The British actor was cast after a year-long search to fill the role. Neither a title, nor any plot details or other cast members have been announced, but the film will be helmed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, who most recently directed the Oscar-nominated King Richard.
Ben-Adir’s most recent film role was playing Malcolm X in Regina King’s 2020 semi-biographical drama, One Night in Miami…. He also appeared in the 2018 thriller The Commuter and the 2019 Christmas comedy Noelle. His TV work includes stints on Peaky Blinders, The OA, and High Fidelity. His next big project appears to be the upcoming Disney+/Marvel Studios series, Secret Invasion, where he’ll play the main villain, though little else is known about his character.
The news that Ben-Adir will play Marley comes about one year after Green was officially named the project’s director. The film has the approval of Marley’s family, with his widow, Rita Marley, and children, Ziggy and Cedella, attached as producers.
“Bob Marley’s music lives on in all of us. His lyrics transcend continents, color, creed, and generations of people. It heals. It fights,” Green said after being named the biopic’s director. “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.”
Ziggy Marley added at the time, “I am very excited to be hands-on in working to dive deeper into sharing the legacy of who our father Bob Marley is. It’s an incredible responsibility that we take on with Reinaldo and the team at Paramount to tell the story of our father in a way that truly honors him and will also entertain, enlighten, uplift and inspire his fans and audiences around the world. It’s like opening a window that has never been open before.”