Widow to produce Bob Marley movie

Mon Mar 3, 2008 10:53pm EST
 
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By Gregg Goldstein

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Rita Marley is executive producing the first-ever biopic of her late husband Bob Marley, and if she has it her way, the reggae icon's daughter-in-law R&B singer Lauryn Hill will portray her onscreen.

The Weinstein Co. will produce and distribute a big-screen version of her 2004 autobiography "No Woman No Cry: My Life With Bob Marley," a chronicle of the musician's childhood and their tumultuous 15-year marriage through his death from cancer in 1981.

"Lauryn would be ideal (to play me)," said Marley. "She sees my life as her life."

Her husband's son with Janet Hunt, Rohan, is married to the troubled former Fugees singer, who largely disappeared from the music scene after her Grammy-winning 1998 debut solo album, "The Miseducation of Lauren Hill."

Hill will vet the adaptation currently being written by Lizzie Borden ("Working Girls"), who is down in Jamaica completing the script.

The untitled project from producer Rudy Langlais ("The Hurricane") is tentatively set to begin filming early next year with a projected late 2009 release date. Langlais said the film will be an "epic romance," including the Marleys' life and the assassination attempt on the couple. "It's miraculous that Rita is still here after being shot in the head," he says.

The singer had 13 children, including several from extramarital affairs.

At least some of the project will be filmed in Jamaica, though other locations will be used to take advantage of tax rebates. The feature could arrive before Martin Scorsese's authorized feature documentary on the performer, set for release on what would be Marley's 65th birthday, February 6, 2010.   Continued...

 
<p>An Ethiopian Rastafarian waves a Bob Marley banner among thousands of people who gathered at Meskel Square in the capital Addis Ababa, for a concert marking Bob Marley's 60th birthday, February 6, 2005. Rita Marley is executive producing the first-ever biopic of her late husband Bob Marley, and if she has it her way, the reggae icon's daughter-in-law R&amp;B singer Lauryn Hill will portray her onscreen. REUTERS/Antony Njuguna</p>