After years spent by various producers trying to get a Marvin Gaye biopic off the ground, a film about the legendary singer finally has been greenlighted. Jesse L. Martin is set to portray Gaye in “Sexual Healing,” an independent drama written and to be directed by Lauren Goodman.
The movie chronicles the final years of Gaye, who, after years of battling drugs and having parted ways with Motown, exiled himself to Europe. There, he was rescued by promoter Freddy Cousaert, who helped Gaye record his biggest-selling album, “Midnight Love,” which produced the comeback hit “Sexual Healing.”
Gaye’s life was cut short the day before his 45th birthday in 1984 after he was shot to death during an argument with his father.
“More than just being the voice of a generation, Marvin Gaye proved to be its very heartbeat,” Goodman said. “As a filmmaker, I was drawn to tell the story of a human being who was never fully realized, one with faults and foibles and an uncommon grace expressed every time he picked up the microphone.”
Originally, the project was intended to cover a larger portion of Gaye’s life but was refocused on his final years because of rights issues with his Motown-produced records.
Production is slated to begin in May in Hungary and Germany. Martin, the star of NBC’s veteran drama “Law & Order,” most recently starred in Chris Columbus’ feature adaptation of the hit musical “Rent.”