William Hurt has left "Midnight Rider," following the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones on the film's Georgia set back in February. Jones was struck by a freight train on Feb. 20 while trying to move a bed that "Midnight Rider" director Randall Miller had placed on live railroad tracks for a dream sequence. As Deadline.com reported, the transportation company that owns the tracks apparently did not give the "Midnight Rider" crew permission to film on the property.
"I said, 'Sixty seconds is not enough time to get us off this bridge.' There was a communal pause. No one backed me up. Then, we ..... Just went ahead. I took off my shoes, got on the heavy, metal hospital bed and began preparing,'" Hurt reportedly wrote in an email to a friend that the Los Angeles Times received back in March. "We didn't have 60 seconds. We had less than 30."
In the weeks following Jones' death, a Facebook page called Slates for Sarah was created as a way for film crew personnel to document their remembrances of Jones, who was 27 at the time of her death. Another Facebook group, called "I REFUSE to work on Midnight Rider! For Sarah!!!," was launched this week:
This group is for people who REFUSE to work on the show that was responsible for the death of Sarah Jones.
Unclaimed Freight Productions, the production company, is planning to bring "Midnight Rider" to Los Angles to shoot.
Let's continue to stand up for Sarah and for Sarah's parents by REFUSING to work on this show.
Lets shut them down!
Representatives for Hurt confirmed that the actor was no longer participating in the film, with an email statement that noted how all reports to the contrary were incorrect.
"The producers were notified by Mr. Hurt’s representation prior to yesterday’s post that he will no longer be involved," the statement read.
Meanwhile, Deadline.com reported that "Midnight Rider" producer Jody Savin criticized the Savannah, Ga. film commission on the weekend before Jones' death for its heavy oversight on "CBGB," which Savin and Miller, her husband, produced in Georgia last year. "We make movies by our own rules," Savin said according to Deadline.com.
"Midnight Rider" had been set to resume production in June in Los Angeles.
For more, head to Deadline.com.