Bob Marley‘s legacy as a musical icon transcends geographical boundaries and generations.
With his soul-stirring lyrics and captivating reggae rhythms, Marley brought the voice of Jamaica to the global stage — advocating for peace, love, and unity. His story is now coming to life in a much-anticipated biopic, “Bob Marley: One Love.”
Synopsis: Bob Marley: One Love
Set for its theatrical release on 14th February, the film aims to encapsulate the essence of Marley’s life and the profound impact of his music. Produced by Paramount Pictures, a division of CBS’ parent company, it features Kingsley Ben-Adir and Lashana Lynch in the roles of Bob Marley and his wife Rita.
To mark the first-ever cinematic portrayal of Bob’s life and music, the Marley family has been deeply involved, with Ziggy Marley, his mother Rita, and sister Cedella stepping into the producer’s shoes. Expertly helmed by director Reinaldo Marcus Green, the film is expected to lead over the six-day holiday frame from Valentine’s Day to President’s Day, with projections indicating a box office draw between $27 million and $33 million.
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At the heart of the biopic lies a profound message of unity and love, with a sneak peek at the rarely-seen emotional depth of the reggae legend. The narrative centers on a crucial turning point in Marley’s life, following the assassination attempt on him & his family in 1976. The harrowing incident catalyzed a period of self-introspection that brought a great sense of purpose to his life — extending beyond personal ambitions, aiming to serve and unite people.
The movie explores Marley’s spiritual ̄awakening, Rastafari principles of equality, and his push for peace in the 1970s after years of political violence in post-colonial Jamaica. It showcases his significant return to Jamaica in 1978 for the One Love Peace Concert, not to mention the making of the album, “Exodus,” which TIME Magazine would ultimately herald as the “album of the century.”
The film’s exploration of Bob Marley’s life finds its heartbeat in the transformative portrayal by Kingsley Ben-Adir. Having already captured the essence of significant black leaders such as former U.S. President Barack Obama in “The Comey Rule” and civil rights activist Malcolm X in “One Night In Miami,” Ben-Adir takes on the role of Bob Marley with a deep sense of responsibility and commitment. The actor embarked on a rigorous 10-week preparation period that involved learning to sing, dance, and play the guitar. That’s not all; Ben-Adir adapted the Trench Town dialect, which involved countless hours studying archive recordings, meticulously reciting and translating the script to capture the true spirit of Marley’s voice.
Bob Marley: One Love Cast
The ensemble cast led by notable talents like Kingsley Ben-Adir (Bob Marley), Lashana Lynch (Rita Marley), James Norton (Chris Blackwell) and many others underscores the film’s dedication to authenticity. Their collective portrayal is enriched by the close collaboration with the Marley family, who have been instrumental in shaping the film’s narrative and preserving Bob Marley’s legacy.
Production for the film commenced in December 2022 & concluded in April 2023, with locations spanning both London and Jamaica. Adding to the film’s musical allure, American country star Kacey Musgraves contributed a unique rendition of the Wailers’ classic “Three Little Birds” from 1977. Released on January 26, 2024, Musgraves’ cover highlights the film’s endeavor to bridge cultural and musical divides.
The Movie Premiere in Kingston, Jamaica
The world premiere of this much-anticipated musical biopic was held at the Carib 5 Theatre in Kingston, Jamaica. Ahead of its global release, the film was unveiled to an enthusiastic Jamaican audience on January 23rd. This special occasion attracted a notable assembly of personalities from Jamaica’s entertainment, political, business, and social spheres.
To celebrate Bob Marley’s rich legacy, the event was also graced by Ziggy and Cedella Marley, who played pivotal roles in bringing their father’s real-life life to the silver screen. Hosted by the renowned Fae Ellington, the premiere saw the gathering of the film’s stars, including Kingsley Ben-Adir and James Norton, alongside distinguished guests such as Paramount Pictures President & CEO Brian Robbins with his wife Tracy Robbins. Not to miss the surprise appearance from Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and the Most Honorable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica.
Attendees were treated to a grand film screening in addition to live performances from an array of musical talents. Notably, DJ Zuri Marley, Mystic Marley, and Yohan Marley delivered electrifying sets that captivated the audience. In particular, it was Yohan Marley’s performance that was the main highlight — seamlessly connecting the legacy of the past with the promise of the future.