Marvin Gaye’s estate is famously protective of the late singer’s image and music: They went after Pharrell and Robin Thicke when they thought they borrowed a bit too much from Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” on “Blurred Lines,” and there’s never been an authorized biopic or documentary about the musician. Still, in recent months, the Gaye family his softened up their stance on the singer’s image being used in that sort of thing, as they greenlit a documentary about Gaye this summer, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, the family reached a deal with Jamie Foxx to produce a limited TV series about the famous singer.
The series will be created in partnership with de Passe Entertainment’s Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones, as well as Motown founder Berry Gordy, and they’re supposedly also working on securing the rights to use Gaye’s music in the series. Point being, this is really happening, so now the question is who are they going to get to play Gaye? Law and Order‘s Jesse L. Martin was set to portray Gaye in a biopic that never managed to get off the ground, and while the footage that exists seems to show that he nailed the look, let’s explore who else could potentially take on this role.
Kravitz was actually the first actor to be publicly attached to the aforementioned failed biopic, but Marvin Gaye III reportedly convinced Kravitz to leave the film due to gripes with the script. This could be a good second chance for him, though, and he could definitely have the chops to pull it off. He can sing, as he made obvious with his string of hits from 1999 to 2002, and his appearances in movies like The Hunger Games and Precious.
Legend’s actually getting ready to further establish his film career with a supporting role in Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s La La Land, and he’s charismatic as all hell, so we’d have no objection to this pick. La La Land is also a good warm-up for him playing a musical character, so he’s already limbered up and ready to step into Gaye’s world.
He’s already said it himself sort of: Donald Glover is the black James Franco, in that he can do it all. He’s already proven himself to be an adept singer and dancer and actor, with his Childish Gambino albums and shows, as well as his hit FX series Atlanta, and we’re sure he’d relish the opportunity to play a musical legend he probably looks up to. He’s been getting into more non-comedic roles with his upcoming Star Wars gig, so this could easily be a fit.
Hey, what about Foxx himself? He’s already proven that he can carry a musical biopic playing Ray Charles in Ray, and he has the bonus of already being attached to the project and having creative control over it. He’s another one of those multi-talented guys who can sing as well as he can act, so feel free to grab the reigns, Mr. Foxx.
Featured image: J. Edward Bailey