As TotD revealed exclusively yesterday, the Martin Scorsese-produced documentary about the Dead has had its scope significantly expanded to become the Grateful Dead Cinematic Universe (GDCU), with a strategically-planned docket of solo films, team-ups, and spin-offs scheduled from now until the end of time.
After speaking with director Amir Bar-Lev, I received an anonymous text that said “Hey, this is Amir Bar-Lev.” I told him he was terrible at being sneaky, and then he sent me a picture of Billy’s dick and the texts stopped. After the precise amount of time it would take to set up a number to text anonymously from, I got an anonymous text. “Hey, this is NOT Amir Bar-Lev,” and I just went with it to save time. Then he asked me to call him Deep Throat, but I would not go with that, even to save time. “Okay, call me Margaret, because I’m leaky.”
And I asked him to stop texting me, but he sent me the official schedule for the GDCU and was all “You didn’t hear this from me,” and sent me more dick pics, at least one of which was not Billy’s. I asked him if he would stop contacting me if I leaked the information, and then he sent me a selfie, and then a text that read, “Shit. That’s not me lol,” and at that point I put the phone in the other room.
It’s still a good scoop, so here we go: The Official Schedule for the Grateful Dead Cinematic Universe.
GARCIA: THE FIRST GRATEFUL DEAD Directed by the Russo Brothers, and starring T.J. Miller as Garcia (with abs), the film sets up the other films for around two hours. It’s set during Garcia’s five months in the Army, where his drill sergeant (Javier Bardem) is secretly a monster or a demon or some bullshit. Bardem hopes to get hold of one of the Six Cumberlands of Power, which will tie the GDCU together.
PIGPEN: THE OTHER FIRST GRATEFUL DEAD Ang Lee will helm this fractured, angular take on a complicated man. Keenan Thompson stars, and the Big Bad of the GDCU is introduced in the post-credits scene: it is Sean Penn sitting in a space-chair, and when we figure out what to do with him, you’ll be the first to know. Pig’s girlfriend will be played by Lupita Nyong’o. In the after-credits scene, Bill Graham appears to invite Pigpen to join the Grateful Dead Initiative.
BOBBY: BOBBY Instead of a straight-forward tale, Nicolas Winding Refn planned a lyrical and evocative poem about Bobby’s summer on the ranch; he even had the synthesizer score written. Then Bobby insisted on playing himself and now it’s just three hours of a 68-year-old guy on a horse. (The horse is motion-capture, and played by Andy Serkis.) The second Cumberland of Power is involved, somehow.
PHIL & BILLY: COURT IN THE STREET Phil is played by Donnie Yen; Billy is played by Tony Jaa; the two of them kick the living shit out of each other for an hour. Then, Ned Lagin (The Rock) shows up and the two of them team up to fight him for control of the fourth Cumberland of Power. (The third Cumberland was claimed by the road crew on the Netflix spin-off show Front Street Blues.)
2019, 2020, 2021
Cancelled due to war.
MICKEY: HART OF THE GALAXY Mickey, played by Miles Teller, is some sort of space pirate. Billy appears, now played by Shailene Woodley, as Flapjack the Space Fucker. (Billy was allowed to write his own part.) Keith and Mrs. Donna Jean are introduced, setting up their solo film.
KEITH & MRS. DONNA JEAN: WAR IN THE PARKING LOT Keith is played by Donnie Yen; Mrs. Donna Jean is played by Tony Jaa; the two of them kick the shit out of each other for an hour. Then, the second set of an ’88.
GRATEFUL DEAD: WAR FOR THE HEAVENS Set in 1974, the band unites for the first time (somehow) to defeat a sentient and power-mad Wall of Sound. (The Wall is motion-capture, and played by Andy Serkis.) The Grateful Dead save the world…but at what cost? The entire movie is the post-credits scene.
BOBBY II: BOBBIER This solo film is about a solo album: none of the other Grateful Deads appear, as Bobby is instead surrounded by the Midnites (John Cena, Quvenzhané Wallis, Fred Ward in an alien costume). The fallout from the Wall’s rampage–the Reno Incident–have had sever repercussions and now the Dead is feared and loathed. Bobby just wants to play music and be treated like a rock star, so he puts together the Midnites. At their first show, though, Bobby uncovers a vast conspiracy that could rip the GDCU to shreds! Aliens? Nazis? Fuck it: alien Nazis.
GARCIA 2: JERRY BAND Garcia, too, is on the run: he joins John Kahn (Adrien Brody) and a talking dog named Pumpkin. (The dog is motion-capture, and played by Andy Serkis.) Billy is along for the ride, now played by Sam Rockwell. They have been chased to China, where they have fun adventures and note what progress China has made, and how many strides the Party has taken; Garcia receives a sidekick, Choog Li (John Cho), and the production receives a billion potential viewers.
UNTITLED BRENT MOVIE