Biopics are one of the most successful genres for Hollywood. This generation especially is seeing an increase in the number of biopics being produced. Whether it is "Straight Outta Compton", "The Social Network", "Selma", " I, Tonya", or " Hidden Figures", biopics are everywhere. For the most part, they are very successful.
Two of the most recent biopics to come out of last year were "Bohemian Rhapsody", centered around Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury; and "Vice", centered on George W. Bush's vice president Dick Cheney. They were both critically acclaimed and took home several Oscars.
Hollywood is not going to stop with the biopics, with several others revolving around pop culture icons Elton John to Mr. Rogers to even Hulk Hogan, in either the development stages or post-production. But, my question through all of this is: where is the Marvin Gaye biopic, and why has it taken so long?
Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. had a major impact on Motown music in the 1960s and became known over the years as "The Prince of Soul". There was no other artist out there like him that matched his soulful wisdom or his lyrical style. Gaye was one of the few music artists that were able to come out with hit after hit songs ("What's Going On", "Let's Get it On", " Sexual Healing", and "Got to Give it Up", just to name a few).
A Marvin Gaye biopic has been in the works since the early 2000s, but the major hurdle holding up a film from gaining any serious movement was the Gaye family estate. The Gaye family estate have prevented filmmakers in the past from getting any work done on Marvin's story, but they seem to have become comfortable with the idea in recent years.
It was reported in 2016 that Jamie Foxx, who starred in his own biopic centered around musician Ray Charles in 2004, was set to produce a limited series on Gaye's life. To add, around last summer, it was also reported that Dr. Dre would be producing a Marvin Gaye biopic, but any word either of those fronts since then has been nonexistent.
Marvin Gaye's story is one of success and, unfortunately, tragedy, but it is one that more audiences need to know about and become familiar with, the music included. Without Gaye, there would not be artists like Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, or The Weekend. I'm a Queen fan and I understand their influence on music, but they should not have a film before Marvin Gaye. I would love to see "What's Going On" reach # 1 on iTunes someday.
Even if it is a result of a film, at least more people would now be aware of the great music and talent that is Marvin Gaye. The same issues that Marvin preached about in his music that acted as a social commentary for the times are still relevant today and would be a great message for general audiences in a film.
Gaye was more than a musician. He was a conveyor of peace who was one of the few who knew what was going on in the world.