It's been a while since we've heard any updates on the reported Jerry Garcia biopic, but with the 15th Anniversary of Garcia's passing on the horizon, Variety reveals a healthy dose of details on the project. A script has been finished by Topper Lilien, whose previous film writing credits are limited to 2000's adaptation of 'Dungeons & Dragons,' with Amir Bar-Lev set to direct. Bar-Lev has recently gotten acclaim for 'The Tillman Story,' a documentary about deceased soldier and former NFL player Pat Tillman.
Based on 'Dark Star,' Robert Greenfield's oral history of Garcia, the film is set to examine the late guitarist/singer's life before the Grateful Dead era. Garcia was born on Aug. 1, 1942 in San Francisco and infamously had his right middle finger partially amputated at age four in a wood chopping accident. The loss of his digit would later serve as fodder for Deadheads as to why he could ease through guitar chords in unique ways. Soon after the accident, his father drowned and Garcia was raised by his maternal grandparents while his mother worked.
In 1960, Garcia would go on to join the Army but he had a less than enthused approach to it and was discharged. A wild car accident in 1961 would eventually serve as a turning point in his life, as it was when he started to take the guitar playing seriously. By that time, he'd already met future lyric collaborator Robert Hunter and hooking up withPhil Lesh wasn't too far off.
While the unnamed film has the script and directors in place, it's now up to casting to get this right. As the project largely ignores his time spent with the Dead, a standout performance will be essential in bringing out more than just the faithful Deadheads to the theater.