Lenny Kravitz Will Play Soul Legend Marvin Gaye in Biopic

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A piece of news that got lost in the holiday shuffle and seemed unconfirmed at best was the casting of Hunger Games star Lenny Kravitz as Marvin Gaye for an upcoming biopic by Julien Temple. Deadline has confirmed the news. The Grammy-winning singer will be reprising his role as Katniss Everdeen’s Capitol-appointed stylist Cinna in the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, and he’ll make an appearance in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, but this will be the first major, lead film role for Kravitz.

Sex Pistols doc director and Absolute Beginners filmmaker Temple will pick up Gaye’s story in the untitled biopic during his London years in the 1980s. “It will look at the soul singer’s attempt to get his addictions under control and career back on track with the help of British music promoter Freddy Cousaert,” Deadline reports. The website’s inside source indicates that “the music rights issues have been sorted out on this one,” which sounds promising. The most popular track to come out of Gaye’s troubled UK relocation was “Sexual Healing,” from his first post-Motown album, Midnight Love. A few years later, Gaye’s father shot him to death. There have been other biopics on the horizon, but nothing has panned out (including one from Cameron Crowe) — and certainly nothing with a talent like Kravitz attached. Can he pull it off?