Jesse L. Martin Set to Play Marvin Gaye in Biopic

He replaces Lenny Kravitz in the upcoming feature film.

Posted: 03/05/2013 09:15 AM EST
Marvin Gaye, Jesse L. Martin

Hollywood is known for its controversial casting choices. But in the case of Marvin Gaye’s onscreen story, it appears this time the biopic gods got it right.

Deadline is reporting that now Jesse L. Martin has been cast in the upcoming Julian Temple-directed Gaye biopic, Sexual Healing.

Lenny Kravitz was slated to star in this incarnation of the film production last November. However the Motown legend’s son Marvin Gaye III requested that Kravitz, who is his childhood friend, drop out of the film. Gaye the third also threatened legal action against the movie.

Ironically, Martin was the first choice for an alternate version of Sexual Healing back when it was being produced by Sopranos star James Gandolfini five years ago. In addition to having a strong resemblance to the soul icon, Martin, who is currently starring in the TV musical drama series Smash, is also an accomplished singer who starred in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Rent.

Temple’s Sexual Healing is scheduled to begin shooting in Europe later this month.

Thus far, Marvin Gaye III has no objections to this casting choice.

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(Photos from left: Wikicommons, D Dipasupil/Getty Images)

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