Janis Gaye Not Happy About Julien Temple’s Marvin Gaye Film; Wants Denzel Washington For The Role
So… recall that Marvin Gaye project that British director Julien Temple is developing, which will focus on the making of the Midnight Love album, and that had reportedly been given a greenlight, with an $8 Million budget, financed through a Belgian tax shelter and Luxembourg’s CIAV… the project that we thought would be the first Marvin Gaye film to be made, of the 4 we know of that are in the works…?
Well, not-so fast my friends! It’s not as wrapped up as we all thought it was. Per THIS article in the UK’s Independent, Janis Gaye, the late singers second and last wife (he was married twice), apparently knew nothing about this project, stating that she was at her home in Rhode Island last month when she read about plans to make the film (maybe she read it here on Shadow And Act ;)).
The Independent says that Janis Gaye has “generally felt “very skeptical” about attempts to bring Marvin Gaye’s story to screen,” as she has had difficulties trusting other involved parties over the years, since his death. She is also concerned that Temple’s film – which will focus on the latter half of Gaye’s life, his time in Belgium, a drug addict, essentially considered something of a has-been – would “focus on his drug abuse, on other negative aspects of his life.” Well, obviously it will.
“The hurdles in front of anyone trying to make a Gaye biopic are manifold. One essential requirement is the rights to the music. Another is an actor capable of playing the singer… Then, there are the interests of his family to consider – those of his first wife, Anna Gordy, elder sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy, and of Janis Gaye and her children,” states the Independent.
The last report on this said that EMI, which holds the rights to Gaye’s music, on behalf of his children, Nona Gaye, Marvin Gaye III, and Frankie Gaye, was understood to be ready to give the greenlight to Julien Temple’s $8 million film. I’m not sure about the role of his 2 wives, or if they have any say in the matter anyway.
But, basically, it looks like it’ll be a challenge for any filmmaker interested in making a Marvin Gaye film to pass all those tests, and make everybody happy! So, I’m not sure what all this means for Temple’s Midnight Love project, if anything at all.
Oh, and as for who should play Marvin Gaye, the Independent article states that Janis has “strong opinions” about who should tackle the role, and it’s not any of the names we’ve already heard mentioned. For Janis Gaye, Denzel Washington is her man!
“I don’t think too many people have seen Denzel dance but from what I hear, he can cut a pretty cool rug. I just feel he would be the ideal Marvin, if there is such a thing,” she said.
Again, does she have any say in whether/how this film is made? It doesn’t look much like it. If rights to his music have already been granted, or are in the process of being granted, then all else is mute, right? Or am I just missing something?
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