). The band lost its bassist, Berry Oakley, in another motorcycle accident just over a year later. Despite the losses, the band continued to tour and perform until 1976 before breaking apart, though Gregg Allman has since put a new group together.
Midnight Runner will be an adaptation of Gregg Allman’s memoir My Cross to Bear and will follow the rise of the band to stardom and an older Gregg Allman sorting out his personal troubles including drug abuse and six marriages. Production will begin in February. The finished film will feature original recordings of songs from The Allman Brothers Band as well as re-recorded versions from the cast.