Actor Jonah Hill is reuniting with veteran director Martin Scorsese to play Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia in an upcoming movie at Apple, according to Deadline. The project will benefit from the participation of a number of Grateful Dead band members, with Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann set to executive produce along with Jerry’s daughter Trixie Garcia and band manager Bernie Cahill, which will also allow the film the rights to use the group’s music.
Garcia was a key member of the Grateful Dead from the band’s founding in 1965 through his untimely death from a heart attack at a drug treatment facility in 1995 at the age of fifty-three. The group is closely associated with the counterculture and has inspired a legion of loyal fans known as Deadheads. The offshoot group Dead & Company continues to play their songs, and Garcia’s guitar was sold at auction for a whopping $1.9 million in 2017.
Scorsese won an Oscar for directing The Departed in 2006 and is known for a number of classic films, including Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas. He previously executive-produced a documentary series about the Grateful Dead in 2017 called Long Strange Trip. He has additional music documentary credits spanning several decades: Woodstock, The Last Waltz, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, and Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story.
Scorsese already has another project in the works at Apple, Killers of the Flower Moon, starring regulars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Hill previously worked with Scorsese when he starred alongside DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, which earned Scorsese, Hill, and DiCaprio all Oscar nominations when the film was released in 2013.
On the Grateful Dead movie, Hill will serve as a producer through Strong Baby with partner Matt Dines. Scorsese will also produce with Rick Yorn from LBI Entertainment. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who recently worked on American Crime Story: Impeachment, have been tapped to write the screenplay.