Jonah Hill to play Jerry Garcia from Grateful Dead

Jonah Hill will be playing the late Jerry Garcia in the upcoming Grateful Dead biopic directed by Martin Scorcese. The untitled film will “chronicle the band’s formation in the Bay Area as the 60’s psychedelic counterculture movement started to take,” according to Variety.

Creative Duo Reunites

Hill and Scorsese previously worked together on the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, which earned Hill his second Oscar nomination for best supporting actor and became Scorcese’s highest-grossing film. It is no surprise that the two are reuniting as Hill has had nothing but wonderful things to say about Scorcese. In 2016, Hill told Bill Simmons on the YouTube show Any Given Wednesday about his adoration for Scorcese. “He’s just…He is such a genius on so many levels that it is inexplicable.”

On an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jonah Hill discusses starting his company, Strong Baby Productions, and looking at a picture of Jerry Garcia in his younger years and being inspired to play him. Hill said, “Wow, why has nobody done this? Why hasn’t anyone made a movie? I could play Jerry Garcia.” Although Hill was hesitant about presenting his idea at first, he eventually sent it to his company manager who shared the idea with Martin Scorcese. Scrocese jumped at the idea to direct the Grateful Dead movie with Hill as Jerry Garcia. 

Martin Scorcese is no stranger to the Grateful Dead as he previously produced Long Strange Trip, the 2017 Grateful Dead documentary. “I’ve always admired the spirit and creativity of the Grateful Dead,” Scorcese said in a statement. “They are revolutionary artists who forever changed the world of touring and recording live music. They were a cultural force—a lifestyle, that continue to influence new generations of fans. This film will entertain and educate audiences about one of the most innovative and groundbreaking American bands of the 20th century.”

Scorcese’s appreciation and knowledge of the Grateful Dead from previous work on the documentary combined with Hill’s versatility and talent makes the reunion of this duo the perfect match for this film. Excited Hill fans are already creating Oscar buzz for his upcoming role as Jerry Garcia.

Grateful for Jerry Garcia 

Jerry Garcia performed with the Grateful Dead for the entirety of their 30-year career and was renowned for both his musical and technical ability. It was no secret that he struggled with heroin and cocaine addictions throughout his life, dying of a heart attack on August 9, 1995, at the age of 53. 

The surviving members of the Grateful Dead have given the upcoming film their blessing as Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart are on board as executive producers. Trixie Garcia, the daughter of the late Jerry Garcia, along with the band’s manager Bernie Cahill will also be executive producers.

The Grateful Dead, famous for their improvisational psychedelic music, is one of the most successful touring bands in rock history. The group still resonates 50 years later, as their music is still heavily listened to. Their legacy continues as Scorcese and Hill bring their story to life on the big screen. “It’s exciting,” Hill said. “Let’s hope it works out.” WIth Scorcese’s filmmaking expertise and Hill’s charisma, it’s safe to say that it will. 

Deadheads everywhere are waiting in anticipation to see the end result, but as of now, it is unclear when the Grateful Dead movie will debut. Do you think Jonah Hill will live up to the high expectations of his portrayal of rock legend Jerry Garcia?

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