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Jesse L. Martin Talks Marvin Gaye Biopic: "It's Impossible To Get Made; May Do It On Stage"

by Tambay A. Obenson
April 22, 2011 7:20 AM
9 Comments
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"(Making the film is) impossible. It's just not... I don't know (if it'll happen). I mean, I just sort of threw that one up to the universe and said, 'If it's meant to be, it'll be', but it seems impossible to put together, it really does. It just hasn't happened... There's five or six (other Gaye projects) in the works. I actually feel less pressure. There's so many stories out there trying to happen that it just seems like it might be impossible. Nobody's done it yet. We haven't done it, nobody else has either, so there seems to be a reason you haven't seen that story on the big screen yet. I don't know what it is, but we're gonna have to change tactics and do it on stage, or something like that. That would actually be a great idea! So we'll see, we'll see."

Recent comments from actor Jesse L. Martin, speaking to WENN, who has long been attached to star in a Marvin Gaye biopic, in a film that was to be directed by newcomer, Lauren Goodman.

As I think I've said before, I'm not holding my breath on this, or any of the other Marvin Gaye films in development; We'll probably see a Soulja Boy biopic before a Marvin Gaye film :)

Once again... here are the many projects announced in recent years that have been announced, but have yet to see the light of day.

The rundown… We know that F. Gary Gray has long been trying to get his Marvin Gaye project off the ground; and director Cameron Crowe has been working on a Marvin Gaye project for almost 4 years, with most recent news stating that Terrence Howard was in talks to play the man (previously offered to Will Smith); and lastly, a 4th Marvin Gaye project is to be directed by Brit Julien Temple, tentatively titled Midnight Love (named after the album Marvin Gaye recorded in Brussels in the early 80s), and will focus on the making of the Midnight Love album, while Gaye was living in Belgium – a drug addict, essentially considered something of a has-been; though, as I reported a couple of weeks ago, Janis Gaye, the late singers second and last wife (he was married twice), doesn't approve of Temple's project, because it would "focus on his drug abuse, on other negative aspects of his life.

Which will reach the finish line first, if at all? *Kanye shrug*


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9 Comments

  • wanda | December 16, 2011 11:10 AMReply

    all i can say is that Marvin was an icon and who and whenever its done will be done by the right person at the God appointed time. Jesse L Martin is my pick for the role. Though it's taken a lot of years to accomplish we the fans thank many for their thoughts and efforts to try and bring it to pass. But Jesse we miss you in Law and Order. Come on you are a giant of an actor. There plays and scripts out here waiting for you to challenge. To conquor. Please get back in the game. Please get back out here so we can enjoy your acting abilities as a leading man on stage and in the movies. I have a great script waiting in the wings called "Shelter Me". I know you would really enjoy this script.. It's a definite crowd pleaser. Contact Wanda at fossnet233@yahoo.com. Thank you for this website allowing me to finally reach out to you again Mr. Martin.. Thank you for your work these many years in this competative industry... Many blessings for the future..

  • Laura Lavi | April 25, 2011 3:30 AMReply

    There is actually another project written by Paul Schultz that has been overlooked but this script actually could win the approval of the family. The writer is probably the most sensitive to the true story of Marvin Gaye, his positivity and light,, his relationships and his life struggles. I know for a fact that Mr. Schultz and I tried to secure the music from EMI many years ago but we relied on a lawyer who said he had the inside track at EMI music publishing where the critical songs spanning Mr. Gaye's brilliant career are controlled. We even independently raised the money twice for this project. But this lawyer let the precious short window slip away before Mr. Rudin gained an exclusive hold on the music. It is this hold on the music that is a huge barrier to making a Marvin Gaye biographic film. We have sat quietly while others with more "Hollywood" power have made grand announcements that subsequently fizzled. We have been patient while Scott Rudin and Cameron Crowe tied up the music even though our script may truly be the most comprehensive and yet also respectful of this music icon. At one point we met with Marvin Gaye the third and his representative and we all wanted to find a way to work together but securing the music and overcoming existing Hollywood muscle was overwhelming so this gem of a script sits on a shelf until someone with influence steps up and reads it and champions it. We invite Mr. Gordy who has approval power over the use of the music for any Marvin Gaye biopic script and Mr. Gaye's children and former wives to step up and proactively talk to Mr. Schultz about his hidden gem of a script so that we could actually all create awin win win making Mr. Gaye's family, Mr. Gordy and Marvin Gaye's fans all proud and satisfied that finally somebody did right by this epic story. What an amazing thing it would be if finally this brilliant relatively obscure screenplay writer - Paul Schultz could finally have his truly moving and respectful screenplay of the life and times of Marvin Gaye finally have the chance it richly deserves.

    Oprah Winfrey, Berry Gordy, Scott Rudin, EMI, Tyler Perry, someone good......the phone lines are open.

    Patiently waiting in the wings,

    Laura Lavi, Esq.

  • Dankwa Brooks | April 23, 2011 12:23 PMReply

    An acclaimed stage run WILL lead to interest i.e. investors from Hollywood,

  • Nadel | April 23, 2011 2:18 AMReply

    Really disappointing. But I hope it can be done -- it has to be done. Marvin Gaye is an American icon and telling his story is long overdue. Not a stage play, a film.
    And Jesse L. Martin portraying him is perfect!

  • Jan Gaye | April 23, 2011 1:25 AMReply

    There is no film because there are missing components that are difficult to sort out. The Jesse/Gandolfini project could not happen because of lack of communication which is the case with the other 'project', not for lack of trying. When Marvin is ready, it will happen. Not a moment sooner. The same issues will occur on the stage, like Groundhog's Day...

    JG

  • Shanea | April 23, 2011 1:19 AMReply

    What a shame. Marvin Gaye's story is definitely one that should be told. He was such a fascinating and complex figure who contributed enormously to popular culture. Hopefully all the elements will come together for a film (or theatrical piece) to be made.

  • Wm Joseph | April 22, 2011 9:28 AMReply

    Actually Berry Gordy said "What's Goin' On?" was "The worst record he'd ever heard."

    Such are not uncommon in the music biz, believe it or not.

  • Jensen Lee | April 22, 2011 8:32 AMReply

    A shame. Jesse would be great as Marvin Gaye. Gaye’s “What’s Going On” was a departure from his love songs of the past. Inspired by his brother’s experiences in Vietnam, Gaye’s masterpiece was almost not released by Motown head Berry Gordy, who didn’t believe it was commercial. On my Rockaeology blog at http://bit.ly/fIqvPt is the story of the innovative studio techniques, like dual lead vocal tracks, that helped make “What’s Going On” revolutionary.

  • urbanauteur | April 22, 2011 7:47 AMReply

    Let's break out the Easter Basket(tied) and Vienna Sauages,its a hard thought?.

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