As y’all know, I’m always excited to hear about upcoming biopics and Hollywood’s got another one headed our way. Marvin Gaye now joins Nina Simone, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Marilyn Monroe– all deceased performers who have biographical films in the works. It’s just been confirmed that Lenny Kravitz will play the beloved soul singer, which I think is really good news. This will be Kravitz’s first lead role in a film, though we’ve seen him take on small roles in The Hunger Games and Precious. I like his on screen work and I’m totally excited about this project. Click inside to learn more!
Deadline Hollywood has the deets:
From The Hunger Games to “Heard It Through The Grapevine” —Lenny Kravitz is set to play Marvin Gaye, Deadline has confirmed. The part of the Motown legend in the Julien Temple-helmed film will be the first lead role for the Grammy-winning Kravitz as an actor, after he has appeared in supporting roles in Lee Daniels’ Precious as well as The Hunger Games. (He also will be seen in Daniels’ White House drama The Butler and in the upcoming sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.) The Gaye project is scheduled to start filming next year and will focus on the time Gaye spent in Europe in the early 1980s, when the soul singer attempted to get his addictions under control and career back on track with the help of British music promoter Freddy Cousaert. Gaye was shot by his father and died in Los Angeles on April 1, 1984. Temple, a video and documentary director, helmed Absolute Beginners and, more recently, the 2012 Summer Olympics docuLondon: Modern Babylon.
Unlike past Gaye projects, music rights issues have been sorted out on this one, an insider tells Deadline.
I’m really curious to hear what you guys think about this one. Personally, I like that they chose a performer whose work has clearly been influenced by Gaye, and Lenny Kravitz is also IMO, a perfectly good actor. It sounds like the project will be a challenge– since it’s set during the period of time when Gaye was struggling with his addiction– and I’m excited to see if Kravitz will rise to the occasion. I haven’t seen a lot of the director’s work (fun fact– he’s Juno Temple’s dad), but he’s made a lot of music documentary films (one on Whitney Houston, one on Culture Club, another on Luther Vandross, etc.) so we can, hopefully, expect good things.
What do you guys think of the casting news? Can you think of a better actor to take on the role of Marvin Gaye?
Oh, and sooo good that they’ve got the rights to the music!