Martin Scorsese will bring the Dead to life in a new biopic about the Grateful Dead. Jonah Hill is already on board to play jam band pioneer Jerry Garcia, with Apple set to produce the film (which takes care of one major legal headache, since Apple already has all the rights to the Dead’s music). The script will be written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who did an excellent job with American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson.
The Grateful Dead were an indispensable part of the rise of 1960s psychedelic counterculture, inspiring unmatched devotion among their legions of fans. The “Deadheads” would follow Garcia and the band across the country for their famously long jam sessions.
Martin Scorsese is a well-known classic rock obsessive, having helmed multiple acclaimed rock documentaries about acts like Bob Dylan, the Band, the Rolling Stones and even the Grateful Dead. This would mark his first musical biopic, and if anyone can inject some life into this tired genre, its one of America’s finest filmmakers. Hill and Scorsese worked together on The Wolf of Wall Street, which netted an Oscar nomination for Hill and a friendship for the two of them. Evidently, they’ve been looking to tackle a new project ever since.
This will be Scorsese’s second project with Apple. His first, the upcoming Killers of the Flower Moon with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jesse Plemmons and Robert De Niro, will release next year.
In 2017, Scorsese spoke to RELEVANT about his interest in Christianity which he explored in Silence. “I wanted to get back to the basic impulse of Christianity,” Scorsese said at the time. “What’s the value of it? Is it still the guide for our lives? And if it is, how do we live that out as a guide?”