Martin Scorsese to Direct Grateful Dead Movie Starring Jonah Hill

Martin Scorsese has made numerous documentaries about great rock stars: The Last Waltz, No Direction Home, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, and Rolling Thunder Revue, just to name a few. And he’s also made at least one (not entirely successful) fictional movie about musicians, New York, New York. To date, though, he’s never merged these interests into a full-scale biopic of an iconic musical act. But that could change very soon.

According to Deadline, Scorsese is “on board to direct” a biopic about the Grateful Dead for Apple, with Jonah Hill in line to star as the band’s famous frontman, Jerry Garcia. Here’s a few more details about the creative team:

Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who received rave reviews for penning American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, are writing the script with Rick Yorn of LBI Entertainment joining Hill and Scorsese as producers. Bernie Cahill, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Trixie Garcia and Eric Eisner will exec produce. Insiders add that with the band and the group’s management participating in the film, Apple has rights to use the groups musical catalogue for the film.

Again, the sheer fact that Scorsese hasn’t really done a musical biopic before makes the project interesting, even if musical biopics are often kind of bland and flat. If anyone can make the genre more interesting, it’s Scorsese. (Alexander and Karaszewski are no slouches in the biopic department either, having written Dolemite Is My Name and The People vs. Larry Flynt.

This Grateful Dead film will continue Scorsese’s relationship with Apple, who funded his current project, Killers of the Flower Moon, at a reported price tag of around $200 million. Based on a true story, the film will bring together Scorsese’s two key leading men throughout his career, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, for the first time. That  movie is currently in production; thus far, no release date has been announced.

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