Amir Bar-Lev to Direct Jerry Garcia Biopic ‘Dark Star’

Topper Lilien will adapt Robert Greenfield’s 1996 biography of the Grateful Dead frontman

Last Updated: July 28, 2010 @ 11:07 AM

Documentary filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev will direct a biopic of Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia, his manager has confirmed to TheWrap.

The film will look at Garcia's early life, before he joined the jam band that would become the Grateful Dead. This period includes Garcia's time in the military, a life-changing car accident and his fortuitous encounter with the band's bassist Phil Lesh.

Topper Lilien ("Dungeons & Dragons") adapted the screenplay from Robert Greenfield's 1996 book "Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia." The book features 60 participants, including friends and colleagues who knew the late singer well.

Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa ("Little Miss Sunshine") will produce the feature with Eric Eisner.

Greenfield, a Rolling Stone contributor, told the publication that "I don't think Jerry is easily understood. I think he's a complex human being. After a certain point, everyone had their own vision of Jerry. This film is about who he really was before people made him what they wanted him to be. I think a lot of that has been lost in the legend and the myth that has grown since his death."

The "Dark Star" author goes on to explain that "The reason we're focusing on this part of his life is [he was] an artist struggling to find himself. During the acid revolution, when he began using LSD, it changed the way he played his music. He did things on electric guitar that weren't done before not because he had taken LSD, but because of all the influences he absorbed throughout his life. It's an accident of history and where he was in time."

Sounds pretty cool to me, dude!

So who should play the roly-poly singer with the bodacious beard? How about … Seth Rogen?!? He's got the physical build, the facial hair, the sense of humor and he's starting to move into more dramatic projects with Sarah Polley's "Take This Waltz" and Jonathan Levine's untitled cancer comedy.

The Weinstein Company will release Bar-Lev's latest documentary, "The Tillman Story," on Aug. 20. He previously directed "My Kid Could Paint That" and co-produced "Trouble the Water."

There's no firm date for cameras to start rolling on the project, which is tentatively titled "Dark Star," but expect production to begin sometime next year.

Bar-Lev is represented by Dan Halsted of Manage-ment.

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