Thefirst time I asked Gregg Allman who should portray him in his upcoming biopic, “Midnight Rider,” he said he hadn’t given it a thought. But, when pressed, he joked that his daughter chose “Sons of Anarchy” star Charlie Hunnam because of Hunnam’s resemblance to a young Allman.
When I spoke to Allman last month and asked for a casting update, he still didn’t have a dream casting pick but said, “I have always been of the opinion that he needs to know how to sing and play.”
Given that Allman is an executive producer on the film, he got his wish: Tyson Ritter, lead singer-songwriter of The All-American Rejects will portray Allman, while Wyatt Russell takes on the role of brother Duane.
Ritter has impressed in a lengthy stint on “Parenthood” as an arrogant rock star with a hidden sweet streak, while Russell has had small roles in “Arrested Development” and “The Walking Dead” and is currently shooting “22 Jump Street” with Channing Tatum.
As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, both actors will sing and play guitar, piano and organ throughout the film, which will use original Allman Brothers songs and pre-recorded performances from Ritter and Russell.
Production is set to begin in February in Savannah at Meddin Studios.
While Allman said he doesn’t regret anything in his memoir, “My Cross to Bear,” on which the film is based, he wants to be sure that director Randall Miller and screenwriter Jody Savin get everything right.
“I don’t want people walking out of the theater thinking, ‘What a weenie that guy is’,” Allman said.