Dr. Dre set to make Marvin Gaye biopic, procures music rights

The iconic rapper/producer, whose film credits include Straight Outta Compton, has the singer’s family estate’s blessing to produce the biopic.


                            Dr. Dre set to make Marvin Gaye biopic, procures music rights
(L-R) Dr. Dre and Marvin Gaye (Source: Getty Images)

Dr. Dre is working on a biopic of the late singer and Motown legend Marvin Gaye, Variety reports. The rapper, producer and business mogul served as a producer and was also the inspiration for the Oscar-nominated film 'Straight Outta Compton' (2015), which told legendary rap outfit NWA’s origin story in southern California. Variety also confirms that the rights to use Gaye’s music have been secured from Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which is home to Gaye's songwriting credits. 

This is not the first attempt to immortalize Marvin Gaye on screen via the biopic treatment. The soul singer who gave us unforgettable hits such as 'What’s Going On,' 'Sexual Healing,' and 'Let’s Get It On' became one of Motown’s most successful artists, and went on to influence several contemporary R&B subgenres, before he was fatally shot in 1984 at age 44 by his father following a family dispute in their Los Angeles home.

Gaye has been posthumously bestowed with several prestigious awards and honors—including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The long list of names that have tried to bring the story of Gaye's life and times to the big screen include Cameron Crowe, the late James Gandolfini, Scott Rudin, Jesse L. Martin and Lenny Kravitz, but so far, nobody got the green light from Gaye's family.

Most recently, in 2016, it was announced that Jamie Foxx would produce an upcoming TV series about Gaye’s life. It was set to be the first series to be authorized by Gaye’s family, but so far there have been no solid reports of developments on that front.

Additionally, as the Guardian points out, a documentary about Gaye’s life featuring never-before-seen footage, 'What’s Going On', was slated to go be released in 2017 but it still remains in development. But now, it looks like the legendary rapper/producer is all set to helm the highly coveted project.

Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, has dabbled in feature projects both in front of the camera, in films like “Training Day” and “Car Wash,” as well as with production. Most recently, he was a subject of the 2017 HBO docu-series 'The Defiant Ones', and keen observers would have seen him mixing a version of the Marvin Gaye classic 'I Want You.' A little bit of foreshadowing perhaps?

As of now, there are very few actual details available about Dre's Marvin Gaye project apart from the fact that rights for the music have been obtained with the permission of Gaye's family. Stay tuned for more developments...