Hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre is working on a new film about Marvin Gaye. As Variety reports, the project is still in its early stages of pre-production, but has already reached at least one milestone: It’s the first Gaye biopic to be officially authorized by his family.
While Dr. Dre has made his name in music, his ventures into film have also garnered success, most notably 2015’s Straight Outta Compton, for which he served as producer. The biopic on N.W.A. was a box office hit and went on to nab an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Coincidentally, Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray had been previously attached to past Gaye biopics that ultimately never came to fruition.
A timeless and global sensation, and one of Motown’s most famous artists, Gaye is remembered by hits such as “What’s Going On”, “Sexual Healing”, “Let’s Get It On”, and his version of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”. The Grammy-winning soul and R&B singer was just 44 years old when he was fatally shot by his father on April 1, 1984, at their Los Angeles home.
Along with Gray, Jesse L. Martin, James Gandolfini, and Cameron Crowe have all tried to bring a film on Gaye to life. Most recently, in 2016 the Gaye estate had signed off on a limited series with Jamie Foxx, but not much progress has been made in the years since.
In an interesting twist of fate, Dr. Dre is represented by King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, the same legal firm which defended Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams in the “Blurred Lines” plagiarism case from 2015. A jury eventually found Thicke and Williams guilty of copying Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up”; they were ordered to pay $7.3 million dollars in damages to the Gaye estate.