Magnolia Pictures has acquired the U.S. rights to Kevin Macdonald’s Marley, while U.S. cable net VH1 has licensed the first TV window of the film, which is due to have its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, with the North American premiere following in March at SXSW.
The film – produced by Shangri-La Entertainment’s Steve Bing and Charles Steel, and exec produced by Marley’s son Ziggy and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell – will have a theatrical release on April 20, launching simultaneously on VoD and digital platforms.
The doc’s television debut will air as part of VH1′s Rock Doc franchise, and the music-focused network will work alongside Magnolia and the filmmakers to promote Marley across its channel. Marley was made with the support of the Marley family and is billed as the first film to tell the definitive life story of the superstar musician. With rare footage, archival photos, performances and interviews, the film aims to reveal the man behind the legend.
Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said: “Bob Marley is a fascinating, towering figure in musical history, and Marley is the biography that he deserves. Kevin Macdonald has once again shown himself to be a master documentarian with this eye-opening, entertaining, beautifully crafted film.”
Executive producer Ziggy Marley added: “This documentary is the ultimate revelation of my father’s life. The family is proud to be able to have the world finally experience this emotional journey.”
The deal was negotiated for Magnolia by senior VP of acquisitions Dori Begley and head of business affairs Chris Matson, and for VH1 by Ben Zurier and Brad Abramson with Liesl Copland of WME Global on behalf of the filmmakers.