Lynyrd Skynyrd Film Put on Ice by Judge

Court determines that biopic violated a “blood oath” taken by surviving band members

Put away your lighters; there will be no “Free Bird.” At least not on the big screen.

A judge has blocked the distribution of a film about Southern-rock pioneers Lynyrd Skynyrd, following a dispute between the surviving members of the group and independent record label Cleopatra Records, which planned to distribute the film, the Associated Press reported Monday.

U.S. district judge Robert Sweet determined that the film, “Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash,” violated a “blood oath” that founding members of the band took following a 1977 plane crash that took the life of Skynyrd singer/songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, that declared that no one would perform as Lynyrd Skynyrd ever again.

According to Sweet, the film was in part dependent on the recollection of former Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle, who survived the crash. Pyle signed a deal with Cleopatra in 2016 rhat would have given him five percent of the film’s profits, along with a co-producer credit, according to the court ruling.

Cleopatra Records and Cleopatra Films attorney Evan Mandel said that he would seek “immediate relief” on the ruling from an appeals court.

The film, which was finished this spring, focuses on Pyle’s relationship with his bandmates, as well as events during and after the crash.

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