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Jonah Hill to Star As Jerry Garcia in Martin Scorsese’s Grateful Dead Biopic

Deadheads and prestige cinema lovers rejoice: the Grateful Dead are finally getting the kind of high-caliber biopic one of rock’s most influential acts deserves. And it’s coming via some heavy hitters: Apple’s streaming service is developing a Martin Scorsese-directed movie about Dead frontman Jerry Garcia, with Jonah Hill in the lead role.

Per Deadline, the film is being written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, the duo behind American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson. The exact focus of the film has yet to be revealed, and given the Dead’s enduring popularity, there’s plenty of ground to cover: it’s just as easy to imagine a film focusing on the band’s rise in the 1960s as one that zooms out to cover everything up to Garcia’s death in 1995.

Either way, the star seems like a fit: In recent years, Hill has embraced the Grateful Dead’s trippy aesthetic, which remains hugely popular with old school fans, newcomers, and those who just love a good tie-dye long sleeve. Members of the original band, along with the likes of John Mayer, continue to tour the world as Dead & Company.

The last time Scorsese and Hill teamed up was for 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street, which saw the former earn a Best Director Oscar nomination and the latter his second nod for Best Supporting Actor. Both Scorsese and Hill will serve as producers on this new film, alongside former Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. (Garcia’s daughter, Trixie, is a co-producer as well.)

Scorsese’s love of classic rock is well known. He’s directed documentary pictures about Bob Dylan and George Harrison, as well the well-regarded Rolling Stones concert film Shine a Light. He also served as executive producer on the 2017 Dead doc Long Strange Trip, a four-hour odyssey that “has the sprawl and generosity of a good Dead show,” per Variety.


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