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Bob Marley: One Love Release Date, Cast, Trailer, Plot And More Details

There are few artists who've left behind quite the legacy of the great reggae icon Bob Marley. His countless array of tracks performed alongside his band, the Wailers — such as "No Woman, No Cry," "Get Up, Stand Up," and "Buffalo Soldier" — broke new ground for the genre and are still beloved to this day. In the process, Marley's words not only brought more awareness of Jamaican culture to the world but also managed to spread universal messages about peace and humanity. For the first time, his inspiring journey will be brought to the big screen with the upcoming biographical drama "Bob Marley: One Love." 

Even if you don't consider yourself a reggae aficionado, there's a good chance that you are aware of Marley and have heard a song or two of his. With "Bob Marley: One Love," audiences will be able to dive into the musician's unbelievable life and find out what shaped him into the global icon we know him as today. Telling a story as grand as Bob Marley's is no small feat. However, from what we know so far about its plot, cast, director, and more, the biopic seems more than promising. Turn on some jams as we dive into everything you're going to want to know about "Bob Marley: One Love."

When will Bob Marley: One Love be released?

The announcement of a Bob Marley biopic started making waves all the way back in March 2021. Since then, fans of the iconic musician have been patiently waiting for an update on the film's progress. Eventually, it was announced that the movie would hit theaters on January 12, 2024 ... but then distributor Paramount decided that day would work better for their "Mean Girls" musical, so they decided to shuffle "One Love" back a bit.

So when exactly will we get to see the Bob Marley story play out on the big screen? Well, "Bob Marley: One Love" is now scheduled to hit theaters on February 14, 2024. It doesn't appear that the now-concluded writers' strike or actors' strike will impact the film's release date, although the movie will find itself competing against Sony's latest superhero flick, "Madame Web."

What is the plot of Bob Marley: One Love?

According to the film's official plot synopsis, "'Bob Marley: One Love' 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, discover Bob's powerful story of overcoming adversity and the journey behind his revolutionary music." The synopsis may not paint the most detailed picture of what audiences can expect, but it appears that the movie will chronicle Marley's career as a whole, following his rise to fame and ending with his untimely death.

However, it does seem there will be one key part of his career that will feature heavily in the upcoming movie. Early in the film's development phase, director Reinaldo Marcus Green shared that the film will be honing in on a specific era in Marley's life. In a 2021 interview with Collider, Green shared, "Our film starts in '76 and really it's about the making of 'Exodus.'" The 1977 Wailers album played a significant part in Marley's life, being created after the artist survived an assassination attempt and had to flee the country. 

Who is starring in Bob Marley: One Love?

After a year-long international search for the right actor to portray Bob Marley, Kingsley Ben-Adir was announced to be playing the titular role in February 2022. Along with notable appearances in such productions as "Peaky Blinders," "Secret Invasion," and "Barbie," the British actor is well-known for his portrayal of other significant Black figures. 

In 2020, he played former president Barack Obama in the Showtime political drama series "The Comey Rule." The following year, Ben-Adir earned worldwide acclaim for his performance in the Oscar-nominated film "One Night in Miami..." as civil rights leader Malcolm X. Ben-Adir's casting drew controversy from Jamaican audiences, however, with some believing that the role would be better suited to a performer of Jamaican descent and that Ben-Adir would be unable to capture the proper mannerisms of the culture.

As for the rest of the cast, "Captain Marvel" and "No Time to Die" actress Lashana Lynch was cast as Marley's wife, Rita, in August 2022. The actress, who is of Jamaican descent, also took a long time to secure the role but was heavily favored by the producing team of Marley's family, including the real-life Rita. Rounding out the cast are James Norton ("Happy Valley"), Anthony Welsh ("Red Tails"), Michael Gandolfini ("The Many Saints of Newark"), and Nadine Marshall ("The Smoking Room").

Who is directing Bob Marley: One Love?

Helming "Bob Marley: One Love" is director Reinaldo Marcus Green, who was attached to the project when the film was announced in March 2021. When speaking with Deadline, Green expressed no less than the utmost excitement about the opportunity. "Bob Marley's music lives on in all of us," Green said. "His lyrics transcend continents, color, creed, and generations of people. It heals. It fights. It bleeds love and truth. It's a true honor and privilege to work with Ziggy and the Marley Family, and Paramount Pictures to bring his story to life. Audiences want to know the real Bob, the man as well as the legend. I trust this film will bring us closer to understanding his journey, his music, and continue to carry the torch of his legacy with humility and grace, and most of all, love."

