Bob Marley biopic brings his message to new generations, son says

Marley, whose hits with The Wailers included "No Woman, No Cry", "Jamming" and "I Shot the Sheriff", was born in Jamaica in 1945

Published : 31 Jan 2024, 02:45 PM
Updated : 31 Jan 2024, 02:45 PM

Bob Marley's family hopes a new biographical movie about the superstar singer, who popularised reggae with his catchy tunes and spiritual and socially conscious lyrics, will help revive his legacy.

"Bob Marley: One Love" is produced by his wife Rita Marley and their children Ziggy and Cedella and executive produced by Brad Pitt. Directed by "King Richard" filmmaker Reinaldo Marcus Green, it sees British actors Kingsley Ben-Adir and Lashana Lynch taking on the challenge of bringing Bob and Rita Marley to life on the screen.

“(It was made) mainly to spread his message more, to put his message into a different medium; film, to reach another generation,” said Ziggy Marley as he attended the film's premiere in London on Tuesday.

"One love is something positive out there in the world. That's what it's about, the message."

Marley, whose hits with The Wailers included "No Woman, No Cry", "Jamming" and "I Shot the Sheriff", was born in Jamaica in 1945. He died from cancer in 1981, aged 36.

The movie opens in Kingston in 1976, with Marley planning a peace concert in response to deep political divisions and violence. It sees the musician moving to London after both he and Rita survive an assassination attempt and recording the hit album "Exodus". Flashbacks offer insight into Marley's childhood and youth.

Ben-Adir, who played Malcolm X in "One Night in Miami" and Barack Obama in "The Comey Rule", prepared to play Marley while on the set of "Barbie", in which he appeared as one of the Kens. Mastering Marley's mannerisms and language, the Jamaican patois, was not an easy feat, the actor, 37, said.

"All of it, the language, the music, finding Bob's true vulnerability. He was a tough man and he was a gentleman. There were so many colours to him,” he said.

"I don't play music, so I had to learn everything about music. There was a lot to do and so when I was on a break, I just started in the Mojo Dojo Casa.”

"Bob Marley: One Love" is out in cinemas globally from Feb 14.