Musical biopics have been having quite the moment, as everything from prestige chasers Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman to more recent films like the David Bowie drama Stardust have been keeping this often revisited genre afire. But one story that seems to have kept coming up through the ages, only to stall out each time, was that of reggae legend Bob Marley. While we might not be getting our hopes up too high, it’s still encouraging to hear that Paramount’s Bob Marley biopic has taken a huge step forward, by hiring director Reinaldo Marcus Green as its helmer.
Movie fans may know director Reinaldo Marcus Green name as he's helming a biopic starring Will Smith about Serena and Venus Williams’ father titled, King Richard. Green’s hiring was reported by Deadline as part of Paramount Pictures’ aggressive stance on finally getting this film into the works. Not many details are known at the moment about this Bob Marley biopic, but it sounds like this variant won’t have a problem with the music rights. We say this because the untitled film is being developed with the help of Bob’s son, Ziggy Marley; which is a good sign that those important rights could be secured.
Bob Marley’s story as a musician, a revolutionary, and a world icon is one that Hollywood has tried to tell through various shapes and forms over more than a decade of developments. Tragically dying at the age of 36 due to malignant melanoma, the life story of Marley saw everything from standing for a number of worthy causes to an assassination attempt taking place. It’s a story that’s ripe for Hollywood interpretation, but somehow it just keeps hitting various stumbling blocks.
Everything from a Jamie Foxx starring biopic to a documentary that saw Martin Scorsese and the late Jonathan Demme both attached at one point has been attempted, but so far none of those projects have come to fruition. Which is why while Reinaldo Marcus Green’s project excites us, we’re still cautious as to how or when this new attempt will pan out. Though the one factor this film has in its corner is the fact that Paramount Motion Picture Group president Emma Watts is eager to get this Bob Marley biopic in the works. Which is interesting, because of the fact that the former Fox executive was once involved in the development of an indie award winning hit you may have heard of: Bohemian Rhapsody.
As there are no current plans for a shooting or release schedule, it’s still pretty early days for this Bob Marley biopic. But with Reinaldo Marcus Green in the director’s chair, it shouldn’t be long before a writer is hired, and eventually the cast is set to bring this historic vision to life.