Wail no more: The wait has not been in vain. British actor Kingsley Ben-Adir has been tapped by Paramount Pictures to play the iconic Bob Marley in its upcoming biopic about the legendary reggae artist. The film will be directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, whose recent credits include Monsters and Men and the Oscar-nominated King Richard.
The script will be written by Zach Baylin, Frank E. Flowers, and Terence Winter. Marley’s family (widow Rita and children Ziggy and Cedella) will produce for Tuff Gong along with Robert Teitel.
Kingsley Ben-Adir is now one of the most sought-after talents in Hollywood, having played the role of Malcolm X in Regina King’s critically acclaimed One Night in Miami. He had earlier garnered much praise for his performances in Netflix’s The OA and, as Barack Obama, in Showtime’s The Comey Rule. Ben-Adir is also poised to play the role of the villain opposite Samuel L. Jackson in Marvel’s Secret Invasion.
In acknowledging his selection for the director’s role, Reinaldo Marcus Green said: “Bob Marley’s music lives on in all of us. His lyrics transcend continents, color, creed, and generations of people. It heals. It fights. It bleeds love and truth…. I trust this film will bring us closer to understanding his journey, his music, and continue to carry the torch of his legacy with humility and grace, and most of all, love.”
During his short but tumultuous career in the 1960s and 1970s, Bob Marley became a world-class musician who was the face of Jamaican reggae for millions of fans worldwide, churning out such hits as “Get Up, Stand Up,” “One Love,” “No Woman, No Cry,” “Could You Be Loved,” and “Redemption Song.” A Pan-African and devout Rastifarian, he was also noted for his political and social activism, vehemently lending his voice to the anti-colonialist movements in Jamaica and beyond. As part of his spiritual practice, Marley advocated the use of cannabis as a vehicle of self-actualization. declaring: “When you smoke herb, herb reveal yourself to you.
All the wickedness you do, the herb reveal itself to yourself, your conscience, show up yourself clear, because herb make you meditate. Is only a natural t’ing and it grow like a tree.”
Marley died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 36.