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Jonah Hill Is Reuniting With Martin Scorsese To Play A Rock And Roll Legend

Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Back in 2013, The Wolf of Wall Street, the first collaboration between actor Jonah Hill and director Martin Scorsese hit theaters, with Hill being brought in to play Donnie Azoff opposite Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort. Nearly a decade later, it’s been announced that Hill is re-teaming with Scorsese to play rock and roll legend Jerry Garcia in a biopic about The Grateful Dead.

Like Martin Scorsese’s next movie, Killers of the Flower Moon, this Grateful Dead is being set up at Apple as part of a first-look deal the filmmaker’s production company, Sikelia Productions, has set up with the company. THR also mentioned that in addition to his acting duties, Hill will produce the project through his Strong Baby banner alongside Matt Dines. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, the writers behind biopics like Big Eyes and Dolemite Is My Name, penned the script. Apple has also secured the rights to use Grateful Dead’s music in the movie, so fans of the band (i.e. the Deadheads) needn’t worry about this turning out like last year’s Stardust, which wasn’t able to use David Bowie’s music.

The Grateful Dead (originally known as The Warlocks) formed in 1965 in San Francisco, with Jerry Garcia being the band’s lead guitarist, a vocalist and song writer. The other founding band members included Bob Weir, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, Phil Lesh and Bill Kreutzmann, and various other musicians came aboard in the following decades. Sadly, Garcia died from a heart attack in 1995 at the age of 53, and several months after his passing, The Grateful Dead disbanded, although the surviving original members reunited in 2015 for a series of reunion concerts. In 1994, The Grateful Dead was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2012, a recording of their performance at Cornell University’s Barton Hall in 1997 was added to the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.

This biopic won’t be Martin Scorsese’s first time working on a Grateful Dead project, as he previously executive produced a documentary about them called Long Strange Trip. It’s unclear at this point if the Grateful Dead biopic will cover various big moments in the band’s 30-year run or if it will only focus on a specific period during that time.There’s also no word about who’s being looked at to play the other band members.

Martin Scorsese’s Grateful Dead movie will mark the first time since War Dogs that Jonah Hill is playing a real-life individual, with that 2017 movie seeing him star as arms dealer Efraim Diveroli. Hill is also attached to star with Eddie Murphy and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in a yet-to-be-titled comedy movie that he co-wrote with Black-ish’s Kenya Barris, who’s also directing. It’ll likely be a while until both of these projects’ release dates are announced, but I imagine this comedy will make it to our eyes before the Grateful Dead biopic.

Jonah Hill can next be seen reuniting with Leonardo DiCaprio in Adam McKay’s Netflix movie Don’t Look Up, which also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet and Ariana Grande, among others. Look through our 2022 release schedule to learn what movies are slotted for next year.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.