Kevin Macdonald has chosen his next project, opting to direct Tuff Gong Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment’s long-in-the-works authorised documentary about the life of reggae superstar Bob Marley.

Fortissmo is handling sales and the film shoots in Jamaica, Ghana, Japan, the UK and the US. Macdonald’s multi-contributor YouTube documentary Life In A Day will screen in Berlin following last week’s well received world premiere at Sundance.

Marley will open worldwide in the third quarter to mark the 30th anniversary of the musician’s death in 1981. Martin Scorsese and Jonathan Demme were previously linked to the project, which was initially timetabled to open in February 2010 and was positioned at the time as a commemoration of the 65th anniverary of Marley’s birth.

Charles Steel of Cowboy Films is producing. Serving as executive producers are Steve Bing, Ziggy Marley and Chris Blackwell, the Island Records and Palm Pictures founder who championed Marley’s music and reggae andska in general after he formed Island Records in the late 1950s.

Tuff Gong Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment are producing in association with Cowboy Films.

“I was already intrigued by the Marley story but the way in which this film is developing, as we delve through the archive materials and interview key characters in his life, has surpassed my expectations,” Macdonald said, adding: “I am grateful to the Marley family for entrusting me with their heritage.”

Macdonald recently wrapped production on the Roman Britain action film The Eagle for Focus Features.