It’s been a long while since we’ve had news of a Bob Marley biopic. Four years ago, widow Rita Marley was trying to whip up a film, which then fell into the ether until 2008, when it was a battle of the features as her biopic came back just as Martin Scorsese was looking to helm a documentary. Marty had rights to the music, Rita’s project fizzled, Marty left the other project, and that was that. No Marley on the big screen.
Now it’s time for a new reggae fight to theaters, this time from an Emmy-nominated director from the UK.
Deadline reports that Jenny Ash (America: The Story of Us) is developing her own biopic that will focus on Bob Marley’s life in London in 1977. The year was a big one for Marley; he’d left Jamaica after someone tried to kill him, performed his big gig at the Rainbow Theatre, mingled with the punk rock Sex Pistols, and also discovered the cancer that ultimately killed him in 1981. Around this time he also had an affair with Cindy Breakspeare, who had become Miss World. Like most biopics that get cooking, Ash wants to focus on the romance and sees the story as a triangle between Bob, Rita, and Cindy, the latter of whom Ash has spent time with.
But, just like before, it could all come down to the music. They don’t have the rights to the music yet, and the way Deadline describes it, it looks like Rita is once again in control of the tunes; they think Rita’s “antipathy to Cindy” could pose a problem when it comes to getting access. Even more, I bet there’s a possibility that her project finds new life again. 2006, 2008 … it’s prime time for the third try.
Are you itching for a Marley love triangle? Wishing it was more about the music? Wishing it wouldn’t be at all?
If it’s the middle choice, I’d suggest patience. Once one biopic gets going, others are sure to follow.
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