Is this love that I’m feeling? Those six words beautifully son by music legend Bob Marley are likely sentiments felt by Secret Invasion star Kingsley Ben-Adir, who was just announced to have landed the role of Bob Marley in an upcoming biopic about the late and great reggae musician. While no one can ever fill the shoes of the legendary I Shot the Sheriff artist, Paramount Pictures spent a lot of time handpicking Marley’s Hollywood counterpart, and it seems they made a perfect-casting choice with the rising star.
Sources tell Deadline that Kingsley Ben-Adir has been tapped to play the Jamaican native, with Reinaldo Marcus Green of King Richard helming the project. On behalf of the Bob Marley family-founded record label, Tuff Gong, Bob Marley’s children Ziggy Marley, Rita Marley, and Cedella Marley will act as producers as well. The script is being written by Zach Baylin, also of King Richard, Frank E Flowers (Swallow), and Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street).
Still in early developmental stages, Paramount has yet to detail what fans can expect the Kingsley Ben-Adir-led biopic to cover. However, it will likely track the time period that saw Marley rise to success as a reggae pioneer in the 1960s. It will also likely document his lucrative success spanning throughout the 1970s. Finally, the film will surely cover the musician’s attempted assassination, along with his tragic death to cancer in 1981.
While Kingsley Ben-Adir is still considered somewhat of a newcomer to Hollywood, the upcoming role will likely solidify the actors ranking amongst Hollywood’s most elite. The 35-year-old British native got his start starring in London Plays. Eventually, he landed a role cast as the private detective Karim Washington on the second season of the Netflix series The OA. He also appeared in series four and five of BBC One’s hit television series, Peaky Blinders.
Kingsley Ben-Adir went on to land a breakthrough role on film in 2020 with One Night in Miami, where he was cast as another iconic figure, Malcolm X. Receiving critical acclaim in the role, his spot-on rendition of Malcolm X led to other iconic renditions, including that of President Barack Obama. Ben-Adir would once again awe fans with his impeccable impersonations through his brief yet memorable portrayal of the former President on Showtime’s The Comey Rule.
Bob Marley’s major studio biopic puts the reggae icon on the list of other renowned musicians such as Ray Charles, Elton John, and Freddy Mercury that have been given feature films over the last few decades. And if history teaches us anything, a look at the success of all three of those biopics leads paired with the excellent casting of Kingsley Ben-Adir will surely make for a box-office hit. It’s a film likely to be in contention for plenty of Awards after it premiers. While we don’t yet have an expected release date for the biopic, fans can see Kingsley Ben-Adir later this year as he joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Premiering late this year on Disney Plus, Secret Invasion will cast Ben-Adir in an undisclosed role as the lead villain of the television series.