Dr Dre to make Marvin Gaye biopic with rights to singer's catalogue

Dr Dre to make Marvin Gaye biopic with rights to singer's catalogue

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The rapper and business mogul Dr Dre is working on a movie about the Motown legend Marvin Gaye, who died in 1984 after being shot by his father.

Dr Dre, founder of Beats Electronics and one of the four original members of the rap group NWA, served as a producer for the Oscar-nominated film Straight Outta Compton, which told NWA’s origin story in southern California. According to Variety, he’s secured the rights to Gaye’s musical catalogue, which includes hits such as What’s Going On and Sexual Healing, and the approval of the Gaye family estate.

Marvin Gaye plays piano as he records in a studio in circa 1974.



Marvin Gaye plays piano as he records in a studio circa 1974. Photograph: Jim Britt/Getty Images

The biopic will not mark the first time someone has attempted to dramatize Gaye’s life on-screen. In 2016, the singer’s estate approved of a limited series starring Jamie Foxx, the first such project to receive the family’s blessing after attempts were made by industry heavyweights such as Cameron Crowe, James Gandolfini and Scott Rudin to produce his life story. Additionally, a documentary about Gaye’s life featuring never-before-seen footage, What’s Going On, was slated to go be released in 2017 but remains in development.

“This project will be a powerful and definitive telling of Marvin Gaye’s life story,” said Gaye’s son, Marvin Gaye III, about the Foxx-produced series at the time.

While the status of the limited series is unclear, Dr Dre is moving ahead with his first feature film since Compton, which grossed over $200m worldwide and was nominated for best original screenplay at the 2016 Academy Awards. The rapper and producer, whose real name is Andre Young, was a subject of the 2017 HBO docu-series The Defiant Ones, in which he can be seen mixing a version of the Gaye classic I Want You.



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