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With a life marred by frequent tragedies and harsh experiences, musician and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gregg Allman seemed destined for a biopic since the 1970s. 2012 saw the release of his best-selling memoir My Cross to Bear, co-written with Alan Light, which goes into all of Allman’s tales, from the death of brother Duane and bandmate Berry Oakley to his multiple failed marriages. So that’s a note for all hard living rock musicians right now. Write a song with a similar approach to The Allman Brothers’ “Not My Cross to Bear,” so that later in life you can cleverly reverse it when you tell your own story.
And now a core portion of Allman’s life will be brought to the screen, according to The Hollywood Reporter, as the rights to My Cross to Bear were acquired by Randall Miller (Bottle Shock) and Jody Savin, who will produce the film under their Unclaimed Freight imprint, which partnered with the music-centric Brad Rosenberger for a handful of music-related movies. Miller, who is currently in production with his nightclub-opic CBGB, will direct. So there’s much time for smart casting to occur before this thing really gets underway. Considering Miller and Savin aim to use both licensed Allman Brothers tracks as well as actual recordings of the actors, it will be interesting to see who steps up for the part. The approach to the story itself will also guide those decisions.
The screenplay, to be written by Miller and Savin, will focus on Allman’s struggles as an emerging performer and the formation of the Allman Brothers Band and their immediate popularity. The narrative will also go forward in time to find the 64-year-old Allman as a wiser man who knows he needs to get his life together. For that extra layer of authenticity, the duo will be working closely with Allman and his manager Michael Lehman for the entire production, and both of the men will serve as executive producers.
You guys remember how non-amazing that Jimi Hendrix flick sounded, right, once it was revealed that Hendrix’s estate didn’t have much to do with it? This sounds like the exact opposite.
Miller and Savin were next supposed to jump into a project showcasing the classic recording studio Caribou Records, but the Allman biopic took precedence, and it’s possible Caribou Records will immediately follow this next project.