Before there was Phish, the Grateful Dead were the original jam band, for which people traveled the country, doing drugs and attending multiple-hour-long concerts every year, up until frontman Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995. Now an “Across the Universe”-style film is in the works, one that would feature re-recorded Dead songs in a film that “captures that psychedelic Haight-Ashbury hippie spirit of the late 60s and early 70s.”
Bringing the project together is ICM lit agent Bruce Kaufman, who is fast becoming the most badass lit professional since Margaret Tate. First, he got the rights to the Beatles songs for "Across The Universe," and now he’s putting together the Grateful Dead’s entire catalog for this upcoming film, which does not yet have a script, title, or attached studio. But hey, you’ve got to start somewhere.
This could be a pretty groovy idea for a movie, and since, unlike the Beatles, most teenagers aren’t familiar with the Dead, here’s hoping whatever studio picks this up will allow the filmmakers to make a realistic R-rated depiction of the period. Whatever you think of ‘Across the Universe,’ their PG-13 versions of psychedelic drug trips were a bit ridiculous.
For more on the Grateful Dead, check out band member Phil Lesh’s biography, “Searching for the Sound: My Life with the Grateful Dead” and for more on jam band culture in general, listen to Harris Wittels and Scott Aukerman’s very funny “Analyze Phish” podcast. [Deadline]