2ND UPDATE, 12:30 PM: The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office said today that the victim’s name is Sarah Elizabeth Jones from Atlanta. The investigation is ongoing, with railroad and film crew personnel cooperating. Here’s the official statement just released about the incident:
Sheriff John Carter reports that on 02/20/2014 at approximately 4:30pm Deputies of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office along with other emergency personnel responded to a call of a train hitting persons on the Doctortown train trestle. Deputies arrived to find that there were several people from Open Road films and the Meddin Studios from Savannah, Georgia filming a movie called Midnight Rider in the area and had gotten onto the train tracks. A north bound train struck some of these persons. There was one fatality and seven others injured. One of the injured was flown to a Savannah hospital while others were taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital for treatment. The fatality was a 27 year old white female from Atlanta, Georgia. Her name is Sarah Elizabeth Jones. This investigation is ongoing and CSX Railroad personnel, Rayonier Mill personnel, and the film crew personnel are all cooperating in the investigation. Due to the ongoing investigation no further information can be released at this time.
UPDATE, 9:10 AM: Open Road Films says it is not pulling out of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider: The Gregg Allman Story, despite information Deadline was told to the contrary by those involved with the film. According to spokesman Liz Biber, the company says it still plans to release the picture in the U.S. but does not have a release date set. We were told that the distributor was close to announcing its plans to pull out before yesterday’s tragic accident during production in Wayne County, GA, in which one female crew member was killed and seven others were injured when they were hit by a train while filming. So time will tell.
Detective Joe Gardner of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department told Deadline that the crew was on the tracks filming a scene in Jesup, GA yesterday at about 4 PM local time and couldn’t get out of the way in time when a CSX train travelling from Memphis to Savannah arrived unexpectedly. The 27-year-old woman, who Variety reported was the second camera assistant, was killed after trying to remove a mattress from the tracks, and it did have permission to shoot in the location, Gardner said during a press conference yesterday. The 20-person crew was from Savannah, GA-based Meddin Studios. “All of us on the production team are devastated by the tragic accident that happened today,” the production said in a release sent late last night. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of our crew member.” Read More »
Open Road Films is back in business with stand-up comic Gabriel Iglesias, nabbing worldwide rights to The Fluffy Movie, a comedy concert film that will now hit theaters on July 11, 2014. Gulfstream Pictures, which teamed with Open … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Open Road Films is picking up U.S. distribution rights to The Tank, a thriller from writer-director Kellie Madison. The pic revolves around six people entering an isolation tank designed to simulate the lengthy trip to Mars. Production is … Read More »
Open Road, which made two of the biggest deals at Berlin acquiring domestic on Rock The Kasbah and the John Hillcoat-directed Triple Nine, has extended its deal for ancillaries with Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Here’s the release.
Open Road Films and Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE) have renewed their agreement in which Universal handles all marketing, sales and distribution services for Blu-ray, DVD, Electronic Sell-Through and VOD platforms of Open Road Films’ theatrical titles through 2017. The announcement was made today jointly by Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films, and Craig Kornblau, President of USHE.
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BREAKING: Open Road Films is loading its slate with strong pre-bought ensemble pics. Just a day after it pre-bought rights to the John Hillcoat heist thriller Triple Nine, … Read More »
Audiences will have a choice on March 28 … guns or God. The release date for Sabotage, the actioner starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, is being moved up from April 11th to March 28th, putting it face to face with Darren … Read More »
Open Road’s animated indie pic The Nut Job opened this past weekend and grossed $25.7 million over the four-day MLK Day holiday — a record for the best animated debut for a non-studio film. Now the sequel as been set for January … Read More »
The found-footage horror thing was screaming for the spoof treatment. Sure enough, last year’s A Haunted House bled domestic audiences to the tune of $40M. Now co-writer and star Marlon Wayans is back for more: A Haunted House 2, which bows March 28, sees him moving into … Read More »
Open Road Films will release Eli Roth‘s The Green Inferno on September 5. Roth directed, co-wrote (with Guillermo Amoedo) and produced the horror thriller which follows a group of students who travel from New York City to the … Read More »
Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s return to big-screen actioners has been steady but slow, with January’s The Last Stand grossing $12.1M domestically and last month’s Escape Plan — with Sly Stallone and directed by Mikael Hafstrom — faring a bit better at $24.3M and counting. But those still feel like Arnold is … Read More »
Open Road Films has set a December 25 release date for Believe, the concert documentary directed by Justin Bieber: Never Say Never helmer Jon M. Chu. Footage from the pic, from SB Films and Dolphin Films, screened … Read More »
Open Road‘s current premium window is with Netflix. All of the distributor’s titles — including the Liam Neeson-starrer The Grey, David Ayer’s End Of Watch, Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects, The Host and most recently the Steve Jobs biopic Jobs — will stay put. The Showtime deal kicks off … Read More »
Homefront stars Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, and Frank Grillo. Gary Fleder directed Sylvester Stallone’s adaptation based on the book by Chuck Logan. Statham plays a widowed ex-DEA agent who retires to a small town for the sake of his 10-year-old daughter. The only … Read More »
Open Road Films is acquiring The Green Inferno, the horror thriller written and directed by Eli Roth that premiered over the weekend in Toronto in the Midnight Madness section. I’m hearing there is no minimum … Read More »
Paramount was once set to adapt Mattel‘s popular Max Steel toy line into a live-action pic with Twilight‘s Taylor Lautner to star. Instead Mattel will now team up with Dolphin Entertainment and Open Road to bring the action figure franchise to the big screen. Max Steel centers on teen Maxwell McGrath who with his alien companion Steel combines forces to become the eponymous superhero. Christopher Yost (Thor: The Dark World) will script. Stewart Hendler (Sorority Row, Halo: Forward Unto Dawn) is attached to direct after helming and exec producing the award-winning digital series H+ for Dolphin Entertainment and WB. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Open Road Films has acquired U.S. rights to Testament, a supernatural thriller that will begin production in March, with The Butterfly Effect helmer Eric Bress directing his script. Open Road will release the Voltage Pictures-financed film in early 2015. The deal was made by Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg and Voltage Pictures president Nicolas Chartier, the latter of whom will produce with Voltage production head Zev Foreman. Lisa Ellzey and Patrick Newall will executive produce. Production is slated to begin March 2014.
The thriller takes place at a prestigious boarding school in a remote part of Texas and revolves around a science teacher and his students who are forced to fight for their lives when the Ten Plagues of the Old Testament descend not only on the town, but the entire world. It starts with blood filling the school’s swimming pool — as fast as it fills rivers, lakes and oceans worldwide — and that is followed by frogs, lice, wild animals, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and death of the first born. Casting is underway. Read More »
Robert Rodriguez‘s grindhouse sequel Machete Kills starring Danny Trejo was recently tapped to premiere at Austin’s Fantastic Fest. Here’s what they’ll see before Open Road releases it wide October 11: Mel Gibson as a madman, Charlie Sheen as president and Lady Gaga as Cuba Gooding Jr. Check it … Read More »