Martin Scorsese and music are a fruitful marriage. From his first film forays (Mean Streets, Taxi Driver), through his mafia masterpieces (Goodfellas, Casino), to his documentaries about the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and George Harrison, the Italian-American auteur has nurtured that bond for decades. However, he has never made a biographical film about a musician. Until now.
After wrapping the filming of the drama Killers of the Flower Moon, the filmmaker announced what would be one of his upcoming films as director: a biopic about the Grateful Dead, the historical band that embodied the 60s hippie spirit like few others. The most obvious link to the band is that Scorsese executive produced Long Strange Trip (2017), a four-hour documentary about their career.
According to Deadline, the new film will feature Jonah Hill as Jerry Garcia, the leader of the band formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. This would be Scorsese’s reunion with the actor, after their wonderful collaboration in The Wolf of Wall Street, which earned Hill an Oscar nomination.
As with Killers of the Flower Moon, the project is to be distributed by Apple, the company that hosts series such as Ted Lasso and The Morning Show on its streaming platform (Apple TV+), and that will produce the Ridley Scott film about Napoleon, Kitbag.
You all thought my crazy hair was just a Covid beard but it was actually a writing/researching the Grateful Dead movie beard! A total dream come true project for us to collaborate with Scorsese (!!!) and Jonah to celebrate this incredible story of the band’s long strange trip. https://t.co/HHUeaFU0q8 pic.twitter.com/4lYjl0b7dK
— Larry Karaszewski (@Karaszewski) November 18, 2021
The new Scorsese film is written by Scott Alexander, Rick Yorn and Larry Karaszewski (who confirmed the news on his social media), and has the rights to the band’s catalog of songs. A filming or release date is not yet official.