The Universal Music Group’s Polygram Entertainment and 20th Century Fox have partnered in a project that will develop “an animated musical love letter” to the music of Jamaican reggae icon Bob Marley and to Jamaica’s people. Kenya Barris is writing and producing the project and is running it through his company, Khalablo In Society as part of an overall deal with 20th Century Fox.
Barris is known for his work on “Black-ish” and “Girls Trip.” Cedella Marley, the daughter of Bob and Rita Marley, is also a producer on the project, joining David Blackman, the head of Polygram Entertainment, and E. Brian Dobbins of Principal-Young. Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird, co-presidents of Fox Animation, announced the project, noting that it gives them a chance to create new relationships for the studio and to tell the story inspired by Marley’s music. Cedella Marley, stating that her father has been an inspiration for artists around the world, expressed her excitement at starting a new creative venture highlighting his musical contributions. “We are thrilled to work with Kenya Barris and David Blackman on this project as well as Fox Animation who gave us this platform to introduce a new generation to my father’s music,” she said.
Cedella Marley is a singer, dancer, fashion designer, actress, and entrepreneur in her own right, as well as the mother of musician Skip Marley. She is also the CEO of The Bob Marley Group of Companies and is dedicated to protecting her father’s legacy. PolyGram is UMG’s film division and was the co-distributor of “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years,” with Studio Canal. Ron Howard directed this critically praised documentary.
Polygram is also producing an authorized documentary about Motown, as well as financing other documentaries on Luciano Pavarotti and The Velvet Underground. Ron Howard is directing the Pavarotti film, while Todd Hayne is developing the Velvet Underground project