EXCLUSIVE: Ian Shultis, Taylor Clift, Samuel Kay Forrest and Rich Dally III have been cast in Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash, a biopic about the iconic Southern rockers that begins shooting at month’s end in Los Angeles via Cleopatra Films.
Jared Cohn directs the film, which he wrote from a story by longtime Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle. Originally announced as Free Bird, it traces the band’s tragic history centering on Pyle (Shultis) and his experiences of the events surrounding the chartered-plane crash on October 20, 1977 that killed original band members Ronnie Van Zant (Clift), Steve Gaines (Forrest), and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, Steve’s sister. An assistant road manager and the two pilots also died in the crash after the tour plane ran out of fuel over Mississippi.
A total of 20 passengers survived including Pyle and guitarist Gary Rossington (Them Guns frontman Navarone Garibaldi), the latter a founder of the band who broke both arms, legs, wrists, ankles and his pelvis but returned to music. At present, Rossington is the last original member of the band. Sean McNabb (Sons of Anarchy) also co-stars in the pic.
Pyle also is a producer along with Cleopatra Records founder Brian Perera.