Rent alum Jesse L. Martin has replaced Lenny Kravitz to play Marvin Gaye in the upcoming biopic Sexual Healing.
The biopic has hit numerous bumps along the road to production, but according to Deadline, Sexual Healing is finally set to begin filming in Europe later this month. The film will be directed by Julien Temple, who has previously helmed video documentaries about Luther Vandross, Culture Club, and Whitney Houston. Sexual Healing will focus on the time Gaye spent in Europe in the early 1980s as he battled with addictions and tried to get his career back on track with the help of his manager, Freddy Cousaert (Brendan Gleason).
Jesse L. Martin was previously attached to play Gaye in the James Gandolfini-produced version of Sexual Healing five years ago. Gandolfini was also set to star in the $15 million production as Freddy Cousaert. That version was going to be written and directed by Lauren Goodman and also would have focused on the last years of Gaye’s life, including his self-imposed exile to Europe. That version never came to fruition, and Temple took the reins in 2011.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Marvin Gaye III asked Lenny Kravitz not to play his dad in the biopic. However, the issue wasn’t with Kravitz, with whom Gaye is friends. His problem was with the film in general. Gaye told TMZ in December, “The producers and directors of this film are very wrong and shameful. [They’re] trying to do a film about a low period in his life. They don’t even know the whole story.” Gaye threatened to take legal action to halt production of the film, but he said he hoped it wouldn’t come to that.
Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his father, Marvin Gaye Sr. on April 1, 1984. Gaye had been arguing with his parents about misplaced business documents the day before, and the argument had started up again that day. Marvin Gaye Sr. went into his son’s room around 11:38 am and shot him twice, once in the chest — which perforated his right lung, diaphragm, heart, liver, left kidney, and stomach before coming to rest against his left flank — and again at point blank range in the shoulder. The pistol he used was the same one Marvin Gaye Jr. had given to him during the holidays for protection.
What do you think of Jesse L. Martin playing Marvin Gaye?