The lives of musical icons often provide excellent readymade material for compelling cinema. In recent years we have seen the stories of John Lennon, Ray Charles and Johnny Cash translated to the screen to critical acclaim and relative commercial success. Now, along with Scorsese's Sinatra biopic, we have a film about Bob Marley to look forward to. The project is being developed by Jenny Ash, a British filmmaker who was nominated for an Emmy for her work on the documentary miniseries 'America-The Story of Us'.
Bob's story has all the elements of a riveting biopic- bullied as a child for his mixed race ancestry, bit of a musical genius, unusual beliefs, 11 kids, and tragic death at a young age. However, this will apparently not be one of those biopics that covers an entire lifetime but more a specific point in his life. That specific point is 1977 when Marley had left Jamaica for England due to an attempt on his life. During this year he was injured playing football and complications of that led to him developing the cancer that would eventually kill him.
At this point in time, the filmmakers don't own the right to Marley's songs. Obviously this is a massive stumbling block and could prevent the film from ever getting made. Planned biopics of Janis Joplin and Marvin Gaye ended up never being made due to this very reason.