Judge Blocks Release Of Lynyrd Skynyrd Biopic

The release of a movie about Lynyrd Skynyrd has been blocked after a judge ruled the film violates a consent order drummer Artimus Pyle signed with his band mates in 1988.

The agreement gave Pyle rights to tell his own life story but not to profit from the band’s name or the stories of singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines, who were killed in a 1977 plane crash.

The estates of Van Zant and Gaines, as well as members of the band, sued in June to stop the making of Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash.

On Monday, a judge agreed the biopic would cause “irreparable harm.”

However, the judge noted there is nothing preventing Cleopatra Records from making a film about Lynyrd Skynyrd as long as Pyle is not involved. 

The film’s screenplay was based on interviews with Pyle, who was to receive five per cent of net profits and a co-producer credit. He left the band in 1991.

Directed by Jared Cohn, Street Survivors was to star Taylor Clift as Van Zant and Samuel Kay Forrest as Gaines. According to its IMDB listing, the movie is in the post-production stage.