Paramount’s upcoming Bob Marley biopic has found its leading man.
After an extensive, yearlong and globe-spanning search, Kingsley Ben-Adir, fresh off of playing Malcolm X in “One Night in Miami,” has been tapped to portray a different icon, the music legend credited with popularizing reggae music.
Reinaldo Marcus Green, who recently steered the sports drama “King Richard” to six Oscar nominations, is directing the still-untitled film. Screenwriter Zach Baylin, who worked with Green on “King Richard,” is penning the script.
The studio has not disclosed specific plot details, but the film will focus on Marley’s life and career. Considered the pioneer of reggae music, Marley, a native of Jamaica, began performing in 1963 with The Wailers. He went solo more than a decade later in 1974 and had a profound impact on the music landscape before he died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 36. Some of his biggest hits include “Jammin,” “Stir It Up,” “Get Up, Stand Up,” “Buffalo Soldier” and “Redemption Song.”
The upcoming musical movie is being made with support from Marley’s family. His son, Ziggy Marley, his wife, Rita Marley, and his daughter, Cedella Marley, will produce on behalf of Tuff Gong. Robert Teitel will also serve as a producer.
Superhero tentpoles may be all the rage, but Paramount recently found success with “Rocketman,” a fantasy musical biopic about Elton John. The 2019 movie, starring Taron Egerton as the famed songwriter, raked in nearly $200 million at the global box office.
Other than “One Night in Miami,” Ben-Adir’s credits include Hulu’s “High Fidelity” series, Netflix’s “The OA,” the British crime drama “Peaky Blinders” and Marvel’s upcoming Disney Plus show “Secret Invasion.”
Ben-Adir is repped by CAA, Range Media Partners and B-Side Management. Deadline Hollywood first reported his casting as Marley.