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‘Midnight Rider’ Halts Production After Tragic Death, Claims Of ‘Criminal Negligence’ & Oscar Petition

Sarah JonesThe biopic of musician Gregg Allman, MIDNIGHT RIDER, has been put on hold following the on-set train accident that lead to the death of crew member Sarah Jones. Production company Film Allman, LLC made a statement yesterday following the accident on the 20th February:

In light of the tragic loss, we have decided to put the production of MIDNIGHT RIDER on hold.

The site of the accident is being treated as a crime scene as investigations take place to discover the cause of the accident and if anything could have been done to prevent it. Legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler (ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST) has recently written an open letter in which he describes the accident as ‘criminal negligence’:

Sarah and the three injured crew members were not victims of an ‘accident’ but of criminal negligence. Something that would not have happened if proper safety rules were in place.

Although not affiliated with the production, Wexler describes the long hours that crew members are forced to work, often clocking in at over 12 hours. Wexler has been the driving force behind a campaign to limit the working day to 12 hours with a ’12 on, 12 off’ approach. Wexler even directed a documentary on the subject back in 2006, WHO NEEDS SLEEP?

Meanwhile a petition to include Sarah Jones in the Oscar’s ‘In Memoriam’ segment during the awards this weekend. It would be a very noble gesture of the Academy to include Jones, as even though the segment cannot always include every death from the movie world in their list, Jones died on-set doing what she loved. The petition can be found here.

Source: Deadline, Variety, Film School Rejects


Luke likes many things, films and penguins being among them. He's loved films since the age of 9, when STARGATE and BATMAN FOREVER changed the landscape of modern cinema as we know it. His love of film extends to all aspects of his life, with trips abroad being planned around film locations and only buying products featured in Will Smith movies. His favourite films include SEVEN SAMURAI, PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, IN BRUGES, LONE STAR, GODZILLA, and a thousand others.

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