Deadline reports that 'Rent' star Jesse L. Martin will take over the role of legendary Motown singer Marvin Gaye in Julien Temple's upcoming biopic SEXUAL HEALING. Lenny Kravitz was originally cast in the part. Production is scheduled to begin later this month in Europe.
According to the report, the film caused a stir last fall when Gaye's son, Marvin Gaye III objected to the casting of Kravitz in the role of his father and demanded that he drop out of the project or face legal action against the film.
The movie will be set during the period that Gaye spent in Europe in the early 1980s, "when the soul singer attempted to get his addictions under control and career back on track with the help of British music promoter Freddy Cousaert (Gleason)."
The artist was fatally shot by his father in Los Angeles on April 1 1984 and died in Los Angeles on April 1, 1984.
After an extensive career on Broadway in "Rent" and other productions, Martin initially attracted attention on television for his portrayal of a doctor who was the love interest for the title character in "Ally McBeal." He then played Detective Ed Green on "Law & Order" from 1999 to 2008 and later starred on the series "The Philanthropist." He recently had a recurring role on NBC's Smash.
Martin later returned to the stage in "The Merchant of Venice" and "A Winter's Tale" at The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. He accompanied "The Merchant of Venice" when it was later staged at the Broadhurst Theater in New York.
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