However, the musical will not tell the story of Marley’s life á la Buddy. Instead, the Marley show will use his songs in a new story — much as was done with Abba’s songs for Mamma Mia!, Queen’s for We Will Rock You, and Rod Stewart’s for the (much-derided) Tonight’s The Night. It was the financial success of Mamma Mia! that gave rise to the current trend for catalogue shows (though it’s by no means a new phenomenon). Ian told Variety that he’s certain there’s a market for a new catalogue show despite the recent flurry: “People enjoy going into a show and humming the tunes. They all stand or fall (on) if they’re good or not.”
Ian is aiming for a 2006 premiere. Bob Marley’s widow and son, Rita and Ziggy Marley, are reportedly on board for the project. At present Ian is looking for a suitable book writer. Whether Ben Elton, the scribe who has recently all but monopolized the genre in London recently, with the successful We Will Rock You and the flop Stewart show, will be considered is not yet known.