Lenny Kravitz to play Marvin Gaye in biopic
Rock singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz is set to play Marvin Gaye in a movie biography of the late Motown great.
Kravitz's spokeswoman, Carleen Donovan, told Rolling Stone magazine Tuesday that the four-time Grammy Award-winner will star in an as-yet-untitled feature directed by music video and rock documentary helmer Julien Temple.
This is Kravitz's first leading role, following supporting parts in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (2009) and "The Hunger Games" (2012), and cameos as himself in movies including "Zoolander" (2001) and "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (2007).
Scheduled to start filming next year, the movie focuses on Gaye's time in Europe shortly before his death in 1984, according to Rolling Stone.
At the start of the 1980s, the "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" singer had moved to England and then to the Belgian seaside village of Ostend. There, with the help of local club owner and promoter Freddy Cousaert, the dissipated, cocaine-addicted Gaye once again began successfully recording, scoring a Grammy Award-winning hit with 1982's "Sexual Healing."
Earlier attempts at filming Gaye's biography had stumbled on obtaining music rights, which this production has secured, Deadline.com reported Tuesday.
In 2008, director F. Gary Gray ("The Italian Job," "The Negotiator") was reportedly set to direct a Gaye biography; and Jesse L. Martin ("Law & Order") was to star in the biography "Sexual Healing," which also has not come to fruition.
Kravitz, 48, and ex-wife Lisa Bonet are the parents of actress Zoë Kravitz ("X-Men: First Class").