When Jesse L. Martin first told me that he was going to play Marvin Gaye in the long-awaited biopic on late Motown legend I was very pleased. One, because Martin is a fine actor and he has the chops to tackle such a complex personality. Two, the man can sang. Not sing, sang. And three, there was a very obvious physical resemblance to Gaye, who was shot to death by his father on April 1, 1984.
Well, just as Martin is preparing to start shooting "Sexual Healing" comes word that there's yet another Gaye feature in the works. This one will be directed by the superb F. Gary Gray ("The Italian Job," "Set it Off") but has yet to be written. There have been rumblings that Usher wants to play the lead in the Gray project. I have nothing against Usher but if I were Gray, I'd go with someone a little more mature. Like Martin, Usher is a great singer but his acting skills are severely limited. He's cool on something like "Moesha," but I don't know that I'd bet on him being able to carry a film dealing with such heady subject matter as the Marvin Gaye story.
Marvin was always one of the coolest and talented musicians on the scene back in the day, but the brother did have some issues.
I could be wrong though. Is there a need for two Gaye movies? And if so, who would you rather hear sing "Let's Get it On?"