By Robyn Collins
Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle is working on a movie about the legendary southern rock band, reported Deadline. Pyle is co-writing the script with director Jared Cohn and Cleopatra Films will producer the yet-untitled film.
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The Skynyrd movie will feature Pyle’s recollections of the 1977 plane crash that he survived, but which killed frontman Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, vocalist Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray.
“When that plane crashed, we were at the top of the world, man,” he said. “I mean, we could play with any band – any band, whether it was the Rolling Stones, anyone, and we would hold our own or better. I think of that accident every day and what we might have accomplished if we’d have 10 more years.”
“I want the movie to portray my band members the way they were,” he continued. “Real, funny people who loved the music, loved the success that allowed us to be able to travel the world and play for kings and queens all over this planet. It’s incredibly personal and passionate to me and I want the movie-going public to be able to share the laughs and the tears.”
Pyle also discussed Skynyrd’s use of the rebel flag saying, “MCA Records kind of nudged [us] to use it to promote a Southern band, and to us it just meant we were proud of being from the South. They loved living in the South, so did I and people all over the world love the South. That’s my take on it.”
Pyle, who is also working on his autobiography, left the band in 1991 during a legal battle with Van Zant’s widow Judy over rights to the Lynyrd Skynyrd name.
He plans to begin filming this year, but it’s unclear whether he’ll have the rights to use the band’s music in the soundtrack.