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Martin Scorsese to Executive Produce 50th Anniversary Grateful Dead Film

The Grateful Dead pose for promotional art in 1966. Their career will be the subject of a 50th Anniversary documentary. (Photo: Dead.net)

The Grateful Dead pose for promotional art in 1966. Their career will be the subject of a 50th Anniversary documentary. (Photo: Dead.net)

Martin Scorsese is on board as executive producer and noted filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev will direct a landmark, career-spanning documentary on the Grateful Dead, one of the most iconic bands of the counterculture 1960s.

Longtime Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux will serve as the film’s music supervisor, which should make it one of the definitive examinations of the band in its long history.

“Millions of stories have been told about the Grateful Dead over the years. With our 50th Anniversary coming up, we thought it might just be time to tell one ourselves,” said surviving band members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, in a joint statement.

Absent in the lineup is the Dead’s Jerry Garcia, who fronted the band for 30 years until his death in 1995 from a heart attack.

Scorsese issued his own statement: “The Grateful Dead were more than just a band. They were their own planet, populated by millions of devoted fans,” he said.

“I’m very happy that this picture is being made and proud to be involved,” Scorsese said.

Beside his film work, which includes pictures such as “Goodfellas,” “Raging Bull” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Scorsese has been involved with a number of documentaries focusing on music, including “The Last Waltz” and “George Harrison: Living In The Material World.”

Bar-Lev is getting unprecedented access to performance footage, vintage interviews, and other candid moments from the Grateful Dead’s own vast archive of material.

In addition, Hart, Kreutzmann, Lesh and Weir will provide commentary for the film, according to the group’s publicity agent.

Alex Blavatnik is financing through his AOMA Sunshine Films and Eric Eisner (“Hamlet 2”), Nicholas Koskoff and Justin Kreutzmann will serve as producers.

Joining Scorsese as executive producer are Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Andrew Heller, Sanford Heller and Rick Yorn.

“It’s been ten years since I first set out to make a film about the Grateful Dead and I’m thrilled that it’s finally happening,” said Bar-Lev.

The film as yet, is untitled.

For the latest developments, be sure to follow IM on Twitter. Check the video below of a classic Grateful Dead concert in 1989 at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY.


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