Jonah Hill to play Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead in new biopic

20 November 2021, 17:00

Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead and actor Jonah Hill
Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead and actor Jonah Hill. Picture: Abaca Press/Concert Photos/Alamy Stock Photo

The 21 Jump Street and Knocked Up star will play the psychedelic rocker in a new Martin Scorsese movie.

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The Grateful Dead are to be the latest band to get the biopic treatment - and Jonah Hill is to play frontman Jerry Garcia.

The 37-year-old actor has been tapped to play the late musician in Martin Scorsese's latest project for Apple.

Hill is set to produce the film through his Strong Baby company, alongside his business partner Matt Dines.

The movie will be executive produced by Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann along with Jerry's daughter Trixie Garcia, Eric Eisner and Bernie Cahill.

Insiders say that Apple will have the rights to use the group's musical catalogue in the project, thanks to the band members' involvement in the feature.

The Grateful Dead in the mid 1960s, with Jerry Garcia in the foreground.
The Grateful Dead in the mid 1960s, with Jerry Garcia in the foreground. Picture: GettyMalcolm Lubliner/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski are writing the script after previously working on the acclaimed American Crime Story: The People vs O.J. Simpson, while the legendary Scorsese is also set to produce.

While the full scope of the movie's script has yet to be announced, the story of the Dead goes back to the band's formation in California in 1965. The band were known for their progressive, psychedelic style and had a fiercely loyal fanbase that followed them across the United States for decades.

Frontman Garcia died in 1995, although surviving members have carried on in various incarnations.

Scorsese has a considerable track record of producing and directing music documentaries, including the 2017 Grateful Dead feature Long Strange Trip and the George Harrison story Living In The Material World, but this would mark the first time that the legendary filmmaker has travelled down the biopic route for a legendary band.

The project will reunite Hill and Scorsese, who first collaborated on The Wolf Of Wall Street, and the two have been looking for something to work together on ever since.

Scorsese – whose film credits include Taxi Driver and Cape Fear – is also teaming up with Apple on Killers Of The Flower Moon, the Western crime drama that will star Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Jesse Plemons.

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