Marvin Gaye’s Son Does Not Want Lenny Kravitz To Play His Father

Marvin Gaye III Calls The Project "Shameful"
Celebrities arrive at the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C.

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?

[Source] [Photo Credit: Splash News]

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  1. Well if the producers are only doing a movie from 1980 until his death they aren’t telling the whole story. Walk the Line went throughout all of Johnny Cash’s career, highs and lows. Marvin Gaye wasn’t just an artist in the 80s. I could see the family objecting to showing only the bad part, which sadly is where his life ended as opposed to Johnny Cash who was able to get clean and continue his career.

    • Kim Sneed, great point about the Johnny Cash bit. I guess I’m just thinking that any story can be told about a specific point in an artist’s life and still be a complete reflection of that person.

      ‘My Week With Marilyn’ was kind of like that, where they honed in on a short period of time, but still told a great story. I’m HOPING this movie pulls off a similar feat.

  2. Stella

    I don’t think they should be making a movie about his life if they are only going to do 1980 to 1984 I would be upset to if he was my father,if they are going to do his life they should do the good and the bad. We all know what the bad was about. I don’t think I would even watch a movie about his life if it only told part of it.

  3. WRITEaBOOKthen

    i understand the family not liking a snapshot portrait, but this is a director/writer’s vision, their art
    make your own movie if you want to tell your own story
    movies aren’t meant to be THE TRUTH, even if they’re based on history–it’s a journey, a ride, storytime, art
    that’s like giving movie star drag queens shit for not being more accurate

  4. Whit

    He couldn’t have called, or sent an email, or even a tweet to tell him this? I mean they are friends.

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