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You may not know much about the life of Marvin Gaye, but undoubtedly you're well versed in his hit song "Sexual Healing." Fittingly, Sexual Healing will be the name of the Marvin Gaye biopic penned by Lauren Goodman (A Last Goodbye) and helmed by Julien Temple (Earth Girls Are Easy). The would-be biopic has been bouncing around in development for a while, but seems to be gaining steam as casting news continues to emerge!
Earlier this month, Law & Order star Jesse L. Martin stepped in to replace Lenny Kravitz in the lead role of Gaye. Now Deadline reports Martin's Law & Order co-star S. Epatha Merkerson has entered into talks to join the pic. The celebrated actress whose played Lt. Anita Van Buren for an incredible 19 years is up for the role of Gaye's mother, Alberta. Should she sign on, Merkerson would join a cast that also includes Brendan Gleeson, who'll portray British music promoter Freddy Cousaert.
Deadline also notes that the legal issues brought up by Gaye's surviving relatives, which reportedly spurred Kravitz's departure from the project, have since been settled. So, production is moving forward.
Rather than being an exploration of Gaye's entire life or career, Sexual Healing will focus on the soul singer's final years. There he was in early 1980s Europe, attempting to overcome his addictions and revitalize his career with Cousaert's guidance. Sadly, his life and work was cut short on April 1, 1984, when he was shot dead in his bed by his father. No word yet on who will take on that tricky role.