Bob Marley Finally Gets the Biopic Treatment in ‘Bob Marley: One Love’


The biopic has become such an inseparable part of any musician’s legacy that they’re now being released before their subjects are even dead, such as in 2019’s Rocketman, or 2015’s Straight Outta Compton. Johnny Cash had been gone barely two years when his Oscar-winning biopic Walk The Line hit theaters in 2005. Considering Bob Marley has been dead since 1981 and widely considered a de facto saint for at least that long, a Marley movie seems overdue. Correcting that oversight, Bob Marley: One Love is set to hit theaters next January, and we finally have a look at it via a lengthy teaser trailer.

Kingsley Ben-Adir stars as Marley, having previously played Malcolm X (in One Night In Miami) and Barack Obama (in The Comey Rule), a list of credits rivaling Chadwick Boseman’s for portraying Black historical figures. Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel) plays Marley’s wife, Rita, in a film that seems to revolve around their relationship and the broader strife in 1970s Jamaica.

One Love was directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, who previously helped Will Smith win his Oscar in King Richard.

Biopics of musicians often teeter into hagiography, which makes sense considering the films are virtually impossible to make without the rights to the music—and that music is often controlled by the musician’s estate. Bob Marley: One Love, actually advertises this connection, boasting in its official synopsis that it was produced in partnership with the Marley family.

But watching an idealized version of a musical icon hitting their creative peaks still can still bring on goosebumps. This first trailer certainly leans into that phenomenon, with depictions of Marley singing and performing forming the bulk of it.

Bob Marley: One Love, opens January 12th, 2024, from Paramount.

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Bob Marley Finally Gets the Biopic Treatment in ‘Bob Marley: One Love’

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