Bob Marley
Marley biopic to focus on activities after '76 assassination attempt

Fresh on the heels of his critically acclaimed film King Richard, director Reinaldo Marcus Green is speaking about his next film project — the Bob Marley biopic.

The director has indicated that the film, which is currently in pre-production, will radiate from the 1976 assassination attempt on Marley at his 56 Hope Road base in St Andrew, the resulting exile in London and the recording of the album Exodus during that period.

“Our film starts in '76 and really it's about the making of Exodus,” Green told the online news outlet “That would indeed be the perfect window to look at Bob Marley's life, in a period where the artist is forced to reflect upon his roots and the international reach of his love message to humanity,” he continued.

On December 3, 1976, an assassination attempt was made on Marley's life in which his chest was grazed and his arm was struck with a bullet. His wife Rita and Manager Don Taylor were also injured in the attack. Following this attack, Marley left Jamaica for London, where Exodus was recorded. The tracks on this album comprise Natural Mystic, So Much Things to Say, Guiltiness, The Heathen, the title song Exodus, Jamming, Waiting in Vain, Turn Your Lights Down Low, Three Little Birds, and the global anthem One Love/People Get Ready.

In 1999, Time magazine named Exodus the best album of the 20th century, while the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) declared One Love as the Song of the Millennium. The American cable television station VH1 ranked Exodus as the 26th greatest album of all time, while in 2003, the album was ranked number 169 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time

Green also disclosed that he is working on the script with Zach Baylin, the writer with whom he collaborated on King Richard, and that Ziggy Marley, Bob Marley's eldest son, is producing and overlooking the project. He is, however, still open as to who will star as the legendary Jamaican icon in the up-coming work. Just last week, another of Marley's sons, Ky-Mani, indicated that he was willing to take on the lead role in the biopic.

“Look, it's open season right now. Anything's possible. We don't have any cast, so yeah, absolutely. I'm open to finding, discovering someone completely brand new, could be a family member. I'm open to anything at this point. The best actor for the role.”

The Marley brand has continued to remain in the spotlight with the opening of Get Up Stand Up: The Bob Marley Musical in October at the Lyric Theatre in London's West End. The production, which was set to run until April next year, has already had its run extended until September.

Meanwhile, the exhibition titled 'The Bob Marley One Love Experience' will make its global début in February next year at London's Saatchi Gallery for a limited time. Terrapin Station Entertainment has partnered with the Marley family for the 10-week exhibition before the production hits the road. The experience will have its grand opening on February 2 and run through April 18.

The experience will showcase unseen Marley photographs and memorabilia, while immersing audiences in a journey through the influential reggae singer's lifestyle, passions, influences, and enduring legacy.

“We've been wanting to launch a Bob Marley touring exhibit for many years and we're thrilled to see it come to life and début in London, which had a very special place in daddy's heart,” said Marley's daughter Cedella, who is also chief executive officer of the Bob Marley Group of Companies. “The experience can be enjoyed by all generations and we look forward to continuing to spread daddy's music and message to the globe,” she added.

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter

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