William Hurt Withdraws From Allman Biopic ‘Midnight Rider’

Apr 24, 2014 1:24pm
GTY william hurt kab 140424 16x9 608 William Hurt Withdraws From Allman Biopic Midnight Rider

                   (Photo Credit: Jim Spellman/Getty Images)

William Hurt has dropped out of the Gregg Allman biopic “Midnight Rider” following the death of a camera assistant in February.

A rep for the Oscar-winning actor, who had been cast as the Southern rocker, confirmed to ABC News that Hurt “will not be participating in the future of ‘Midnight Rider.’”

“The producers were notified by Mr. Hurt’s representation that he will no longer be involved with this film,” the rep said in a statement.

A rep for the producers declined to comment on Hurt’s withdrawal from the film, but a source close to the production told ABC News that the filmmakers had been looking to recast some of the roles, including Hurt’s.

Production on the film came to a halt Feb. 20 after camera assistant Sarah Jones, 27, was killed and six others were injured during a scene being shot on a trestle in Georgia when a train crossed the bridge unexpectedly.

‘Midnight Rider’ Crewmember Recalls Sarah Jones’ Final Moments

Hurt had expressed reservations about filming on the train trestle spanning the Altamaha River in Wayne County, Ga., according to an email, obtained by The Los Angeles Times, that he sent to a friend.

The scene – a dream sequence – had called for Hurt to lie on a bed placed across the train tracks.

In the email, Hurt said he was assured twice that the bridge was safe for filming. When he asked, “how long the crew had to get off if by some impossible chance another train came,” he was told 60 seconds.

“I said, ‘Sixty seconds is not enough time to get us off this bridge,’” he wrote in the email obtained by The Times. “There was a communal pause. No one backed me up. Then, we ….. Just went ahead. I took off my shoes, got on the heavy, metal hospital bed and began preparing.”

‘Midnight Rider’ Crewmember Makes In Memoriam Appearance

He added, “We didn’t have sixty seconds. We had less than thirty.”

Hurt, 64, and director Randall Miller survived unscathed.

Though the actor is out, producers are still discussing whether to resume production, a spokeswoman for the producers told ABC News.

They could have trouble finding a crew to work on the film. A Facebook group called “I REFUSE to work on Midnight Rider! For Sarah!!!,” which is calling for crew workers to boycott the production, already has more than 11,000 members.

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