Amazon Grabs Rights to Martin Scorsese’s Grateful Dead Documentary

Jerry Garcia Long Strange Trip

Courtesy Sundance

Amazon has landed another impressive “get” — they’ve snagged the rights to Long Strange Trip, a documentary about the legendary American rock band The Grateful Dead, executive produced by the equally legendary Martin Scorsese.

Deadline reports that Long Strange Trip will hit Amazon Prime on May 26 here in the States and in the U.K. Other territories will be announced at a future date. Directed by Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story), Long Strange Trip premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, which just wrapped up in Park City, Utah. And it’s certainly long — clocking in with a four-hour running time, Long Strange Trip will be split into six pieces when it debuts on Amazon Prime in the spring.

Early reviews for Long Strange Trip are strong (check out Vanity Fair’s take), so the flick may be worth your attention even if you aren’t a devout Dead-head. Like most music retrospectives, it’s packed with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. It traces the band’s turbulent history; delves into its charismatic lead guitarist, the late Jerry Garcia; and explores the subculture the Dead spawned, which still careers on today.

While Amazon has been pouring more and more money into original content, they haven’t delved deeply into the documentary pool yet. The New Yorker Presents premiered a year ago, but while it contains numerous documentary segments, it’s not a straight-ahead documentary like Long Strange Trip. Amazon also has American Playboy, an exclusive documentary series about Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, in the works for later this year.

Long Strange Trip will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on May 26.

David Wharton

David Wharton

David Wharton has been a freelance writer and editor for over 12 years, contributing to publications such a The Daily Dot, CinemaBlend, GiantFreakinRobot, Cinescape, and Creative Screenwriting. He lives in Texas with three children, four dogs, and his wife. Email him at davidwharton@streamingobserver.com.
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David Wharton