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Even though a two-hour biopic about Marvin Gaye’s life probably wouldn’t hold a soul-and-cocaine-fueled candle to the roller coaster that was Gaye’s private life, it’s still a highly anticipated project that has been through all sorts of developmental hell. But like the man says, let’s get together and get our hopes up once again.
Deadline is reporting through the grapevine that Jesse L. Martin will suavely step into the role of Gaye in Sexual Healing, to be directed by Julien Temple, well-known for a career full of documentaries. Martin is best known for his work as Det. Ed Green on Law & Order, though he’s recently appeared in Todd Graff’s musical Joyful Noise with Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, as well as the Chris Evans-led drama Puncture. He’d actually been attached to the project back in 2008, when James Gandolfini was producing.
Sadly not a big fictional Motown reunion, Sexual Healing will follow the time Gaye spent in Europe in the early 1980s as he attempted to curb his drug addictions and get his failing career back to the heights it once reached. At the time he had the help of British music promoter Freddy Cousaert, to be played by Brendan Gleason (Safe House).
The film’s subject matter has of course already been the subject of controversy, which began last November when Lenny Kravitz was attached to the film. Gaye’s son and a friend of Kravitz since childhood, Marvin Gaye III called the film “shameful” and asked Kravitz to drop out of the film, threatening legal action if it didn’t happen. Kravitz soon left the film without much fanfare.
Sexual Healing is expected to begin filming later this month in Europe.