Jenny Ash, the UK director who has received an Emmy nomination for her work on the documentary miniseries America – The Story of Us, is developing a biopic on the life of legendary reggae artist Bob Marley. Deadline reports that the “feature will concentrate on the year Marley spent living in London in 1977. This was a crucial year for Marley. He’d fled Jamaica after an attempt was made on his life; the year ended with him sustaining a soccer injury which eventually triggered full-blown cancer.” Ash, whose two-hour segment of the 12-part America miniseries covered slavery and the Civil War, also sees the movie as a love triangle between Marley, his wife Rita and Jamaican beauty queen Cindy Breakspeare, whom Ash has spent time with in Jamaica. I presume the denouement of that story won’t be about college students who love Marley because he shared their love of getting high.
Hit the jump for more on the project.
Unfortunately, the filmmakers don’t yet have the rights to Marley’s songs. Planned biopics of Janis Joplin and Marvin Gaye have also hit snags in trying to get music rights. Those are kind of necessary, although I would find it hilarious if someone made a biopic of a musician and didn’t use any of their music.
Deadline adds that there have been two previous attempts at biopics based on Marley’s life. The first was actually based on the autobiography of Rita Marley, No Woman No Cry: My Life With Bob Marley. Lauryn Hill, who is Marley’s daughter in law, was set to play Rita. Hill was also going to play Rita in a biopic based on Timothy White’s 1991 biography of Marley, Catch a Fire. However, that film fell apart after director Ron Shelton (Hollywood Homicide), and his replacement George Armitage (The Big Bounce), both left the project.