EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studio’s passion for The Grateful Dead will extend beyond the four-hour Amir Bar Lev-directed feature documentary Long Strange Trip that it acquired at Sundance last January. Also in the works, say sources: a biographical TV series that will be written by Jonathan Herman, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his Straight Outta Compton script about the formation of seminal hip-hop group N.W.A.
Herman will adapt the untitled series based on Home Before Daylight: My Life On The Road With The Grateful Dead, the memoir by longtime Grateful Dead roadie Steve Parish. That will fuel a series whose ambition is to capture the long-running phenomenon that is The Grateful Dead, a band of musical misfits who came of age during the apex of the 1960s San Francisco counter-culture movement. They toured almost non-stop for three decades, and became one of the most legendary American bands in rock history. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and continue to jam for their fans, even though their frontman Jerry Garcia died in 1995.
Grateful Dead co-founder Bob Weir will executive produce the project alongside Parish, and Weir will also oversee all music for the series. Bernie Cahill and ROAR will also serve as executive producers, and Stephen Emery is a co-EP.
After getting the Best Original Screenplay nom for Straight Outta Compton, Herman adapted the Chris Pavone novel The Travelers for DreamWorks, and scripted the Scarface remake for Universal. He also did a rewrite of Ghost In The Shell, the Rupert Sanders-directed Paramount film premiering tonight in New York. Herman is represented by UTA, Industry Entertainment and Lichter Grossman; Weir is with UTA, ROAR and King, Holmes; and Parish is with UTA and Hirsch, Wallerstein.