Green got his start in the film industry following endeavors in sports, education, and even a brief career on Wall Street during the 2008 financial crisis. After studying at the New York University graduate film program under filmmakers such as Spike Lee and crafting acclaimed short films, Green made his feature debut with the critically acclaimed 2018 drama, "Monsters and Men." He followed it up with the 2020 Jake Gyllenhall-starring "Joe Bell," which received a more mixed reception upon its release. 

In 2021, Green helmed the Oscar-winning biopic "King Richard," which chronicles the rise in fame of young Venus and Serena Williams under the guidance of their father Richard (Will Smith). The film earned acclaim from critics and was even nominated for best picture at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony.

Who is writing and producing Bob Marley: One Love?

Rejoining Reinaldo Marcus Green for "Bob Marley: One Love" is co-writer Zach Baylin, whose first screenwriting credit was for "King Richard." He earned his second credit on "Creed III," where he co-wrote the screenplay and story alongside brothers Keenan and Ryan Coogler. Baylin also penned the sports biopic "Gran Turismo" and will co-write the 2024 supernatural superhero film "The Crow." 

The film's other co-writers, Frank E. Flowers and Terence Winter, acted as co-writer and co-producer, respectively, on the 2023 LeBron James biopic "Shooting Stars." Winter is perhaps best known as the Oscar-nominated writer of Martin Scorsese's "Wolf of Wall Street," as well as for producing hit crime drama shows like "Boardwalk Empire" and "Tulsa King." 

A good chunk of the production team for "Bob Marley: One Love" are actually surviving members of Marley's family. This includes his widow, Rita, and his children, Ziggy and Cedella Marley. Ziggy and Cedella actually have quite a few notable productions under their belt in different roles. Along with starring in films such as "The Mighty Quinn" and "Joey Breaker", three-time Grammy winner Cedella has acted as a producer on several Bob Marley-related projects, including the 2020 documentary series "Bob Marley: Legacy." Ziggy has contributed to several soundtracks while also having acting roles in "Shark Tale," "Hawaii Five-0," and "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse." 

Also producing are Dede Gardner, Richard Hewitt, Jeremy Kleiner, Matt Solodky, Robert Teitel, and Brad Pitt. 

Is there a trailer for Bob Marley: One Love?

In the teaser trailer for "Bob Marley: One Love," we get quick glimpses of the singer's life — from his relationship with his wife to the adversity he faced in his own country. We're also treated to some inspiring quotes, with Marley telling us, "You can't separate the music and the message," before leaving us all uplifted with, "One love, one heart, one destiny." The full-length trailer for the upcoming musical biopic dives even deeper into the story. Right away, the package establishes that this is a film foremost about Marley and his powerful music, as he entertains his children with a campfire performance of "Redemption Song." His wife, Rita asks, "When you write that?" Bob then replies, "All my life." Then the trailer is off and running, exploring that very life. 

The trailer marks time with the increasingly packed venues, where Marley plays with his band, the Wailers, and we're also shown quick looks of Marley in the recording studio, meeting dignitaries and '70s-era rock stars, and most shockingly, surviving a home invasion and assassination attempt. (According to "One Love," telling his kids "don't worry" about that traumatic event inspired Marley's eternal classic "Three Little Birds.") But with his success, Marley struggles to find peace and happiness amidst a politically tumultuous Jamaica, taking advice from his wife to allow himself to become more than a musician — transforming into a national hero and a champion of the people.

Is Bob Marley: One Love based on a true story?

Bob Marley was born in 1945, in Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica. He formed his band, the Wailers, with fellow musicians Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh in 1963, with musician Joe Higgs further helping the group refine their craft. Their first hit was the 1963 song "Simmer Down," a tune that spoke to the helpless citizens living in the run-down city of Trenchtown. Throughout the rest of the 1960s and early 1970s, the group continued to gain recognition with such studio albums as "Soul Rebels," "Soul Revolution Part II," and "The Best of the Wailers." This time also saw different members come and go, including Cherry Smith, Beverley Kelso, and Junior Braithwaite. 

In 1974, Bunny and Peter exited the Wailers due to disputes with management. Not long after, the band, which was renamed Bob Marley and the Wailers, added on the female vocal trio I Threes, consisting of Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths, and Marley's wife, Rita Marley.

Throughout his life, Marley's songs were beacons of hope, spreading messages about happiness and peace. This was especially true of the 1977 album "Exodus," which the team crafted in London following an assassination attempt on Marley. 

Marley died on May 11, 1981, following complications due to skin cancer at the age of 36. Despite his ambitions being cut short, Marley remains an icon, having earned a posthumous lifetime achievement Grammy in 2001. Marley was also ranked at number 11 on Rolling Stone's 50 Greatest Artists of All Time list.