Now that you can pop down to Target and pick up the Musician Biopic Paint-by-Numbers set for a few bucks, it’s about time F. Gary Gray got into the action. I don’t have anything against Gray, exactly. His movies are unremarkable but often entertaining; The Italian Job is as good a way to kill two hours as many other pieces of action-oriented pop moviemaking in the past few years.
This might be the material to elevate him. Marvin Gaye’s life story has long been a dream project for Gray, and now that he’s cleared the most important music rights he’s about to embark on Marvin, with C. Gaby Mitchell writing. Anyone called Martin Lawrence yet? God, I hope not.
“This is my passion project, the one that I wake up every day thinking about,” said Gray to Variety. “I’m going to tell a truthful story…This isn’t the average biopic of a rock star wrestling with drugs and women, but a man whose musical awakening became a call to action that questioned critical issues like a costly foreign war, recession, environment, inequality — issues that are relevant now.”
There’s another Marvin Gaye picture in the works, too, from James Gandolfini. He’s working as producer and actor, but the film is meant to concentrate on the later years of Gaye’s life, in part due to those pesky music clearances. No surprise; we do all know here how Gandolfini likes his sexual healing.