Lenny Kravitz is now out of an acting gig. Originally announced to be portraying Marvin Gaye in an upcoming biopic, the rock star has been replaced with accomplished actor Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order).
Deadline reports that Martin will be playing the late Gaye in the forthcoming Julien Temple produced film called S-xual Healing. When Kravitz was announced as the long in the works project’s lead, it was titled Midnight Love. The movie will still focus on the R&B crooner’s career after 1981 and during the recording of his Midnight Love album (where his hit single “S-xual Healing” appears) while in London and Brussels when he was battling drug addiction, sorting out tax troubles and trying to get his life in order.
The film is scheduled to start shooting later this month in Europe.
Martin was actually slated to play the role of Gaye five years ago. At that time, actor James Gandolfini was producing the picture.
When Kravitz was announced to be playing the lead this past November, there were some objections, with some pointing at Kravitz’s fair skinned complexion as a cause for concern. Also, Gaye’s son, Marvin Gaye III, who went to school with Kravitz, threatened to sue the production. “The producers and directors of this film are very wrong and shameful … [They’re] trying to do a film about a low period in his life. They don’t even know the whole story,” Gaye III told TMZ.
On April 1, 1984, Gaye was shot dead in his bedroom in Los Angeles at the hands of his own father. He was 44 years-old.