Martin Scorsese has found his next movie for Apple: A biographical drama about the iconic rock band the Grateful Dead in which Jonah Hill will star as frontman and counterculture icon Jerry Garcia. Deadline first reported the project. The movie will reunite Scorsese and Hill, who last teamed for the director’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Hill earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor thanks to the movie.
According to Deadline: “Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who have received rave reviews for penning ‘American Crime Story: Impeachment,’ 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 groups management participating in the film, Apple has rights to use the groups musical catalogue for the film.”
Hill will also produce the film through his production company, Strong Baby, alongside his producing partner, Matt Dines.
Scorsese has directed several music documentaries in the past, from “The Last Waltz” to “Shine a Light,” but this new project would mark the director’s first narrative music biopic. The last time Scorsese got involved with the Grateful Dead it was to executive produce Amir Bar-Lev six-part documentary miniseries “Long Strange Trip,” which documented the origins of the band and the members’ rise to fame. “Long Strange Trip” is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
“The Grateful Dead were more than just a band,” Scorsese said in a statement at the time of the documentary’s 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.”
Apple first lured Scorsese for “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which the director started shooting in late summer. That film is a $200 million Western epic starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jesse Plemons, and Robert De Niro. Filming on “Flower Moon” wrapped recently, but the Grateful Dead movie won’t start until Scorsese is done with “Flower Moon” post-production.
Hill has been outspoken about his love for Scorsese throughout his career. After working on “Wall Street,” the actor attempted to explain Scorsese’s genius by telling press, “You like chess, right? Imagine if you can make the most complex chess move with no clock. You have four hours to make your move, you’re still a brilliant chess player. Now imagine that you make an even better chess move than that brilliant chess player but you do it in 30 seconds with the clock going…[He’s] someone who is a master chess player, a master director. He can fix that problem, it’s advanced problem solving, in 30 seconds. You literally watch him close his eyes and solve an insanely complex issue… directing is just solving issues constantly.”