Jesse L. Martin To Play Marvin Gaye In ‘Sexual Healing’, Replaces Lenny Kravitz

Marvin Gaye, Jesse L. MartinAfter years of gestation and obstacles for a slew of competing projects, a Marvin Gaye feature biopic will be made after all. I’ve learned that Jesse L. Martin will play the Motown legend in the Julien Temple-helmed Sexual Healing, which is slated to start filming in later this month in Europe. Brendan Gleason is set to co-star. Law & Order alum Jesse L. Martin was previously attached to star in the James Gandolfini-produced version of Sexual Healing five years ago. Temple’s Sexual Healing made headlines in November when it tapped Lenny Kravitz for the lead, triggering objections from Gaye’s son, Marvin Gaye III, who asked Kravitz to drop out and threatened legal action against the film. Sexual Healing now appears on track, with Vassal Benford and Fred Bestall producing. The film focuses on the time Gaye spent in Europe in the early 1980s, when the soul singer attempted to get his addictions under control and career back on track with the help of British music promoter Freddy Cousaert (Gleason). Gaye was shot by his father and died in Los Angeles on April 1, 1984. Temple, a video and documentary director, previously helmed Absolute Beginners. Martin, repped by manager Bob McGowan and ICM Partners, recently starred in the NBC pilot The Secret Lives Of Husbands And Wives, which remains in contention for fall. He also has extensive music credentials, including originating the role of Tom Collins in the Broadway production of Rent.

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