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Julien Temple To Direct Marvin Gaye Film 'Sexual Healing' Based On Comeback LP 'Midnight Love'

by The Playlist
February 13, 2011 6:02 AM
14 Comments
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This news may disappoint several people including Cameron Crowe. A long awaited Marvin Gaye biopic starring "Law & Order" star Jesse L. Martin called, "Sexual Healing," was set to begin shooting in April of 2008. Focusing on the last years of the soul singer's life, "Sopranos" actor (and producer on that version of the project) James Gandolfini was set to play Belgian promoter Freddy Cousaert who helped Gaye back on his feet to record his comeback album, Midnight Love which spawned the monster hit, "Sexual Healing." Relatively untested director Lauren Goodman was set to direct, but April 2008 came and went and basically none of us heard a peep about this project since.

Until now. Some five-odd years in the making, "Sexual Healing," looks like it's now back on its feet with director Julien Temple at the helm known for his lengthy career with rock music films, including the Sex Pistols doc, "The Filth and the Fury," and the earlier mockumentary, "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle," the Joe Strummer documentary portrait, "The Future Is Unwritten," the David Bowie musical, "Absolute Beginners" and many more (he's also working on a Kinks biopic called, "You've Really Got Me").

Many Marvin Gaye biopics have stalled in recent years including the aforementioned Cameron Crowe film which hoped to star Terrence Howard and another iteration by director F. Gary Gray, and part of the reason was likely due to the music licenses and or lack thereof. But EMI Records, who holds the rights to Gaye’s music, is evidently ready to give this $8 million project their endorsement.

It's unclear if Goodman's script has been revised, but originally, "Sexual Healing" was loosely based it on the book, "Trouble Man' -- in April, 1981, a drug-addicted Gaye who had fallen out of favor with the music industry and its labels, took refuge in the small, tranquil town of Ostend, Belgium. There he met Cousaert who convinced Gaye to continue living abroad - an exile that lasted almost two years. Coursaret guided the singer through the recording of his biggest-selling album, Midnight Love which launched his late career Top 40 comeback. No principal actors have been mentioned and it appears that neither Gandolfini nor Martin are involved any longer.

In 1983, exhausted after his Love tour, the singer moved in with his parents in Los Angeles. Gaye's father Marvin Sr. shot his son to death after a business argument on April 1, 1984, one day before his forty-fifth birthday. [ScreenDaily]

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14 Comments

  • chance | September 10, 2012 1:15 PMReply

    http://soundcloud.com/chance-mcdermott/marvin-gaye-whats-happening

  • helen | August 22, 2012 9:16 PMReply

    Marvin Gaye was one of the best singers of all time. Hopefully those who are involved will start at his beginning so the whole story can be told

  • Gilles Freeman (Gilles Freeman Society) | May 25, 2012 5:59 PMReply

    ..you
    simply..
    ..MUST..
    choose..
    the...
    RIGHT..
    actor..
    for.
    this.
    role!!!

    --------> "I also think Jesse L. Martin, would be a great "MARVIN".......... <---------------

  • mason | February 1, 2012 8:30 AMReply

    R kelly. will be the best person to play this role.

  • SHAFT | November 30, 2011 1:54 AMReply

    I also think Jesse L. Martin, would be a great "MARVIN"

  • Crystal | November 14, 2011 12:43 PMReply

    This movie is long overdue. Marvin Gaye's story is one that MUST be told, but it needs to be told from the beginning, not from his time in Belgium. It should definetly be played by Jesse Martin but I think Terrance Howard would do a good job too. PLEASE HURRY!

  • Kanta Bosniak | October 6, 2011 10:32 AMReply

    There is only one actor who can play this part: Jesse L. Martin. It's made for him! Please get this movie made, already!

  • SHARON | August 4, 2011 8:00 AMReply

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, JESSE L MARTIN IS THE ONLY PERSON THAT CAN PLAY MARVIN GAYE,................IF NOT, I WILL NOT GO SEE IT...............................HE IS SEXY AND CAN ACT , SING, AND LOOKS LIKE MARVIN,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,NOT USHER.

  • Rogell | August 4, 2011 5:39 AMReply

    I can't wait to see a movie about the late Marvin Gaye although I would rather they start at the beginning of his musical career (I liked that about the Ray Charles movie). I am a Marvin Gaye fan and I don't want the movie to be just about his drug abuse and tax problems, I would like for it to be about the man and his music. Also I would love for Jesse L. Martin to play the lead role. He looks like Marvin, he has the sex appeal that Marvin had, he can sing and he can act. I know he's not a big marquee actor but I think he would do a wonderful job.

  • Tee Marie | August 1, 2011 8:42 AMReply

    All I can say is PLEASE don't disappoint. I have been waiting for this movie. I absolutely LOVE Marvin and this bio is WAY overdue. Marvin Gaye was a musical genius and I have to agree that the movie needs to start earlier in his life in order to understand him as the man that he was. There were sooooo many things that happened to him prior to going over to Belgium. I'm still very excited and I will be PATIENTLY waiting !!!

  • Marcus Pitts | July 22, 2011 3:22 AMReply

    I truly believe with all of my heart that if you are going to make a Marvin Gaye movie and tell his real story, then you can't start with him living in Belgium. That is when he was about 2 or 3 years away from the end of his life which is totally unfair to him, his family and his musical legacy. These years were some of his most challenging and if that is what they are focusing on, then the movie needs to be stopped before it starts. In order to really tell the story of this wonderful artist, you need to tell the whole story of his entire life in music and not just the drug years and the struggles and then his untimely death. I don't know who these film makers are but they really need to consider this fact. He is already dead, lets not kill him even further by producing a movie supposedly about his life that doesn't give him the propers that he really deserves as an artist and wonderful human being.

  • phil the coot | April 18, 2011 12:48 PMReply

    well this is a long time coming i saw a play in london done with the ohio players which was great , i just hope this is even better and not just a flop . as this man deserves the best . certanly a waist of mega tallent passing away like that .. mary wilson told me marve was a lovely wonderful man and i can beleve that and yes whats going on was the greatest album . and how correct the way the world is now ... right on marve you were the greatest

  • susa tatti | April 7, 2011 6:08 AMReply

    Let's hope this film is not only exciting and informative and sensitive, but also artistically attractive and original -Marvin Gaye deserves a special language to tell the story of this special human being he was.
    love, Sue

  • ralston baker | March 19, 2011 7:54 AMReply

    Y'know,I've been waiting a lifetime for news like this.Finally a biofilm of the greatest soul singer who ever lived! Marvin Gaye lived his life tumoultously and whatever demons possessed him we may never know. But what we do know is his musical genius and his incomparable voice. To me his album What's Going On is the greatest album ever recorded! Let's hope whoever portrays him in this film captures the essence and complexity of this troubled man

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