Plugz Spotlight


Bob Marley’s One Love tells the story of how reggae icon Bob Marley overcame adversity, and the journey behind his revolutionary music. The movie celebrates the life and music of an icon who inspired generations through his message of love and unity. On the big screen for the first time, Bob’s powerful story of overcoming adversity and the journey behind his revolutionary music is shared.

One of the preview’s most intense moments comes during a scene chronicling December 1976, when a crew of men attempted to assassinate Marley inside his home with his wife and children. “No guns can stop this message,” Ben-Adir’s Marley says in the trailer, accompanied by a version of “Three Little Birds.”

Along with chronicling Marley’s rise to fame, One Love also highlights his historic performance at the One Love Peace Concert in Kingston, Jamaica in April 1978, which aimed to heal the rupture between the country’s two major political parties, Jamaica Labour Party and People’s National Party.

Outside of Ben-Adir, other actors in the cast include Lashana Lynch, who plays Bob Marley’s wife, Rita, James Norton as Chris Blackwell, Anna-Sharé Blake (aka Sevana) as Judy Mowatt, Naomi Cowan as Marcia Griffiths, Umi Myers as Cindy Breakspeare, Aston Barrett Jr. as Family Man Barrett, Gawaine “J-Summa” Campbell as Antonio ‘Gillie’ Gilbert, David Kerr (aka Davo) as Junior Marvin, Hector Roots Lewis as Carlton Carly Barrett, Sheldon Shepherd (Yardie) as Neville Garrick, and Stefan A.D Wade as Seeco Patterson.

Before Ziggy Marley approached Kingsley Ben-Adir to play his late father in the film, the actor had already portrayed larger-than-life historical figures like Malcolm X (in One Night In Miami) and Barack Obama (in the miniseries The Comey Rule). But Ben-Adir had no musical experience or capabilities. “I was completely convinced that there’s no point in auditioning for this,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “I can’t sing. I can’t dance.”

However, the director was looking to cast an actor rather than a musician to play the reggae icon. “I was more interested in his acting,” Green told The Observer.  “The same way that I approached King Richard, the two young actresses that play Venus and Serena [Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton] had no sports capabilities whatsoever. It’s about being great actors – and then training.”

Bob Marley

Ben-Adir learned to sing and play guitar for the role, performing all the songs with his own voice during filming, while the final film combines his voice with Marley’s archival recordings. “Bob’s not someone you can choreograph or copy,” he told EW. “His singing and dancing are from an internal experience, so you really have to find your own version of that for yourself.”

The actor went to work studying Bob and listening to over 50 rare archival Marley interviews to learn his Jamaican Patois and way of speaking.  “The more I dug into Bob,” he shared, “the more I realized that music was really everything to him. It really saved him, and he separated himself from other artists around that time.”

The film was directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, who made his studio directorial debut with King Richard, which featured Will Smith as Richard Williams, who coached his daughters Venus and Serena into becoming tennis superstars. It received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, with a best actor win for Smith.

The film was written by screenwriters Zach Baylin, who also worked on King Richard, The Wolf of Wall Street’s Terence Winter, and Shooting Stars’ Frank E. Flowers. The film was produced in partnership with members of the Marley family, including his wife Rita Marley, son Ziggy Marley, and daughter Cedella Marley produced.

Green also spoke on the family’s concern that Marley is portrayed “in a way that feels authentic and meaningful,” he told The Guardian.

Ziggy Marley shared a statement reflecting on the monumental biopic. He said: “Nothing happens before its time, and now is the time for the story of our father Bob Marley to be represented in a biopic theatrical release coming in 2024. You’ve heard the music, and you think you know the man but do you really understand what he went through and what moments shaped him into the person he became…this film will bring you to witness for the first time what it was like to be around the legend, to see his pain his sorrows his joys and his redemption.” He adds that “the cast and crew represent one of the most unique creations to ever come out of a Hollywood studio.”

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