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CONFIRMED – Lenny Kravitz Will Play Marvin Gaye In Director Julien Temple’s Biopic

CONFIRMED - Lenny Kravitz Will Play Marvin Gaye In Director Julien Temple's Biopic

We can now officially remove the question mark and move this one into the “confirmed” pile.

It was exactly a week ago that we reported the on the London Evening Standard’s news stating that they’d heard Lenny Kravitz had been tapped to play Marvin Gaye in British filmmaker Julien Temple’s previously titled Midnight Love project (named after the album Marvin Gaye recorded in Brussels in the early 80s).

It’s now been confirmed that Kravitz is definitely attached to the project to play Marvin Gaye, and it’ll start shooting early next year, according to Deadline, adding that, unlike other Marvin Gaye projects, the music rights for this one have been cleared.

The film, which S&A has been following since it was first announced early last year, will focus on the making of the Midnight Love album, while Gaye was living in Belgium – a drug addict, considered a has-been at the time.

If you recall, of all the Marvin Gaye films that have long been in development, Julien Temple’s, at one time, seemed the most likely to be completed first; it was early in 2011 that it had been given a greenlight, and financing for its $8 million budget; although, at that time, there was no word on who was being considered for the title role.

Principal photography was scheduled to begin in Belgium late last year, but that didn’t happen. there was some resistance to the project from members of Gaye’s surviving family, as well as Berry Gordy.

Concerns about showing some of Marvin’s vices were at the root of some of that resistance, as well as Gordy reportedly not wanting to be portrayed in a negative light himself.

So maybe we can assume that these matters have been resolved to some mutual satisfaction…?

An earlier report on this said that EMI, which holds the rights to Gaye’s music, on behalf of his children, Nona GayeMarvin Gaye III, and Frankie Gaye, was understood to be ready to give the greenlight to Julien Temple’s $8 million film. So it could be that Temple doesn’t need the explicit script approval from Gaye’s family, nor Gordy to move forward with the project, and it was strictly a music rights hold-up, which has now been resolved.

As for the other Marvin Gaye projects in the works, here’s a quick rundown: We know that F. Gary Gray has long been trying to get his Marvin Gaye project off the ground; and we also know that Jesse L Martin has been attached to star as the soulful singer in a film directed by newcomer, Lauren Goodman; and director Cameron Crowe has been working on a Marvin Gaye project for about 5 years now, with news that Terrence Howard was in talks to play the man (previously offered to Will Smith).

Jesse L. Martin has always been a fan favorite for the part, but it looks like you all are going to have to adjust to the idea of Lenny Kravitz as Marvin Gaye, because it’s coming…

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tony smith

Lenny Kravitz is too short to play anybody other than Lenny Kravitz.


Martin Luther McCoy should have been as Marvin Gaye!


What the fuck is Hollywood thinking??? Lenny Kravitz as Marvin Gaye. Bitch please.


OMG, Lenny Kravitz?!!?!?!? I hope that the movie NEVER gets made, especially since it will focus on the worse part of Marvin Gaye's life. A travesty. Jesse Martin is absolutely the best choice for a myriad of reasons. This is bull and people should not support this film. It's sensationalism and not art or music.


Jesse Martin is the better choice and I hope his film will get made.


I love Julien Temple. That man knows about music and even better music and film. Like Joe Wright – he can handle this. Good luck to them all.


ROI is a bullsh#t reason for a poor choice of actress or actor. Zoe and Lenny are box office and stink as thespians. What does that mean for all the struggling artists out there who deserve a shot? What does that mean for all the true fans/lovers of Nina and Marvin? If the masses keep supporting crap films, the bankers will keep churning them out. If You Want Something Better, Save your Money and Wait Them Out! Hell, eventually an Oscar Micheaux for this generation will appear ;)


Midnight Love will be a little taste of what to come when a actual Marvin Gaye Biopic is made. I'm glad Lenny Kravitz was cast as Marvin Gaye in this movie. I think he have the acting chops to do Marvin justice. But Midnight Love is not a biopic though. I want a Marvin Gaye biopic and Jesse L. martin will be the best choice hands down to play Marvin Gaye. But I am interested in seeing the movie when it comes out because I am a Lenny Kravitz.


I don't think Orville's comment being given such power.


How bizarre.


Orville, I read your comments. I hope you read mine. I work in film (25 years now). Hollywood is a factory/casino where every project and every leading role is decided by many variables, but mostly, they are determined by the statistical probabilities of getting the greatest return on the investment. Zoe Saldana is a GOOD INVESTMENT or a GOOD BET, if you will, on getting a profitable return…which is why we make films. She has a PROVEN TRACK RECORD. This is a huge investment and the investor makes those decisions out of self-interest…NOT RACIAL BIAS, I promise you. TALENT is not enough to be cast these days…you also have to be able to draw crowds. Zoe is in the news, popular and has a fan base. She has carried big-budget projects successfully. You need to embrace the world you actually live in…which is not the world you imagine. Sadly, it once was…but now, it's all about the money. See you at the movies!


