Lenny Kravitz to play Marvin Gaye

Director Julien Temple has named Fly Away singer Lenny Kravitz as his first choice to portray Marvin Gaye in the upcoming biopic of the Motown Legend.

Lenny Kravitz is known around the world as an award-winning musician and a fashion icon, however nowadays it seems the established rock star is trying his luck in Hollywood. After a small role in Precious and his well received performance as Cinna in The Hunger Games (a role he’ll reprise in the sequel, Catching Fire), Kravitz has landed his first lead role playing Marvin Gaye in a film about the last years of the singer’s life.

Julien Temple is directing; he is best known for Absolute Beginners and for his films on the Sex Pistols. The biopic has been in development hell for a long time; previous attempts have failed due to difficulties in obtaining music rights.

The story will centre on the final years of Gaye’s life in London from 1981 and how music promoter Freddy Cousaert took him to his flat in Belgium to recover from his alcohol addiction. It will also detail the recording of the Midnight Love album, which includes the classic track Sexual Healing. Gaye was shot dead by his father, Marvin Gaye Sr, following a violent argument between them in 1984, a day before his 45th birthday.

Temple has been getting the financing together to make the film, and assuming Kravitz is locked in for the role, shooting could start very soon.

Gaye is one of several influential artists whose stories are coming to the big screen. In May, Andre 3000 of hip-hop duo OutKast began filming a biopic about guitar legend Jimi Hendrix during his breakthrough in London in 1966 and 1967. There is also talk about a film on Australian rock star Michael Hutchence, who died 15 years ago, based on a book by the INXS singer’s mother and sister.

Sources: Empire, NME, Digital Spy, Standard

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