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Author: Subject: More on Gregg biopic

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  posted on 11/2/2013 at 05:19 PM
Happy November. I just saw this entertainment brief and even though the info might be old news to some of you, I thought I’d share it anyhow. Apparently, two or three production groups are involved in producing-promoting-releasing the Gregg movie and none are heavy hitters.

The director (as well as co-writer of the screen play) is Randall Miller. I know I’m no cinephile, but I’ve never heard of the guy or most of his movies. I’m certainly willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and my fingers are crossed he does this thing justice.

His other movies include: Class Act (1992); Houseguest (1995); The 6th Man (1997); H-E Double Hockey Sticks (1999); Till Dad Do Us Part (2001); Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School (2005); Nobel Son (2007); Bottle Shock (2008) and CBGB (2013).

Not exactly John Ford. It should be interesting…


Headline: Exchange to sell Allman biopic

The Exchange has added Randall Miller and Jody Savin's upcoming Midnight Rider: The Gregg Allman Story to the AFM slate.

Unclaimed Freight Production's Miller and Savin will produce the film, based on the bestselling autobiography of the same name. Open Road will distribute in the US.

Miller will direct the autobiography focusing on Allman's early struggles through the formation of The Allman Brothers Band and the group's ultimate explosion on the music scene.

Savin and Miller are working closely with Allman and his manager Michael Lehman, both of whom
will serve as executive producers. The film will include original Allman Brothers tracks as well as performances by the actor / musicians.

"This powerful story of one man's journey through his brilliant and tumultuous rock 'n' roll career is extremely compelling and will be of keen interest to our international buyers," said The Exchange CEO Brian O'Shea.

 
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  posted on 11/2/2013 at 05:39 PM
http://variety.com/2013/film/news/gregg-allman-biopic-1200785025/

Variety reported yesterday that filming will begin in Georgia in January. "Midnight Rider" is fine as a title, but tagging "The Gregg Allman Story" makes it sound like a TV movie. Oh well. Anyway I don't think the cast has been disclosed but it sounds like production is moving along.

 

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  posted on 11/2/2013 at 05:56 PM
If this is anything other than an embarrassment, I will be amazed.



 

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  posted on 11/2/2013 at 06:07 PM
Does that mean that if it's pretty good, you'll say so?

 

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  posted on 11/2/2013 at 06:15 PM
quote:
If this is anything other than an embarrassment, I will be amazed.


I don't know, the list of films above has a couple of familiar ones, no "A-list" stuff though. Some experience, so..better than an amateur.....right?

 

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  posted on 11/2/2013 at 06:33 PM
Devon posted a while back on Face Book that he was trying out for the part of Duane and thats why he is growing his hair out again

 

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  posted on 11/2/2013 at 11:46 PM
"Bottle Shock" is a pretty good movie. It's been playing on the showtime channels this past month or so. He uses Stand Back in the soundtrack and a lot of Doobie songs. I enjoyed it a lot.

 

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  posted on 11/3/2013 at 03:53 AM
I've heard that they were auditioning actors for the supporting role of Duane Allman in this movie and that he was described as an "Ass kickin' killer guitarist" and Steven Segal showed up because he thought "Hey, that's me!"

 

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  posted on 11/3/2013 at 04:53 AM
quote:
Does that mean that if it's pretty good, you'll say so?



Has there ever been a good biopic about a living musician?

The better ones - I Walk The Line, Ray, The Doors, Coal Miner's Daughter, Bird, Nowhere Boy, La Vie En Rose - have been about deceased artists and they were still a bit dubious.

Gregg is still alive and furthermore actively performing. He is going to have to live with people viewing him through someone else's interpretation of his life.

Which doesn't really bother me because my opinion of Gregg isn't too high. But the film will also, I presume, involve depictions of the likes of Duane, Berry and others whose reputations I do care about. We, as fans, know a lot more factually about those people than the average filmgoer and, if gross artistic licence is taken in the portrayals, we will be offended.

My opinion is that making this film is a bad thing to do and, unless it is a tour de force, will only cause sadness.



Edit - Here is an article from The Independent in October 2010:

It's so brilliant you wonder why nobody thought of it earlier. Sacha Baron Cohen, the mankini-sporting star of Borat, is to play Queen's Freddie Mercury. There, I thought to myself, is a film I'd like to see. But then I pondered a little more about the picture that might be made, a rags-to-riches story starting in Zanzibar and concluding in a Kensington mansion, a tale of a man who battled with his sexuality and his fame. There will be drugs, there will be fornication, there will be jumpsuits aplenty. Who, you wonder, will play Brian May's hair?

Despite its propensity for ludicrousness, the rock biopic has never been more popular. Lately we've seen Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as The Runaways, Sam Riley as Joy Division's Ian Curtis and Andy Serkis as Ian Dury. Now there are countless more in the pipeline: Al Pacino as Phil Spector, Amy Adams as Janis Joplin and David Morrissey as Julian Cope. Rumours abound online of Robert Pattinson playing Kurt Cobain, Mike Myers as Keith Moon and Outkast's Andre 3000 as Jimi Hendrix. Clearly, if film studios are to be believed, we can't get enough of rock'n'rollers on screen.

