Jonah Hill took some time during his Monday evening appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to talk about the forthcoming Martin Scorsese-directed Grateful Dead biopic, reportedly in development for Apple, in which he is set to star as Jerry Garcia. When Fallon, a recently converted Grateful Dead fan himself, asked about the film, Hill explained its unassuming origin: Instagram.
“This is a cool story that I’ll tell if anyone’s watching that needs to improve their voice of self-doubt in their heads, okay?” Hill explained. “So, yeah. I do, I suffer from it. COVID started, I started my company, Strong Baby Productions … and we had just started the company, and I’m on Instagram, COVID just started, we’re all stuck in our houses, and I see this picture of Jerry Garcia when he’s young, and I’m like, ‘Wow, why has nobody done this? Why has nobody made a movie? I could play Jerry Garcia.’ And then I spent the next hour and a half, like, talking myself out of it, being like, ‘Don’t show anyone this. Don’t say this. You’re gonna sound insane. You’re not good enough. You’re not this, you’re not that. And, you know, ‘He’s an icon, and that’s just a picture.'”
“And I finally did the work in my head to go, ‘No, share it with the people you work with,'” he continued. “So I sent it to my company and to my manager, Rick, and they were like, ‘This is a great idea.’ And then Rick manages Martin Scorsese, and we worked together on Wolf of Wall Street, and he said, ‘You know who would love this is Martin Scorsese.’ And my partner Matt and I were like, [eyes wide, with deliberate, restrained excitement], ‘Yeah. For sure. That sounds great. I bet he’ll like it a lot.’ And we’re like, ‘What is happening?'”
“And then, Marty said, yes, he wanted to direct a movie about the Grateful Dead with me playing Jerry Garcia. … It goes [from] ‘I shouldn’t even send this because I’m not valuable enough to even express an idea to having your hero direct a movie about your [other] hero, you know? And so, it’s a beautiful story.'”
Hill went on to explain that the script is in the process of being written. “Larry [Karaszewski] and Scott [Alexander], my favorite writers, who wrote, like, People vs. Larry Flint and Ed Wood and stuff, they’re writing it now. And it’s exciting, let’s hope it works out.” Check out the clip below.
“This is a cool story that I’ll tell if anyone’s watching that needs to improve their voice of self doubt.”
— The Tonight Show (@FallonTonight) December 7, 2021
Hill’s Tonight Show appearance came in support of his role in Don’t Look Up, the new Adam McKay-directed black comedy in which he stars alongside Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jennifer Lawrence. He also spoke to Fallon about how Streep thought he was calling her “a goat” when he would refer to her as “the G.O.A.T.” (don’t worry, she was totally cool about it), the new documentary he directed about therapy (with his actual therapist), and how Netflix tried to silence his electric fart machine during his ongoing press tour.
In response to Netflix’s formal request that he stop using the fart machine Julia Louis-Dreyfus bought him during Don’t Look Up promotional appearances, Hill said, “I just wanna say officially, I love you, Netflix, I love working with you, I am a huge fan, I watch your streamer, but no corporate entity will ever silence my digital farts, motherf—er.”
The script for the Grateful Dead movie may still be coming together, but Jonah Hill already seems to have the “prankster” element down. That beard’s looking pretty solid, too. Watch both parts of Jonah Hill’s Tonight Show appearance below.
Jonah Hill Talks Upcoming Grateful Dead Biopic, Fart Machine, & More
Jonah Hill On Why Meryl Streep Thought He Was Calling Her “A Goat”