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Martin Scorsese and Jonah Hill will reunite in the Apple TV + music biopic about Grateful Dead, which is a big win for the new streaming service.
Scorsese will direct and produce the as-yet-unnamed film, and Hill has signed to play frontman Jerry Garcia, reports Rock. Hill will produce for his company Strong Baby with Matt Dines.
Scorsese and Hill’s last outing was “The Wolf of Wall Street” from 2013.
Not much is known about the plot of the film, although the report says the screenplay was written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. The duo, who wrote the screenplay for “American Crime Story: People vs. OJ Simpson,” are working with Rick Yorn on the Dead Project.
The writing team will have access to original band members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, who will be executive producer along with Garcia’s daughter Trixie Garcia. Eric Eisner and Bernie Cahill will also be executive producers.
Sources familiar with the project say that Apple has the right to use the Dead’s catalog for the film, because the band and its management participate in the production.
The Dead formed in the Bay Area in 1965 and quickly gained fame due to the unique fusion of music genres that include folk, bluegrass, gospel and rock. Playing thousands of live performances and gathering a horde of fans known as “Deadheads”, the group became a symbol of the countercultural movement and psychedelia of the time. The band disbanded after Garcia died in 1995, although groups of descendants have kept Dead’s music alive and popular to this day.
According to the report, Scorsese has produced and directed numerous rock documentaries, including Grateful Dead doc “Long Strange Trip”, but Apple’s project will be his first biographical film about the band.
The upcoming film is the result of the first-look contract Apple signed with Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions last year. Prior to signing the arrangement, Apple bought the rights to the film “Killers Of The Flower Moon” directed by Scorsese with Jesse Plemons, Leonard DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in the lead roles.
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