And why not? The lives of rock stars are ready-made dramas complete with outré outfits, sex, drugs, paranoia and, in many cases, death. The chapters within these fictionalised accounts are already laid out: the troubled childhood, the struggle for recognition, the epochal concerts, the premature death bringing with it the mouth-watering taste of immortality.

So why are the results so consistently abominable? When rock stars get the Hollywood treatment, more often than not the films emerge as tawdry soap operas, earnest snooze-fests or unintentional comedies that end up echoing one of the few good (alas, fictional) rock films ever made: This Is Spinal Tap.

There have, of course, been a scattering of decent ones, among them Walk the Line, What's Love Got to Do with It and Alex Cox's Sid and Nancy. All of these played fast and loose with the facts and yet offered, largely through the ferocity of the central performances, convincing portraits of musicians struggling with their personal lives and the weight of professional expectation. More recently, Anton Corbijn's Control captured the look and the mood of Joy Division even if it shed more light on Ian Curtis's domestic arrangements than his inner genius.

But these are the exceptions to the rule. Most heinous of all is that mainstream rock biopics invariably lack the crucial insight into the creative brilliance that turned the musician in question into a living deity. Instead they wheel out the same stereotypes – would-be icons surrounded by Machiavellian managers, baffled band-mates, sinister drug dealers, ornamental groupies – amid tired tales of ambition, egotism, self-abuse and redemption.

Then there are the bad outfits and the slippery accents that frequently make the rock flick more about impersonation than performance. If it's pantomime you're after, look no further than the Jerry Lee Lewis biopic Great Balls of Fire! starring Dennis Quaid, a film so zany that it merited an exclamation mark in the title.

When the actors struggle, it's often left to the wigs to take centre stage, their presence so powerful in certain films that the viewer cannot think about anything else. Remember Michael Pitt's blonde curtain as Kurt Cobain in Last Days? Or Leo Gregory's plumped-up bowl cut as Brian Jones in Stoned? And how about Meg Ryan's mousey fright-wig in Oliver Stone's 1991 film The Doors?

The Doors signifies all that is laughable about the rock biopic, an example of how to take a serviceable rock'n'roll story and, through blinkered adoration and unforgivable pomposity, render it both ridiculous and boring.

The moral of the story? Leave the films to the film-makers and the music to the musicians. And, for the love of God, leave poor Freddie alone.




[Edited on 11/3/2013 by Shavian]

 

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  posted on 11/3/2013 at 06:10 AM
quote:
Has there ever been a good biopic about a living musician?


The documentary Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart

 

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  posted on 11/3/2013 at 07:02 AM
I excluded documentaries since we are discussing a dramatization.

There is a lot of great documentaries.




 

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  posted on 11/3/2013 at 09:57 AM
It would make a lot more sense and be much more compelling if this movie were about Duane or the rise of the original band.

 

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  posted on 11/3/2013 at 12:58 PM
I'm sure this won't be like a lot of rock star biopics because Gregg and his manager are co-producing it. They'll have influence, which probably means they won't do anything to make Gregg look too bad -- we'll be seeing this largely through Gregg's eyes and not somebody more objective. The plus side of that, of course, is they probably won't dwell on the Cher and People Magazine stuff as much as somebody else might.

Like some of y'all have already stated, I hope they put much of the focus on the music of the ABB and the way that music has moved so many people over the years, and not focus so much on the personal stuff, the lousy relationships and drug abuse, etc. After all, I can screw up my life, but I could never write and play Little Martha or Blue Sky or Melissa. That's why these guys are famous and that's why they're making a movie about them...

 

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  posted on 11/3/2013 at 01:25 PM
quote:
quote:
Does that mean that if it's pretty good, you'll say so?


My opinion is that making this film is a bad thing to do and, unless it is a tour de force, will only cause sadness.

I'm not predicting this thing will be any good and I understand all the different ways this thing could be bad or go wrong. There are tons of pitfalls, especially if the told in a self-serving way - which was one of the big criticisms of the book in the first place. (Not to dispute your larger point, by the way, but Ray Charles was alive when Ray was made and he had a little involvement with the movie. He just died before it came out.) I'm just asking, as a yes or no question, if you'll say the movie is alright if it turns out to be alright. Because we both know how these kinds of discussions go on this site these days.

 

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  posted on 11/3/2013 at 02:25 PM
I stand corrected on Ray Charles!

If I think the film is alright, of course I'll say that. But what we each think is good is highly subjective - my taste in films is unlikely to be the same as the next person's!





 

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  posted on 11/3/2013 at 02:47 PM
If you have read the book, then you know how the story will go and the angle that it is coming from. It just depends on the budget on how good the people telling the story on the screen will be.

Looking at the filmography of who is involved, this is going to be low budget and not on the level of The Doors or Ray.

