Get ready, Deadheads. The Grateful Dead turn 50 next year and to celebrate, they’re getting a new documentary from executive producer Martin Scorsese and director Amir Bar-Lev (Happy Valley).
The still-untitled doc will feature never-before-seen footage from various performances, archived interviews and behind-the-scene moments as well as new talks with surviving members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir. It’ll also feature the eccentric characters from the “Dead universe.” Band archivist David Lemieux will serve as the music supervisor.
Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Bar-Lev noted that he’d first set out to make a film about the Grateful Dead 10 years ago. While there have been many documentaries, concert films and television specials chronicling aspects of the seminal band, including a 10-minute short from Paul McCartney, the press release notes that this film will be the first official career-spanning portrait of the influential rockers.
“The Grateful Dead were more than just a band. They were their own planet, populated by millions of devoted fans,” said Scorsese in a statement. “I’m very happy that this picture is being made and proud to be involved.”
The surviving members agreed heartily, saying jointly that they’re “humbled to be collaborating with Martin Scorsese. From The Last Waltz to George Harrison: Living In The Material World, from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones, he has made some of the greatest music documentaries ever with some of our favorite artists and we are honored to have him involved. The 50th will be another monumental milestone to celebrate with our fans and we cannot wait to share this film with them.”
It might be time to outfit that old VW microbus with a television.