Demme (right) is currently editing a concert film about Neil Young
Oscar-winning film-maker Jonathan Demme has taken over from Martin Scorsese as director of an authorised documentary about Jamaican reggae icon Bob Marley.
The untitled film is set to be released on 6 February 2010 to mark the 65th anniversary of the musician's birth.
Demme, who won an Academy Award in 1992 for The Silence of the Lambs, said he was "thrilled and humbled" to work with the Marley family on the project.
A statement said Scorsese pulled out because of "scheduling conflicts".
Bob Marley's son Ziggy, who will act as executive producer, said he was "excited" by Demme's participation.
"His empathy with my father's body of work and his unique understanding of the musical documentary form makes me confident that this film will be the ultimate celebration of my father's life," he said.
Demme, who has previously made documentaries with Neil Young and Talking Heads, said Marley was "one of the greatest human beings of modern times".
He said he hoped the film, produced by Tuff Gong Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment, would be a "worthy vessel" for Marley's "spiritual and musical brilliance".
Famous for such reggae classics as No Woman, No Cry and I Shot the Sheriff, the Rastafarian performer died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 36.
Scorsese had been due to follow his Rolling Stones concert film Shine a Light with the Marley documentary.
He is also working on films about Beatles guitarist George Harrison and former US President Theodore Roosevelt.