[Edited on 11/3/2013 by WarEagleRK]

 

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  posted on 11/3/2013 at 06:02 PM
quote:

If it's pantomime you're after, look no further than the Jerry Lee Lewis biopic Great Balls of Fire! starring Dennis Quaid, a film so zany that it merited an exclamation mark in the title.


Dennis Quaid once said, "Jerry Lee Lewis gave the movie his approval. That's all I need to know." I thoroughly enjoyed the film.
quote:

The Doors signifies all that is laughable about the rock biopic, an example of how to take a serviceable rock'n'roll story and, through blinkered adoration and unforgivable pomposity, render it both ridiculous and boring.


I thought "The Doors" was one of the best rock biography films ever made, thoroughly enjoyed it as well. What is this guy looking for? He sounds like one of those critics who is only a critic because he gets to be critical. If "Midnight Rider" approaches the level of "The Doors", and they can find someone to play Gregg who is as good as Val Kilmer was as Jim Morrison, then I'll be thoroughly satisified. You shouldn't expect a rock biography to win any awards at the Cannes Film Festival. It's going to be an entertainment film like the above two were.




[Edited on 11/3/2013 by robslob]

 

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  posted on 11/3/2013 at 07:01 PM
If the pic focused on how hard Gregg worked to survive and to make music, it would be an inspiring story. If the point of the pic is endless women, ciggies, drugs, bars and pills, with a come to jesus scene, there's no way it will look like anything except an extended SNL skit.

[Edited on 11/4/2013 by WaitinForRain]

 

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  posted on 11/3/2013 at 07:17 PM
quote:
I stand corrected on Ray Charles!

If I think the film is alright, of course I'll say that. But what we each think is good is highly subjective - my taste in films is unlikely to be the same as the next person's!





Jamie Fox did an incredible job as Ray, he actually became Ray.

 

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  posted on 11/3/2013 at 07:50 PM
quote:
. If "Midnight Rider" approaches the level of "The Doors", and they can find someone to play Gregg who is as good as Val Kilmer was as Jim Morrison, then I'll be thoroughly satisfied.


Or on par with Gary Bussey's portrayal of "Buddy Holly"....still my favorite.

 

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  posted on 11/3/2013 at 09:36 PM
I really like The Doors, Ray and several other music biopics mentioned in this thread. I don't think the problem here is whether it's possible to make a quality movie about a living rock musician.

I think this is the problem...

"There are tons of pitfalls, especially if the told in a self-serving way - which was one of the big criticisms of the book in the first place."

And also this....

"Looking at the filmography of who is involved, this is going to be low budget and not on the level of The Doors or Ray."

Give Gregg's life story to a top-notch director like Jonathan Demme, give them complete creative control, and keep Michael Lehman the hell away from it, and you might have something. But that's not what is happening here.

"The plus side of that, of course, is they probably won't dwell on the Cher and People Magazine stuff as much as somebody else might."

Gregg's book certainly didn't shy away from that kind of stuff. I think many people in Gregg's camp think that stories of the rock and roll lifestyle are "cool" and help build the mythology of Gregg Allman, Rock Star.

The fact that the story about Gregg nodding out on heroin during his first date with Cher made it into the book is a good example of the fact that the "bad boy" image is embraced by Gregg. This wasn't some sleazy tabloid putting that story out, that was Gregg himself choosing to include it in a book he wrote.

 
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  posted on 11/4/2013 at 03:38 AM
I think the problem about a biopic about an artist and his band which we all like so much is the following:
If a large chunk of the pic is about endless women, ciggies, drugs, bars and pills and the whole Cher soap opera we fans see that as an obstruction to show and fully appreciate the beautiful music created by the ABB and it's cultural relevance. But i think the average movie goer who is potentially interested in music biopics expects to get all that "endless women, ciggies, drugs, bars and pills and the whole Cher soap opera". A lot of that stuff makes up a huge chunk of Gregg's book so people expect to get that in the movie as well. I think it will be one hell of a job and a huge achievement if they are able to make a well balanced movie. The "soap stuff" and the strength of the music created both equally strong presented in the movie. Personally i expect this won't happen. It will mostly be a soap opera based on a book that is hardly acurate. Maybe this sounds very cruel but painfully true: back in the Seventies and Eighties Gregg was in a drug and booze induced state of limbo and hardly aware of what went on in the world around him and neither knows what the consequences of his actions where for the people surrounding him. I personally would not mind if this whole movie based on Gregg's book won't materialize. I rather would like a well made rockumentary with all existing original film material of the ABB that is still in the vaults due to legal matters.

 

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  posted on 11/4/2013 at 07:24 AM
The movie is going to focus on everything but the music. The music will be a secondary subplot that won't be a huge part of the movie, it will just be a byproduct of what else is covered. The reason that I say that, is why else would the general public have an interest in Gregg's story? Him making music isn't going to sell tickets to nothing more than the fan base.
 

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  posted on 11/4/2013 at 10:54 AM
I don't care how bad it turns out to be, I'm seeing it, and I know most of you will too!
 

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  posted on 11/4/2013 at 09:01 PM
FYI- the Lou Reed Rock n roll Heart is on now on PBS ch13 in NYC

 

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