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 Gaye, Marvin 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…