Lauryn Hill Considered to Portray Rita Marley in Upcoming Film
March 2008 – It has been widely reported that Rita Marley has finalized a production deal with The Weinstein Company that will bring to life her 2004 autobiography No Woman No Cry: My Life with Bob Marley. Bob and Harvey Weinstein secured the rights to the Rita Marley story a month after the announcement that Martin Scorsese will direct the Bob Marley documentary slated for a February 2010 release.
Grammy-winning Hip-Hop singer and film star Lauryn Hill has been chosen by Rita to portray her mother-in-law in the film. “She sees my life as her life,” Rita Marley was quoted as saying. Lauryn is married to Marley son, Rohan. The two were also considered for the Bob and Rita roles, based on Timothy White’s book Catch a’Fire, back in 1999. However, after Warner Bros. secured the song rights, development was curtailed following several directors’ departures.
The Weinstein Co. version will chronicle the Marley’s turbulent 15-year marriage, right up to his untimely passing from cancer on May 11, 1981. The untitled project from producer Rudy Langlais is set to begin filming next year. Screenwriter Lizzie Borden is currently in Jamaica working to finish the script.
Rita Marley, acting as executive producer, looks forward to telling her story. “I’ve waited a long time to tell this story,” she said. The two met as teenagers, a ghetto girl and a country boy, in the inner city section of Kingston, Jamaica. “Our lives began in a government yard in Trench Town, with hopes of reaching the world through music and through dreams.” The story will include how they met and the music they made, and falling in love and making a family. “Every inch of me is in there,” she added, “I don’t want a fairy tale or Cinderella story.”
There is no definite work on who will portray Bob Marley. Rita would like two actors, one to portray the young adult arriving from the rural Nine Mile, and one older to portray the Tuff Gong as he rose to super stardom. Besides lobbying for Lauryn Hill, Rita Marley has also suggested casting her grandson, Stephen’s son Stefan Marley, a “spitting image” she says, to portray the teen-age Bob.
“It’s more than being a superstar,” Rita said, “it’s more than just a story – it’s a reality.”