It’s Like Nina Simone All Over Again: Marvin Gaye’s Son Shocked Lenny Kravitz Will Participate In ‘Shameful’ Biopic

December 3, 2012  |  

Source: WENN

I’m starting to think biopics are going out of style. While some celebs in Hollywood are practically begging for a movie to be made about their lives (Aretha I’m looking at you), the offspring of other notables are pushing for production on their parent’s stories to be shut down.

In the same vein of Nina Simone’s daughter who is vehemently opposed to the biopic being made about her mother, Marvin Gaye’s son, Marvin III, is speaking out against the film being made about his dad. Though the issue isn’t necessarily the person playing the part, there is similar concern over the direction of the biopic, which Marvin, Jr. calls “shameful.”

According to TMZ:

Marvin Gaye’s son wants his childhood friend Lenny Kravitz to walk away from the role of a lifetime — playing the Motown legend in an upcoming biopic — and says he’s shocked Lenny signed on for a project he calls “shameful.”

Kravitz will play Gaye in “Sexual Healing” (working title) — which reportedly focuses on Marvin’s life in the 80s when he battled drug abuse and depression … before his father shot and killed him in 1984.

Marvin Gaye III tells TMZ, “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.”

Marvin’s son says he and Kravitz were schoolmates — and remain friends to this day — so he wants to “talk to him about why he would do this.”

Marvin Jr. tells us he and other family members are meeting with lawyers to try to stop production — and added, “I would hope [Lenny] doesn’t have any idea that we are against this film being done.”

TMZ says they reached out to Kravitz for a comment but haven’t heard back from the singer. His close connection to the Gayes does somewhat explain his choice as the actor to take on this part though.

Maybe the issue here is that people don’t quite have a grasp on what a biopic is. If you do a film about someone’s life, you have to tell the whole story — good and bad — plus it’s not like the movie will really be revealing anything that anyone doesn’t already know about the troubled singer. Considering Nina Simone’s biopic is still going forward despite very outspoken opposition, I would think Marvin III’s only hope in this situation is to actually help the directors out and give them the entire story, then hope for the best.

What do you think?


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  • Ce1999

    While I disagree with productions being made without the consent of family members or at least some kind of familial input, I don’t quite understand how his family expects a squeaky clean story of Marvin Gaye. It’s pretty well-known that he struggled with drug addiction and had a tenuous relationship with his father.

  • Kim Kardashian as Ella Fitzgerald

    • Mia

      Yeah that would give a whole new meaning to the word “scatting”.

  • realadulttalk

    Seems to me that if you can’t stop the movie that you’d actually want your friend to play the role and have some say in how your father is portrayed. I’m not sure what story the public is unaware of–but here’s my thing–if you want a story told a certain way you should tell it yourself.

  • realadulttalk

    Seems to me that if you can’t stop the movie that you’d actually want your friend to play the role and have some say in how your father is portrayed. I’m not sure what story the public is unaware of–but here’s my thing–if you want a story told a certain way you should tell it yourself.

    • Mia

      Yeah its so simple. I’m sure this family has millions of dollars lying around.

      • realadulttalk

        You have to have millions to write a book? Yours is the mentality that keeps so many down.

  • JuneBug

    What happened to Jesse L. Martin playing Marvin in his biopic?? IMO he is a much better fit for the role..

  • I hope Vanessa Hudgens plays Janet Jackson.

    I can’t wait…..

  • ElvisWasAHero2Most

    I know it must be rough for these kids to see a reenactment of their parent’s lives of debauchery and sin, I can’t imagine how Whitney’s daughter will feel once her film is made. However, it is unsurprising that musicians/entertainers live such lives. These are people who don’t have to do physical work but instead need creative juices to flow, which is most often catalyzed by drug use. From Coltrane to the Beatles to Johnny Cash to Marvin Gaye, many of the greatest entertainers had their vices but they are responsible for art that will remain timeless. Michael Jackson was accused of sleeping with children… twice, are we going to remember Mike for that? People want to know the story behind the entertainer and their work, for it provides closure and insight. Surely, some of the details used in the film could be wrong, but Marvin is too well known of an entertainer for details to be largely exaggerated and/or false.

    • Its unfortunate because I would love to see figures such as these (Nina, Marvin, etc.) brought to life on screen. Unfortunately, the people with the money to do these films only go for provocation and little accuracy.

  • i hope they cancel the Marvin movie…..its too late to save the Nina Bio smh

  • Mia

    Marvin Gaye was a deeply trouble man and for these people to make a film focusing on the 1980’s (which were an extremely trying time for him) is nothing but disrespect and exploitation. And why cast a half black man who looks nothing like him when Jesse L. Martin looks like his double?

    • Beejcee

      What happened to the movie Jesse L. Martin was supposedlly working on? It was supposed to be released January 2013 and all of a sudden production was stopped and Berry Gordy and I think Smokey Robinson were involved with the production haulting. Any body heard?

  • Prissy

    Nina Simone being played by a light skinned woman is the problem everyone has because Ninjas DARK and her whole existence was about how she was treated in this country because of it. THAT is the issue. Not because of anything else. All these Dark brown women in this country…… and we couldn’t find a suitable one to play her? What’s next. Viola Davis in a film about Mariah Carey??? Sounds ridic right? RIGHT.

    • beck0974

      Well, it also doesn’t help that the producers are painting the relationship between Nina and her manager Clifton Henderson as romantic. It wasn’t: he was gay.

  • IllyPhilly

    Damn, why if so many of these famous people’s families or estates are against projects do they still get made? Oh I forgot C.R.E.A.M. Well just pretend the M stands for Hollywood.

  • I think that Mr Gaye’s son, should talk to his friend and the director of the movie to have them change the movie. The same with Nina Simone’s daughter. Or if they won’t listen, let each family come out with their own biopic, using the actors they want to protray their parent.