Acclaimed director Martin Scorsese plans to create a musical biopic about the Grateful Dead, and Jonah Hill has been cast as frontman Jerry Garcia.
Deadline first broke the news that the epic biopic will become a reality. Hill posted the story on Instagram, with a hands up emoji and a skull emoji, representing the band name.
There will be high expectations. Hill worked together with Scorsese in 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street, as the brilliant-but-eccentric, real-life investor, Donnie Azoff, who went on drug-fueled party sprees with Jordan Belfort. It was that role that provided Hill his second Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Scorsese directed the Grateful Dead six-part docuseries, Long Strange Trip, released in 2017, which was named after Garcia’s quote, “What a long strange trip it’s been.”
“The Grateful Dead were more than just a band,” Scorsese said in a statement at the time of the docu-series’ announcement. “They were their own planet, populated by millions of devoted fans. I’m very happy that this picture is being made and proud to be involved.”
The film will be completed at Apple, the same place that Scorsese is working on his next film, Killers of the Flower Moon, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Jesse Plemons. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who worked on American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, will work on the project as writers.
The Grateful Dead formed in the Bay Area in California in 1965 as a staple of the counterculture movement. Long story short, the jam band became synonymous with the psychedelic counterculture movement. Garcia passed away in 1995. The band appears to support the musical biopic.
Weir, Kreutzmann, Lesh and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead have been named as executive producers. Trixie Garcia, the daughter of Jerry Garcia, as the band’s manager Bernie Cahill will also serve as executive producers, including Eric Eisner.
No release or production date for the movie has been announced at this time.
Last year, the Garcia family—led by Trixie Garcie—launched Garcia Hand Picked, their own line of cannabis products and merchandise. Garcia Hand Picked. The line includes eighth-ounce jars or five-joint packs of pre-rolls in Indica, Sativa and Hybrid. Guitar pick-shaped gummies infused with 5mg of THC per gummy, in 20-gummy tins, are a popular choice.
After “an extensive search for the right partner to create this cannabis brand,” Trixie said in 2019, the family ended up settling with Holistic Industries to collaborate on the project. “Their values are rooted in a family business and they have a track record operating and creating cannabis brands across the country. We can’t wait to share the Jerry Garcia cannabis collection with the fans next year.”
Trixie told Rolling Stone that Jerry smoked weed when he was surrounded by other people as a social tool.
Rock journalist Al Aronowitz interviewed Jerry Garcia in 1972—but the interview wasn’t published until January 2001 in High Times. Jerry described the atmosphere in San Francisco. “There was a lot of fighting, race riots, all that high-school shit that was so heavy in the ’50s,” Jerry Garcia said. “Gangs go out cruising on a Friday night with other hoodlums, drinking wine and having fights. The tops of the hills in the city weren’t built on yet. It was still like going to the country. Trees, ponds, grass, animals. We went up one day and smoked a couple of joints. After that I really got into it. I wasn’t into changing my mood, I was into getting stoned!”