Bob Marley: One Love film shoots to top of box office after one day

Music icon Bob Marley is now the subject of a new feature film, and his legion of Kiwi fans have wasted no time showing their love for him and his music.

'Bob Marley One Love' has become the biggest Valentine's Day opening of all time, and has gone straight to the top of the box office after a single day on release.

The film was made with the full support of the Marley family, including his widow Rita and son Ziggy.

"Hey New Zealand, there is always a special place in my father's heart, for the time he spent in your beautiful country," Ziggy Marley told Newshub.

Bob Marley's impact on Aotearoa, on our musicians and musical heritage, was solidified by his 1979 show at Western Springs.

And now, Kiwi audiences can immerse themselves in his story on the big screen.

It's a communal story told with family and friends on set, in front of and behind the camera.

"Bob Marley is such a mystical mysterious figure, with such enigma. We're just trying to pull behind the curtain," said director Reinaldo Marcus.

"Who's the man when the camera shuts off? Who's that guy? That's what I wanted to know."

And to find out who that guy was meant finding just the right actor to embody him.

"When we auditioned, I saw Kingsley. He was on a different level. He represented my father very well, and not just Bob the legend, Bob the artist, Bob the singer. But the human side of him, the emotional side," said Ziggy.

And with Ziggy's blessing, British actor Kingsley Ben-Adir signed on to play his enigmatic father.

"It was a real communal effort. The family was involved from the beginning," Ben-Adir told Newshub.

"Trying to understand who he was as a human being, you know. Who he was outside of the spotlight," he added.

Ben-Adir said Bob Marley was clear about what he wanted the world to know about him.

"But to understand him as a guy, as a father and as a man… I needed a lot of help."

Newshub asked Ben-Adir if it was a privilege to be involved in such a project.

"For sure, and still now. I think I'll look back in the next few years and have a full understanding of how crazy this all is."

A privilege for Ben-Adir, and now ready for New Zealand audiences, the film has opened across the motu.