The legacy that the Grateful Dead left over the years carved a lane for stoner rock to follow. Not only through the timeless music created but their aesthetic and fashion that became synonymous with DeadHeads, mainly due to the efforts of Jerry Garcia. The Grateful Dead frontman, who was often reluctant to embrace that title, passed away in 1995 at the age of 53. 21 years later, a new musical biopic based on the life and legacy Jerry Garcia is in the works with a legendary director (and wildly popular actor) set to bring the story to life.
An upcoming biopic based on The Grateful Dead is heading to Apple with the tech giant calling on Martin Scorcese to serve as the director, per Deadline. The biopic has yet to receive a title but Jonah Hill will be reuniting with Scorcese for the flick as he will play the role of Jerry Garcia. The film will mark their third time working together, following the success of The Wolf Of Wall Street and 2020’s Coca-Cola Super Bowl commercial. Hill will also be serving as a producer for the movie through his Strong Baby banner. Hill shared the news on his Instagram page with a prayer hand and skull emojis.
The production will have more heavy-hitters attached, including Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski of American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson fame set to serve as writers for the movie. Additionally, the list of producers on the film will also include former Grateful Dead bandmates Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and Jerry Garcia’s daughter, Trixie.
Members of the band and their management team will be heavily involved with the film while Apple scored the rights to use the Grateful Dead’s music. With Scorcese and Apple’s resources, the expectations are high for the film to deliver. However, there has been no indication of aspects of the band’s illustrious and influential career that will feature in the movie.
Though known for his incredible cinematic touch, Scorcese is no stranger to creating documentaries on culturally impactful rock musicians. In 2019, he directed Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorcese, marking his second Dylan-related project. However, he also dived into the history of the Grateful Dead in 2007 with his documentary, Long Strange Trip.
While there’s far more to the band’s history than their consumption of mind-altering substances, Garcia was a massive advocate for cannabis legalization. His enthusiasm for marijuana led to his family launching a cannabis line named after the prolific rocker, Garcia Hand Picked – a collaboration with Holistic Industries. Ironically, despite his stance on legalization, he wasn’t as big of a stoner as people may have expected. His daughter Trixie, who also serves as a spokesperson for the Garcia family, explained that cannabis wasn’t prevalent in his life when he was alone. “A joint became a bridge between him and those around him,” Trixie told Rolling Stone. She added that the cannabis line, which includes three strains along with pre-rolls and edibles, is meant to create a “spontaneous [and] harmonious” smoking experience to “bring people together in the way only Jerry could.”
The impact of Jerry Garcia’s legacy in cannabis isn’t simply limited to the cannabis line that his family launched, though. Ben & Jerry’s currently sells a “Cherry Garcia” flavor that has been a part of their ice cream lineup since the late ’80s and received the stamp of approval from Garcia himself. It’s no coincidence that Cherry Garcia remains one of their most popular flavors among smokers and DeadHeads, alike.
There is no release date verified for the upcoming biopic on the Grateful Dead set in stone yet. We’re optimistic that, with Martin Scorcese and Jonah Hill teaming up again, along with the support of band members and management, it’ll be an absolute must-watch – with your favorite weed pipe by your side, of course.