The road to a biopic about soul legend Marvin Gaye has been a long and weary one. We’ll keep it brief, but earlier this year, Broadway regular and “Law & Order” star Jesse L. Martin took the lead role in “Sexual Healing,” a years-in-the-making movie that he was attached to way back in 2008, with James Gandolfini to co-star, before it fell apart. Lenny Kravitz was briefly cast, before it landed back in Martin’s lap. Martin signed back on and filming began this summer. Unfortunately, production was halted with three weeks left to shoot, with financing evaporating and distributor Focus Features pulling out as well. All of which makes this next bit, all the more interesting.
Our pals over at Shadow & Act have stumbled across four minutes of promo footage from the film. Directed by Julien Temple (“Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten“) and co-starring Brendan Gleeson, the movie chronicles Gaye’s 1981 stint in Ostend, Belgium, where he recorded his biggest-selling album, Midnight Love, a comeback record of sorts that found him rising above his various personal issues, including drug addiction. So yes, the kind of stuff that would be great for a music movie.
But at this point, it remains unclear if this will ever be finished. According to S&A, 70% of the movie has been shot, but that still leaves a significant gap. So check out the scenes for yourself below, while you can (we’d reckon it’ll be yanked pretty soon). And yes, your eyes are correct, that is Clarke Peters from “The Wire” you’re seeing in there.