Martin Scorsese Is Directing A Grateful Dead Biopic Starring Jonah Hill

Musician biopics have become so stale and boring that whenever a new one is announced, skepticism is understandable. But what if I told you master filmmaker Martin Scorsese was directing a musician biopic? That would grab your attention, right? Well, it's happening. Scorsese is reteaming with Apple for a new Grateful Dead biopic, with Jonah Hill set to star as the band's late frontman, Jerry Garcia. Hill is also producing. 

This news is slightly conflicting for me, dear reader. On the one hand, I love Martin Scorsese and will watch anything he makes. On the other, I've always found the Grateful Dead to be kind of boring. Perhaps it's a generational thing, I don't know. However, if there's one person who can make me care about the Grateful Dead, it's Mr. Marty Scorsese. And just to sweeten the deal, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, the screenwriters behind excellent biopics "Ed Wood" and "Dolemite is My Name," are on board to pen the script, along with Rick Yorn. 

Scorsese and the Grateful Dead

Deadline has the scoop that Martin Scorsese is going to helm a Grateful Dead biopic for Apple, with Jonah Hill playing Jerry Garcia. Scorsese and Hill previously worked together on "The Wolf of Wall Street," and Scorsese's next movie, "Killers of the Flower Moon," is also coming from Apple. So it certainly sounds like the filmmaker and the massive tech company have a good relationship. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who both know a thing or two about biopics, having written "Ed Wood," "The People vs. Larry Flynt," "Man on the Moon," "Big Eyes," and "Dolemite is My Name," along with the FX series "American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson," are handling the script along with Rick Yorn.

The Grateful Dead formed in 1965 and played together until 1995, when frontman Jerry Garcia died of a heart attack. The Grateful Dead are considered to be pioneers in the world of jam bands, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your musical tastes. It's not clear yet how much of the Grateful Dead story Scorsese's movie will cover, but it's safe to say his approach isn't going to be as by-the-numbers as recent blah musician biopics like "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Scorsese has been involved with Grateful Dead-related material before, too – he was the executive producer on the Grateful Dead documentary "Long Strange Trip." The Deadline story adds that Apple has  "the rights to use the group's musical catalog for the film," so the movie has that going for it, too. No word just yet when Scorsese will start work on the pic, as he's still in the midst of post-production on "Killers of the Flower Moon," which just wrapped filming on October 1, 2021.