Open Road Films is set to release the Eli Roth-directed The Green Inferno on September 5 after acquiring it at last year’s Toronto Film Festival. It’s Roth’s first directing gig since 2007′s Hostel 2, and he co-wrote the horror thriller with Guillermo Amoedo and produced the …
‘Midnight Rider’ Director Randall Miller Attempting To Move Forward With Film In LA Following Sarah Jones Death
EXCLUSIVE: Filming was suspended following the fatal February 20 train accident that killed camera assistant Sarah Jones on the Georgia set of Midnight Rider – but Deadline has learned that director/producer Randall Miller is hoping to move forward with the production as early as June.
A source close to Miller confirms that discussions are underway on proceeding with the Gregg Allman biopic, but not in the Savannah-Atlanta region where the Jones death occurred. According to sources with knowledge of the plans, Miller wants to instead resume filming in the Los Angeles area where he and his Unclaimed Freight banner are based. According to one source with knowledge of the production, Allman, who is the executive producer on Midnight Rider, has to sign off on it too but it’s not clear if he has yet. A rep for Allman did not return calls seeking comment. It appears that Miller and Unclaimed Freight believe they have a legal right to move forward to complete the film.
Atlanta-based Jones, 27, died when a train collided with equipment on active tracks in rural Doctortown, GA where the crew of Midnight Rider was set up for filming on a train trestle overlooking the Altamaha River. The film’s producers were reportedly still trying to rally crew to continue filming in the days immediately following the accident. Production was officially suspended six days later; Open Road Films still has a distribution agreement to release the film.
UPDATE: Open Road Says It Will Still Release ‘Midnight Rider’; Female Crew Member Killed In On-Set Train Accident Identified
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.”
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.
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, …
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 …
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 …