While some music lovers are excited about the upcoming biopic based on the life and times of Marvin Gaye, at least two members of the late R&B singer’s family are not looking forward to it.
Janis Hunter, who was married to Gaye from 1977 to 1981, says a film about her ex-husband’s life is the last thing he would have wanted. “I don’t think Marvin is a very happy spirit right now. This is the last thing he would want to have happen,” she said in an interview with the New York Daily News.
Even three decades after his death, Gaye still seems to be a hot topic. There’s a stage play by Gaye’s sister Zeola in the works and Sexual Healing, the highly-anticpiated biopic, is set to begin filming at the end of the month. Hunter describes both projects as a “disappointment.”
“Some of the characterizations, like saying Marvin’s father killing him was a ‘mercy killing,’ you can only imagine how that makes the kids feel. It makes me feel bad enough,” she said about the theater production.
As for the biopic, the Motown icon’s son, Marvin Gaye III, has similar opinions. “The producers and directors of this film are very wrong and shameful” he said. “[They're] trying to do a film about a low period in his life. They don’t even know the whole story.”
Musician Lenny Kravtiz originally came onboard to play the leading role of Marvin Gaye, but he soon stepped down and former Law & Order star Jesse L. Martin took his place. Hunter is now urging Martin to follow Kravtiz’s lead.
“Ultimately, I think it was Lenny’s heart and soul and conscience that caused him to step away,” she said. “Hopefully, that touches Jesse in the same way.”
How do you feel about the upcoming Marvin Gaye biopic? Should filmmakers be more sensitive to the requests of his family? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
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