Exclusive: After stepping as a producer in his next film Assassins of the Flower Moon, Apple has found its next Martin Scorsese project and its theme is a group that the Oscar winner knows well. Sources tell Deadline, Scorsese is on board to direct and produce a new untitled biofilm about the Grateful Dead with Jonah Hill on board to play the group’s lead character, Jerry Garcia. Hill will also produce the image with his Strong Baby banner along with his production partner Matt Dines.
Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who received rave reviews for writing American Crime Story: The People Vs. OJ Simpson, writes the script with Rick Yorn of LBI Entertainment joining Hill and Scorsese as producers. Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Trixie Garcia, Eric Eisner and Bernie Cahill will complete a product. Insiders add that with the group and the group’s management participating in the film, Apple has rights to use the group’s music catalog for the film.
While it is unknown what will be covered in the film, the group’s story goes back to the group’s formation in the Gulf region in the midst of the rise of the psychedelic counterculture of the ’60s. They continued to record albums and did tours where Deadhead fans would follow them over the years all over the country for lengthy rave-like impromptu sessions. The good times ended when team leader Jerry Garcia died in 1995, although surviving members did their best to continue.
Scorsese has a long history of producing and directing a rock document over the years that included a Grateful Dead document. Long Strange Journey in 2017 but that would mark the first time the director has gone the bio image path for iconic musical action. The project also brings together Hill and Scorsese, who first worked together The Wolf of Wall Street, which earned Hill his second Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. The two were looking for something to work on together since then and the opportunity to play rock legend as Garcia was too good to miss Hill.
The project is another big win for Apple as they continue to build a diverse and strong list of film projects with a lot of star power with Scorsese. Assassins of the Flower Moon among the first major scores for the studio. This film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Jesse Plemons and recently involved filming. Other recent films added to the slate include the Napoleonic image of Ridley Scott Kitsako starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jodie Comer, that of Antoine Fuqua Emancipation starring Will Smith and a new untitled thriller starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
The film also comes on the heels of Scorsese and his production banner Sikelia Productions signing a first-rate deal with Apple last year for film and television. Scorsese and Hill are repeated by WME and LBI Entertainment. Alexander and Karaszewski are represented by Management 360 and attorney Christine Cuddy at Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo.