Amir Bar-Lev to Direct Jerry Garcia Biopic DARK STAR

     July 22, 2010

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Countless documentaries have grooved to the sounds of the Grateful Dead, but Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story) has signed on to direct the first feature-length work of fiction centered around frontman Jerry Garcia.  According to Variety, Topper Lilien (Where the Money Is) adapted the screenplay from the Robert Greenfield book Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia.

Garcia played an astounding 2,314 shows with the iconic San Francisco rock band from 1965 up until his passing in 1995.  The film will reportedly center on Garcia’s early life before joining the Dead.  Hit the jump for a synopsis of the source material.

Here’s the synopsis of Greenfield’s Dark Star:

For more than thirty years, Jerry Garcia was the musical and spiritual center of the Grateful Dead, one of the most popular rock bands of all time.  In Dark Star, the first biography of Garcia published after his death, Garcia is remembered by those who knew him best.  Together the voices in this oral biography explore his remarkable life: his childhood in San Francisco; the formation of his musical identity; the Dead’s road to rock stardom; and his final, crushing addiction to heroin.  Interviews with Jerry’s former wives, lovers, family members, close friends, musical partners, and cultural cohorts create a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a rock-and-roll icon—and at the price of fame.

Here’s a clip of “Eyes of the World” from the 1977 concert film The Grateful Dead Movie, which Garcia directed.  As you watch, maybe you could think up some casting suggestions to help me out, keeping in mind that the time frame of Lilien’s script puts Garcia in his early twenties.   I’m stumped.

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