This sh*t is bogus. It just is. So, I guess next Alicia Keys will be Aretha Franklin in a biopic, and Solange will be Whitney Houston. (Ooops, no wait, isn't Solange playing Diana freaking Ross in some biopic?!) I'm so done with hollywood b.s. Just like with the Nina Simone film, I will not spend a penny of my money on this film. Hands down, this role was meant for Jesse L. Martin or someone of his looks and acting caliber. Smh.


What's that no, I mean orville?@?@?


Another Bi-racial Actor WINS! Black folks are sick and tired of the "Friendly Face, Bright-Light, Damn Near White" actor pushed upon the masses. We ARE who we ARE. Blue Black, jet black, dark brown, chocolate, coco, latte, mocha mahogony, almond etc. (you get the picture). Yet why do the face most palitable to Whiteness is constantly chosen??? BECAUSE WHITENESS CHOOSES IT. Remember this, anything whiteness chooses from the Dark Pool, can ALWAYS be rejected. Fugg em. who they making it for???? Not BLACKNESS.

Adam Scott Thompson

Mercy, mercy me.


I am not apologizing for my comment because Hollywood consistently does this first with the Nina Simone biopic hiring the mixed race Hispanic Zoe Saldana. Now half white Lenny Kravitz playing Marvin Gaye. So what does this say about the dark skinned black actors that are being ignored? People want to politically correct but this white washing of black icons is insulting and disgusting. It is like Hollywood is saying black people aren't good enough and that they need someone half white or mixed race for film roles to sell to the general audience.


"….unlike other Marvin Gaye projects, the music rights for this one have been cleared."<<< Well, well, well….so are we to deduce that even though the project will be from an overseas company, that music industry politics are at work here? Why give rights to this project and not the project that Jesse L. Martin is attached to? Jesse is not only a well respected dramatic actor who looks like Gaye, but Martin did Broadway also. Martin as born to play this role, and this is such a no brainer that it's not even funny. It looks like music industry politics say that since Lenny is a rock icon, he trumps Martin?


@ Orville… C'mon man/woman, did you really just say that???
I agree that Kravitz doesn't seem like the write choice, but on the basis of his acting abilities to date and not his complexion. I hope we don't delve into another Simone/Saldana stream of debate. Denzel Washington played Malcolm X, Lawrence Fishburen played Ike Turner, and Jeffrey Wright played MLK. They each played the HELL out of those roles because of their talent! I agree, Jesse L. Martin would have been great; and I would have liked to see Keith Robinson (Dreamgirls, This Christmas, Love that Girl) in the role as well. Both actors can actually sing. And what happened to Usher Raymond being considered for this role? Was that a different project or did I miss something?

Roxie Roker

Wow. Half-breed. Is this a cher song or shadow and act? Halle Berry and her half-breed self needs to quit acting too huh. And might as well boycott anything Alicia Keys is doing. Are you the same person who had comments about Tracee Ross? People need to check themselves…

D.C. Kirkwood

Now are people going to protest against him like they did Zoe and Beyonce? Lenny Kravitz can't act his way out of a paper bag. They are simply attaching his name to promote tickets sales. Next!!!


Hold tight , Hold tight, now lets do it on the basis of acting -who was better for that role Jesse L Martin (who resembled Marvin Gaye ) and is 5 times the trained actor and once again Lenny is very Light skin. But back to acting Lenny has don't parts that truly stunt acting and cameos but I know he's on the up and coming and did very good jobs in Precious and Hunger Games but Jesse is a trained actor did we forget his powerful turn in RENT on Broadway where an good actors become great and get their chops and Lenny got his chops on yeah with a guitar. -Jesse was kick ass for all those seasons on L&O and Lenny was kick ass on all those seasons of OOPS nothing. This one does not sit well with me at all why couldn't they have chosen a real actor to play a powerful Iconic figure like Marvin Gaye. Jamie Fox was at least in the ball park and doing TV and some films with he did RAY and then we saw the powerful performance he did on that and Collateral. Lenny has no pedigree in film. And as honest as even he is, I bet he would be the first to say he is miscast. I want apologize if went to Light skin thang cause that is such a worn road so I want to point out and it keep it about acting and if anybody out there has a DVD of Lenny is some filmed that I missed in which he gave a powerful performance please call it to my attention!!


Shaking my head violently & uncontrollably trying to painfully understand this.


This is so sad a half breed playing the role of a real black man.

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