Just when we thought we were gonna get a Marvin Gaye movie, it might be snatched away from us...again!
Remember when news of the movie first came out and Jessie L. Martin of NBC's "Law & Order" was attached to it?
Then for some reason it didn't happen. Maybe it's just me, but I don't believe that Martin was actually officially cast in the project. It sure seemed like the sensible thing since he looks so much like Marvin Gaye. The producers saw it differently and decided to cast Lenny Kravitz in the role.
However, Kravitz ended up backing out of the project due to pressure from Marvin's family. Then, Martin was "officially" hired to replace him. Now, Marvin's ex-wife, Janis Hunter, is reportedly urging him to follow in Kravitz's footsteps and walk away from the project.
Hunter was married to Marvin from 1977 to 1981. It's been reported that she is furious about plans to make this movie. The film was to be based off of a book called "My Brother Marvin" (written by Marvin's sister, Zeola), which Janis has described as a little difficult to read.
Will Jessie back out? I certainly hope not. I really think we deserve a Marvin Gaye movie. We have loved Marvin for years and still do nearly 30 years after his death. His music still touches us today.
It's quite understandable that there are probably some aspects of his life that some of his family would rather not become public. It's also understandable that there may be some aspects of "their" live that they would rather not become public. And when his story is told, their story will be indirectly told as well.
It reminds me of another film that we may never see, the biopic of James Brown. As it stands right now, there is a great script just sitting there collecting dust waiting on family members and those who have the rights to his story to reach an amicable agreement. Spike Lee is reportedly attached to the project as director, with Eddie Murphy chosen for the role.
But we may never see this project, at least with Eddie Murphy in it. He's 51. There's only gonna be so long before he's not able to do those splits that James Brown used to do. I don't think James Brown himself was doing those at 51.
When I think of these types of movies, I often think of the 2004 hit movie "Ray," which was the biopic of singer Ray Charles. We have loved Ray Charles for years. And still do years after his death. But there are parts of the movie where we weren't supposed to like him. There were some things he did that we really didn't care for. However, we still loved him. And the movie was great. As a matter of fact, he was discovered by youngsters who didn't even know Ray Charles.
His music is woven into the fabric of popular culture and we cannot forget that. He wasn't just this supernatural being whose life was just as perfect as his music. Ray Charles was a human being...and guess what? So was Marvin. I'd be willing to bet the farm that after the movie is made and we actually get to see all sides of the man we have loved for years, we will still love him after the credits roll.
This Friday, visit the website and check out the all new "What's Happening Radio Show." Each and every Friday you can stay connected to what's happening in the city. My special guest this week will be Memphis' own Tim Terry. He's gonna talk about his latest single, his upcoming tour and his charity, The Born to Live Foundation. He is also working on his third album. You can get all that plus the Hollywood Report and other great features. New episodes will be posted each Friday at 11 a.m. at www.whatshappeningmyron.com.
Hey, get out to see the Hattiloo Theatre's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." It's playing all this weekend. Tickets start at $18. Call 901-529-0009 for more information or visit thattiloo.org.
Until then, that's what's happening!