Word On The Street: Actor Jesse L. Martin Of “Rent” And “Law & Order” Fame To Replace Lenny Kravitz In Marvin Gaye Biopic

March 4, 2013  |  

For all of those people who were giving the boo boo face side eye to the idea of rocker and eye candy Lenny Kravitz playing Marvin Gaye in an alleged upcoming biopic, this might be good news for you. Kravitz is out, while actor Jesse L. Martin is in.

You’ve seen Martin before. He was the original Tom Collins in the Broadway play and film Rent, and he played Detective Edward Green on Law & Order for nine years, so he’s not a newbie to the big or small screen. Did I mention that he can sing!? According to Deadline, his talent will be shown off in a huge role as he takes over the role of Marvin Gaye in the Julien Temple-directed film, Sexual Healing. Of course, late last year when it was revealed that Kravitz would be taking the role, Gaye’s son, Marvin Gaye III objected greatly to the choice and threatened legal action towards the filmmakers. According to Shadow And Act, Gaye III was upset that Kravitz, a childhood friend, would sign on to do such a film, which he felt was shameful, seeing as how the movie is supposed to cover a very hard time in the legend’s career. According to Deadline, the movie will focus on Gaye’s time in Europe in the early ’80s as he battled his drug addictions and eventually was able to bounce back with his musical career as he made the Midnight Love album. Kravitz seems to have backed out of the project, but it’s not clear if pressure from Gaye III or critics had anything to do with that.

Despite all that drama, the movie is still in the works according to both sources, even with Marvin Gaye III and the Gaye family trying to find a way to stop the movie from being made. But according to Shadow And Act, EMI, who has all the rights to Gaye’s music, gave those working on Temple’s project permission to use his music in his film. With all that out of the way, we’re not sure how the singer’s family could stop the movie from being made at this point, and it sounds like it could be a good one, especially since they’ve got the very talented Jesse L. Martin in the lead role. This guy doesn’t look too far off from Gaye, and he’s very talented, so I’m willing to give it a chance whenever, if ever, it is released to see the light of day.

What do you think of the change-up?

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