All-American Rejects Frontman to Lead Musician Gregg Allman Biopic
After leading the poppy alternative rock band The All-American Rejects for years, frontman Tyson Ritter entered the world of acting in 2007 with an episode of "House M.D." and followed with a small role in The House Bunny and arcs on "Parenthood" and "Betas." Now he's going to lead a film that will feature his acting and musical chops. THR has word that Ritter will play Gregg Allman, one half of the classic rock duo The Allman Brothers, in a biopic called Midnight Rider. Ritter will be joined by Wyatt Russell (This is 40, 22 Jump Street) playing Duane Allman, and both will sing and play guitar, piano and organ on film.
Randall Miller will direct the film from a script he co-wrote with Jody Savin, both of whom respectively directed and wrote CBGB and Bottle Shock. The film is based on Gregg Allman's memoir My Cross to Bear, and will look at Allman’s journey as a struggling artist through the formation of the Allman Brothers Band and its explosion on the music scene as well as an older Allman as a 64-year-old man who knows he has to clean up. Allman was hit with plenty of tragedy including the death of his brother in a motorcycle accident after their third album went gold. Then the band's bass player died just over a year later in another motorcycle crash. Two of the musician's girlfriends also killed themselves, so he's seen dark days.
We're very curious to see how Ritter and Russell prove themselves in these lead roles as actors and playing iconic musicians. Both will be greatly transformed to become the long-haired, guitar-strumming brothers from rock's histroy. Our only concern is that Miller's last classic rock inspired film, CBGB, didn't garner much attention and has been fairly panned despite having quite an impressive ensemble cast playing various musicians from the past. This will likely pop up on the festival circuit later, so stay tuned.