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Bob Marley Biopic Announced

More than 25 years after his death, the story of Jamaican music legend Bob Marley is finally on its way to the big screen.

The Weinstein company announced Tuesday that it has acquired the rights to develop, produce, and distribute the first ever biopic about Marley. The film will be based on his widow Rita Marley's autobiography, "No Woman No Cry: My Life With Bob Marley."

"I've waited a long time to tell this story, about growing up in Jamaica and meeting Bob and making our music and falling in love and making our family," Rita Marley said in a statement.

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Screenwriter Liza Borden ("Working Girls") has been tapped to write the script and Rudy Langlais ("The Hurricane") is producing.

"Rita lived it all with Bob," Langlais said. "The rugged years in the Trenchtown ghetto, the rise to fame and stardom with the Wailers, the complex love affair that spanned his short life, the attempted assassination of both of them on the eve of a concert, and his tragic death."

According to Variety, Warner Bros. had optioned a different book, Timothy White's "Catch A fire" for a 1999 start, but that never materialized. Marley's son Rohan and Lauryn Hill were considered for the roles of Bob and Rita. Hill and Rohan are expecting their fifth child together.

The film is slated to begin production in 2009.

Last month, Martin Scorsese announced plans for a documentary about Bob Marley with Ziggy Marley as co-producer. That film is due Feb. 6, 2010, which would have been the singer's 65th birthday.

The first international reggae superstar, Bob Marley rose to fame in the 1970s as part of The Wailers with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. After the group broke up, he embarked on a solo career with his own band as Bob Marley and the Wailers.

His numerous hits include "I Shot The Sheriff," "Three Little Birds," "One Love" and "No Woman No Cry." One of the most influential and charismatic performers of the 20th century, Marley's brand of socially-conscious music continues to be heard today. He died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 36.
By Judy Rosen

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