Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese is incredibly busy these days, finishing a Rolling Stones documentary titled Shine a Light due out in a few months and starting pre-production work on a thriller titled Shutter Island. Announced today is the addition of another documentary in Scorsese's line-up, this one about legendary reggae musician Bob Marley. The currently untitled film has been authorized by Marley's family and is aiming for release on February 6th, 2010, the same day as Marley's would be 65th birthday. I only need one word to describe this: awesome!
Bob Marley's oldest living son, Ziggy Marley, is a well-known reggae musician as well. Ziggy enthusiastically commented on the announcement, saying, "I am thrilled that the Marley family will finally have the opportunity to document our father's legacy and are truly honored to have Mr. Scorsese guide the journey." The same production team behind the Rolling Stones documentary Shine a Light will be again working with Scorsese on this documentary.
If you don't think that there is that much of a story to tell about Bob Marley, then you are severely wrong. Marley was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1945 and went on to form one of the most popular and influential reggae bands in history. Marley was regarded by many as a prophet of the Rastafarian religion and he also spoke strongly on public issues in Jamaica with as much power as a political or religious leader. In 1976 Marley was wounded in an assassination attempt at his home, but went on to perform at a political concert two days later. He died in 1981 at the age of 36 after cancer from a soccer injury in his toe had spread throughout his brain, lungs, liver, and stomach. "Marley was a pioneer not only because he single-handedly brought reggae to the world, but because his passionate, socially observant music has become a yardstick against which all reggae will forever be measured."
I really appreciate what Scorsese is doing by immortalizing some of these classic bands and musicians. Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones deserve it and so does Bob Marley. I wonder if Scorsese will just keep making documentaries about great classic musicians for as long as he can. There are plenty of other great musicians that I'm sure Scorsese could make a fantastic film about. For now I'll just keep my interest set on Shine a Light and his upcoming Bob Marley doc, in between his other feature films that is.