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Cameron Crowe Also Quietly Working on a Marvin Gaye Biopic

by
April 5, 2010
Source: Collider

Marvin Gaye

If you're a fan of filmmaker Cameron Crowe, then you already know that he is deeply passionate about music, and he brings that fire to his films from Almost Famous (one of my personal favorites) to even the less praiseworthy Elizabethtown, which is mostly a personal love letter to his father and the power of the mix tape more than anything. Now, deep in a lengthy Variety article about music biopics, Collider's watchful eyes noticed that there's mentions of Crowe working on a Marvin Gaye biopic for the last three years, but he's had some trouble coming to an agreement with Sony on a budget and the film's yet-to-be-found star.

Having secured the music rights and having cooperation from Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr., the film (also being produced by Scott Rudin) is being retooled in the midst of negotiations on just how much it's going to cost outside of music rights, not to mention who will play the iconic Motown singer/songwriter. Apparently Will Smith had been discussing the project with Crowe and Sony for awhile, but eventually passed on the project, so that gives us kind of an idea of the talent they're looking for to fill Gaye's shoes.

If you're unfamiliar with the musician and singer, these are some big shoes to fill as the man is responsible for hits like What's Going On and the smooth favorite Let's Get It On, not to mention serving as inspiration for artists such as Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder to get out of the recording industry and produce their own music. Since Crowe has mostly had music roots (at least as far as showcasing them on screen) in classic rock, a biopic featuring Motown music would be an interesting change of pace. Either way, it's been far too long since Crowe directed a film, so I hope this or his adaptation of We Bought a Zoo gets going very soon.

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  • People's Champ
    Takes forever to get these movies going. Wont be ready for awhile.
  • What's Going On is one of the greatest albums of all time. Going from the Motown pop machine to that was quite a step for Marvin Gaye. It's still powerful music now. His last few years were embarrassing however, getting down to his underwear on stage coked out of his face, it's no wonder his father, (a religious loon) shot him. I think as biopics go, it would be good to see a Nina Simone film, but I doubt that will happen. Curtis Mayfield or James Brown would be incredibly interesting too. It'll probably be the king of pap before either of those supremos I think, cheeseball dancing, fun park ranches, a messiah complex win out much more than actual music.
  • Frightened Inmate #2
    Biopics they should make: Rick James Roy Orbison Marc Bolan Velvet Underground New York Dolls Rozz Williams I wish they would get going on the Jimi Hendrix movie and Motley Crue "The Dirt"
  • Larry "Syid" wright
    Prince of Hitsville is the story of events leading up to Marvin Gaye making one of the greatest albums ever. Being a short film (38mins) it doesn’t have time to cover all of Gaye’s life, instead it smartly opts to show a small but important part of it. Drama ensues as Gaye fights with the music studio to put out his political album. Throughout all of this he must deal with his brother coming home from Vietnam and over-dosing on drugs. But all of this only makes Marvin stronger and more diligent in getting his new album released. Talent can be seen in Will Dalton, playing the lead. Director and writer Larry “Syid” Wright does a good job of weaving music into the story, for obvious reasons the songs are original and not those of Gaye’s. But the music is still enjoyable. Worth checking out if you come across it. Director: Larry “Syid” Wright Stars: Will Dalton Prince of Hitsville Official Site By Trevor Anderson 2 1/2 stars out of 4
  • ryderup
    Finish the Pearl Jam Doc for god sakes!

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