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A biopic about Motown icon Marvin Gaye is in the works, with singer Lenny Kravitz hired to play him. Gaye’s son, Marvin Gaye III, is slamming the production, calling it “shameful” and hopes that someone else will take the lead role.
Last week, Deadline confirmed that Kravitz, who appeared in The Hunger Games and will be seen in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, will play Gaye. Rather than focus on Gaye’s iconic music from the 1960s and 1970s, the film will focus on Gaye’s life in Europe in the early 1980s, when he was working on getting over his addictions. Gaye worked with British music promoter Freddy Cousaert to get his career back on track. The singer died in 1984 after being shot by his father.
Video and documentary director Julien Temple has signed on to helm the project. Music rights issues, which have derailed past Gaye biopics, have already been sorted out, notes Deadline.
However, Gaye’s son is not happy with how the project is being handled, he told TMZ.
“The producers and directors of this film are very wrong and shameful,” Marvin Gaye III said. “[They're] trying to do a film about a low period in his life. They don't even know the whole story.”
Marvin Jr. adds that he and Kravitz are friends and he wants to “talk to him about why he would do this.”
“I would hope [Lenny] doesn't have any idea that we are against this film being done,” he said.
Marvin Jr. also told TMZ that the family is meeting with lawyers to discuss ways to stop the project.
If it does move forward, this will be Kravitz’s first starring role. He is currently working on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire