Fresh off Matilda and Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, actress Lashana Lynch has been cast as Bob Marley’s wife, Rita, in a currently unnamed biopic about the reggae singer’s life. The film, which is reportedly in development at Paramount Pictures, will be led by Reinaldo Marcus Green, director of King Richard.
The currently untitled Bob Marley-centric film was first announced in March of 2021 with Green’s appointment as director of the film, at which time it was reported that the surviving members of the Marley family, including David “Ziggy” Marley, Cedella Marley, and the real-life Rita Marley, were heavily involved in the production of the film as executive producers on behalf of Tuff Gong, Bob Marley’s record company. The film will follow Marley through his childhood in Nine Mile, Jamaica, his emergence onto the music scene with the Wailers (where he would meet his future wife, Rita), and the development of his own reggae style between 1972 and his death in 1981 due to cancer.
According to Lashana Lynch and the showrunners of the film, the Marley family’s involvement with the film includes an understandably thorough evaluation process when it comes to casting their on-screen counterparts; Kingsley Ben-Adir, who will play Bob himself, was first cast in February 2022 after a casting process that took “almost a year”. Lynch’s casting as Rita, which was just announced today, was apparently no less thorough – the film executives were on the lookout for someone of Jamaican descent, specifically, and Lynch was put through multiple tests to evaluate her chemistry with not only Ben-Adir but also the Marley family, who gave their approval for her to fill the role of Rita Marley, according to Deadline.
Who is Lashana Lynch?
Lashana Lynch’s breakout role came with her appearance as Rosaline Capulet in Still Star-Crossed (2017), followed by her entrance into the MCU as Maria Rambeau, Carol Danvers’ best friend, in Captain Marvel (2019). Lynch also played Nomi, James Bond’s successor and the new 007, in the latest Bond film, No Time to Die (2021); she would go on to play her own version of Captain Marvel in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (2022), as well as the kind Miss Honey in Matilda (2022), where she starred opposite Emma Thompson. Lynch’s future roles include a role in The Woman King alongside Viola Davis and a role as Agaat Lourier in The Outside Room.
The currently untitled Bob Marley film, starring Lashana Lynch as Rita Marley, was written by Zach Baylin, Frank E. Flowers, and Terence Winter; Robert Teitel will serve as an executive producer alongside Rita, Ziggy, and Cedella Marley for Tuff Gong.
The film is slated to be released by Paramount Pictures in 2024.