Last week we learned that Lenny Kravitz had been cast as the lead in the upcoming Marvin Gaye biopic. I, for one, thought the casting choice was pretty much on point, and a few of you thought the same. There had been so much uproar over Zoe Saldana‘s casting in the Nina Simone biopic, and I really didn’t expect that kind of backlash here. But Marvin Gaye‘s son (Marvin Gaye III) has come forward asking Lenny Kravitz (a former schoolmate and friend to this day) to pull out of the project. Click inside to learn more.
TMZ has the report:
Marvin Gaye’s son wants his childhood friend Lenny Kravitz to walk away from the role of a lifetime — playing the Motown legend in an upcoming biopic — and says he’s shocked Lenny signed on for a project he calls “shameful.”
Kravitz will play Gaye in “Sexual Healing” (working title) — which reportedly focuses on Marvin’s life in the 80s when he battled drug abuse and depression … before his father shot and killed him in 1984.
Marvin Gaye III tells TMZ, “The producers and directors of this film are very wrong and shameful … [They're] trying to do a film about a low period in his life. They don’t even know the whole story.”
Marvin’s son says he and Kravitz were schoolmates — and remain friends to this day — so he wants to “talk to him about why he would do this.”
Marvin Jr. tells us he and other family members are meeting with lawyers to try to stop production — and added, “I would hope [Lenny] doesn’t have any idea that we are against this film being done.”
We reached out to Kravitz for comment — so far, no word back.
Now this is really tricky. I knew that the film was going to focus on Gaye‘s struggles with drug abuse, but I never thought about how his family members might feel. If it’s a good movie, then the directors and writers will surely focus on other aspects of the artist’s life, and– obviously– his music. But I’m sure his children don’t want to see the darker side of their father exposed to the world.
Still, the darker side was a real part of Marvin Gaye‘s life and experiences. And the truth is, audiences do love this stuff. Can you imagine Johnny Cash‘s story being told without significant focus on his drug abuse? It just wouldn’t make sense– in the same way that it wouldn’t make sense to make a biopic about a musician, without focusing on his music. It’s all a part of what made that person whole, even if some of it is unpleasant. If you can get all the unpleasantness in the film, along with the great music, and the personal stories (like in Walk The Line) then the movie can be successful.
What do y’all think? Do Marvin Gaye‘s children have a right to be upset? And should they be asking Kravitz to reconsider taking on the role?