Bob Marley Biopic Moving Forward As Well
Martin Scorsese is going to be pissed! The Weinstein Company has optioned the rights to "No Woman No Cry: My Life With Bob Marley" (pick up a copy on Amazon.com), a book written by Bob Marley's widow Rita Marley, with plans to turn it into a biopic about the legendary Jamaican reggae singer. Scorsese previously announced that he would be directing a documentary about Marley that would be aiming for a February 2010 release. Now No Woman No Cry is going to hit theaters right before it, in late 2009. Apparently a biopic has had issues getting approved by Rita previously, but now this time this one has made it through and is heading into production.
Although no director is attached yet, Lizzie Borden (Working Girls, "Red Shoe Diaries") has written the script and Rudy Langlais (The Hurricane) will produce alongside of Rita Marley, who will be operating as executive producer. The project is only in very early development, which means it won't be some time until we see a director or cast attached.
Rita's book focuses more on the couple's tempestuous marriage, which began in 1966 and weathered numerous separations and affairs, the birth of four children together and an assassination attempt in 1976. Bob Marley died of cancer at 36 in 1981, and in the book, Rita Marley defends herself against accusations that she financially mismanaged the estate. You can read more about Bob Marley's tremendous life in Martin Scorsese's previous article.
"This is about a girl from the ghetto and a boy from the rural areas," Marley said. "It's more than being a superstar -- we have trod the rocky roads. It's more than just a story, it's a reality."
I'm a big Bob Marley fan myself and it's great to see the reggae master finally be given some cinematic appreciation. Maybe it all started with I Am Legend, but that's very unlikely… I'm only worried that one of these two moves is going to be overshadowed by the other. To be honest, Scorsese's just sounds a lot better. Plus, it's Martin Scorsese! Although, I haven't seen Shine a Light, his Rolling Stones doc yet, so I'm not entirely sure he's the greatest documentary director - but screw it, I'm sure he'll do a great job either way.
In the meantime, as we wait for these two films to really get into production, it might be best to pick up a copy of Rita's book. It's getting a solid rating of 4 1/2 out of 5 stars based on 21 customer reviews, which is a good sign that it's a very good book. I hope it translates well to the screen, because it would be tragic to see the wonderful story of Bob Marley that's told in the book lost in a big screen adaptation.