Biopic: Wayward Youth of Jerry Garcia
Compiled by DAVE ITZKOFF
Published: November 12, 2008
Are the first days truly the hardest days, as Jerry Garcia once sang?
Movie audiences will have a chance to find out, as a group of film
producers is preparing a biopic about the early life of Garcia, the
musician and counterculture symbol, before he joined the band that
would become the Grateful Dead, The Hollywood Reporter said. The
producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa ("Election," "Little Miss
Sunshine") and Eric Eisner ( "Hamlet 2") have acquired the movie
rights to "Dark Star," an oral history of Garcia's life by Robert
Jerry Garcia biopic in works
Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa, Eric Eisner to produce
By Steven Zeitchik
Nov 12, 2008
Veteran producers Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa and Eric Eisner are going truckin'.
The trio have signed on to produce a biopic about Grateful Dead
frontman Jerry Garcia that will aim to offer a revealing look at the
roots of the counterculture icon.
The untitled project will focus primarily on Garcia's early life in
the Bay Area before he joined the band that would become the Grateful
Dead -- a period that includes a stint in the military, a
life-changing car accident and his first creative encounters with
members of the Northern California music scene including future Dead
bassist Phil Lesh.
Producers have acquired rights to Robert Greenfield's book "Dark
Star," an oral history of Garcia from dozens of people who knew him,
including musicians, relatives and artist friends like Ken Kesey. The
project will feature music from the early part of Garcia's career,
primarily bluegrass titles that are in the public domain.
Topper Lilien, who penned Universal's Paul Newman-starring drama
"Where the Money Is," has been attached to write the screenplay.
Berger and Yerxa have collaborated on some of the biggest indie hits
of the past decade, including "Election" and "Little Miss Sunshine,"
while Eisner produced the Sundance hit "Hamlet 2" with Berger and
Yerxa and is attached to produce "Bait," a remake of Betrand
Tavenier's mid-'90s French thriller.
The Dead has been the subject of number of documentaries -- including
1977's "The Grateful Dead Movie," a concert film Garcia directed --
but the story of Garcia's life has never been told on the big screen.