Skynyrd Sues Over Biopic

Current members of Lynyrd Skynyrd are suing former drummer Artimus Pyle and Cleopatra Records over a film in production about the 1977 plane crash that killed multiple original band members.

The film, titled “Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash,” reportedly draws on recollections from Pyle of the incident and could be out as soon as 2018.

Lynyrd Skynyrd
Michael Duffy
– Lynyrd Skynyrd
Bright House Networks Amphitheatre, Bakersfield, Calif.

The list of plaintiffs includes Skynyrd members Gary Rossington and Johnny Van Zant, as well as representatives for the estates of Ronnie Van Zant, Steven Gaines and Allen Collins. They essentially claim that the film should not be allowed to portray such an important event in the band’s history using only the recollections of Pyle.

Brian Perera of Cleopatra told Deadline that “This lawsuit proves that Freedom of Speech in the U.S.A. is officially under attack by an increasingly litigious culture that breeds utter contempt for art – and that should indeed worry everyone attempting to make a living in the entertainment industry today.”

His lawyers went on to state that the plaintiffs’ case hinges on a 1988 consent order agreed to by Pyle, but Pyle is not actually involved in production of the film; it only draws on his recollections that are well known by now.

The suit is set to go to trial July 11. The budget for the project was $1.3 million, Deadline reported.