24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

« Previous Post | 24 Frames Home | Next Post »

With new Bob Marley film, Kevin Macdonald will be iron like a lion in Zion

February 2, 2011 |  4:05 pm


Making a movie about Bob Marley hasn't been easy. A Martin Scorsese attempt failed. So did one from Jonathan Demme.

Now producers of a new documentary about the Jamaican reggae pioneer confirm that Kevin Macdonald is directing the film, a point that had been rumored online since the fall. The director has secured permission of the Marley family and will be free to include material from the archives of the spiritual-minded singer-songwriter.

Titled "Marley" and set for a release this summer, the movie will examine the brief, creative life of the reggae pioneer (who died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 36) by interviewing many of the figures in and around him as well as using the archival material. The film will examine "the life, legacy and global impact of a true legend," said a statement from the producers, Tuff Gong Pictures, Shangri-La Entertainment and Cowboy Films.

Macdonald added in a statement that "what made Bob tick is probably unanswerable, but viewers will certainly feel that they know him a little better after seeing our documentary."

The filmmaker been busy lately -- he recently directed the user-generated YouTube documentary "Life in a Day" that premiered at Sundance and has the Channing Tatum swords-and-sandals action movie "The Eagle" coming out next week. This one takes him back to the well-regarded documentaries of the early phase of his career, a group that includes the outdoor adventure film "Touching the Void" and the examination of the 1972 Munich Olympics tragedy, "One Day in September."

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Bob Marley in New York in 1977. Credit: Richard E. Aaron