A movie about the 1977 plane crash that killed several Lynyrd Skynyrd band and crew members is in the works, with the help of one of the survivors.
Former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle is teaming with Cleopatra Films to bring the story to the big screen, the company announced Friday. Tentatively titled Freebird — shared with the name of the band’s 1974 classic ballad — the story is seen through the eyes of Pyle, who was one of the few survivors of the crash that killed the band’s founder and front man Ronnie Van Zant, among others. Pyle pulled the remaining survivors from the wreckage and limped to a nearby farmhouse in rural Louisiana to get help.
Pyle will co-produce the film and co-write it with Jared Cohn, who will direct.
“This film’s story — MY story — is not just about the plane crash but also about my personal relationship with the genius that was Ronnie Van Zant, whom I loved like a brother and still miss to this day,” the drummer said in a statement.
Filming for Freebird will begin this summer in multiple locations across the country. Pyle will also contribute original music for the film’s soundtrack.