Director Kevin Macdonald has been tapped to take on the upcoming Bob Marley documentary Marley. Macdonald won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature with his 2000 film One Day in September, and he was also behind 2009’s State of Play and 2006’s The Last King of Scotland. Per the press release, Marley will be “the ultimate, authorized documentary film on the life, legacy and global impact of a true legend, one of the most influential singers, songwriters, musicians and activists in history.” Macdonald had this to say regarding taking the reins of the film:
“I was already intrigued by the Marley story but the way in which this film is developing, as we delve through the archive materials and interview key characters in his life, has surpassed my expectations. What made Bob tick is probably unanswerable but viewers will certainly feel that they know him a little better after seeing our documentary. I am grateful to the Marley family for entrusting me with their heritage.”
Hit the jump to read the full press release. Marley is set to be released sometime this fall to mark the 30th anniversary of the singer’s passing.
Here’s the full press release for Marley:
KEVIN MACDONALD DIRECTS
TUFF GONG PICTURES AND SHANGRI-LA ENTERTAINMENT’S
BOB MARLEY DOCUMENTARY
Los Angeles, February 2 2011: Academy Award® and BAFTA® winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald has boarded the Tuff Gong Pictures / Shangri-La Entertainment Bob Marley documentary MARLEY. Director of two of the most acclaimed documentaries of recent years, ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER and TOUCHING THE VOID, Macdonald will join with the Marley family, Chris Blackwell and Steve Bing to direct what will be the ultimate, authorized documentary film on the life, legacy and global impact of a true legend, one of the most influential singers, songwriters, musicians and activists in history. MARLEY marks the first time ever that his family has authorized the use of their own private Bob Marley archives.
The film will receive a world wide theatrical release in Q3 2011, during the 30th anniversary year after his passing in 1981.
Tuff Gong Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment are producing, in association with Cowboy Films, this definitive film about one of the true and most loved international icons of the 20th Century. His music and message of love and redemption are known throughout the world and his story will finally be brought to life by the acclaimed talent of Kevin Macdonald.
Bob Marley’s universal appeal, impact on music history and his role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled. His music and message transcend culture, language and creed and resonate around the world today as powerfully as when he was alive. Only a handful of musicians have ever achieved such an impact and Bob Marley, though his life was far too short, stands among them.
As one of the most accomplished documentary and feature filmmakers of a new generation Macdonald will deliver the definitive work on Bob Marley, his life and a truly global influence. Filming is taking place as far afield as Ghana, Japan and the UK, in addition to his beloved Jamaica and the States.
Macdonald said, “I was already intrigued by the Marley story but the way in which this film is developing, as we delve through the archive materials and interview key characters in his life, has surpassed my expectations. What made Bob tick is probably unanswerable but viewers will certainly feel that they know him a little better after seeing our documentary. I am grateful to the Marley family for entrusting me with their heritage.”
The film’s executive producers include Steve Bing, Chris Blackwell and Ziggy Marley, who added: “We went to Kevin initially as an acclaimed documentarian but what has been most important to the family is his obvious passion for and interest in my father’s life as a musician and person.”
The film is produced by Charles Steel of Cowboy Films and co-produced by Shangri-La Entertainment’s Zach Schwartz. Directors of Photography include Alwin Kuchler (ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER and SUNSHINE) and Mike Eley (TOUCHING THE VOID). The editor is Dan Glendenning.
Kevin Macdonald recently completed shooting his upcoming multi-million dollar Focus Features production THE EAGLE starring Donald Sutherland, Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell which will hit US theatres in February. His hotly anticipated documentary LIFE IN A DAY is screening at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Fortissimo Films is the international sales agent.
Tuff Gong Pictures first gained fame for producing reggae videos for artists such as Burning Spear, Michael Rose, Heartbeat Records, Bounty Killer and Barrington Levy. In 2001, Tuff Gong Pictures released the Stephanie Black-helmed LIFE AND DEBT, a documentary which addressed the impact of international monetary policies on developing countries such as Jamaica. In 2005, Tuff Gong Pictures released their second thought provoking documentary also by directed by Stephanie Black, AFRICA UNITE, which is described as a concert tribute, Marley Family travelogue and humanitarian documentary all in one.
Shangri-La Entertainment films include POLAR EXPRESS, SHINE A LIGHT, BEOWULF, LOOKING FOR COMEDY IN THE MUSLIM WORLD, FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION, HEART OF GOLD and CSNY: DÉJÀ VU.
Cowboy Films produced Kevin MacDonald’s THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, which won an Oscar for Best Actor and a BAFTA for Best British Film. Other feature films include Beeban Kidron’s AMY FOSTER (aka Swept From the Sea) and Nick Love’s debut GOODBYE CHARLIE BRIGHT. TV productions include POPPY SHAKESPEARE which won the BAFTA for Best Actress and TOP BOY, a four-part thriller written by Ronan Bennett currently in production.
Cowboy also produces short films including the Oscar winning WASP (Andrea Arnold) and the BAFTA winning I-DO-AIR (Martina Amati).To be released in May 2011 is Cowboy’s first feature documentary FIRE IN BABYLON, which premiered at the London Film Festival.