By Simon Dang | The Playlist February 7, 2012 at 10:45AM
Well done, Magnolia marketing team. On the birthday of legendary artist Bob Marley, the distribution shingle has announced the acquisition of Kevin MacDonald's documentary "Marley" which will now premiere in theaters and on VOD and digital platforms on April 20th. Yep, that's right, a 4/20 release for the Marley doc.
"Marley" is the first feature to be backed by the Marley family as well as the legend's longtime music label head Chris Blackwell which should make for the most insightful look at his life yet as it follows "the musician, revolutionary and legend from his earliest days to his rise to international superstardom" using rare footage, archival photos and incredible performances and interviews with his family, friends and bandmates. Blackwell executive produces alongside Marley's son, Ziggy.
MacDonald, of course, took helm of the project after the exit of Jonathan Demme who was working on it for several years. It remains unknown how much progress, if any, Demme made during his time as he reportedly split due to "creative differences" with MacDonald also previously telling us that he "came on, started over from scratch, and I've made my film, which has been a great experience."
"When I went to Uganda for 'Last King of Scotland' I was amazed at how Marley was present there and I've subsequently seen it in other parts of the developing world," MacDonald added. "Marley as this kind of saint, a philosophical and religious figure. I then became more interested in him and why he has that kind of reach and then, out of the blue, last year, I got phoned up by Steve Bing, a producer on the film, who said, 'Are you interested in doing this film?'" And from there, the rest is history.
Before it's 4/20 release, the doc will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival later this month and hit SXSW next month.