Jesse L. Martin replaces Lenny Kravitz in Marvin Gaye biopic

Jesse L. MartinTowards the end of November we reported that Lenny Kravitz would star as the prolific rocker Marvin Gaye in a movie about his life. Now Kravitz is out and Jesse L. Martin is in. Martin had been set to portray Gaye in a different Gaye biopic in 2008 that was never realized.

It seems that Kravitz dropped out of the film at the request of his childhood friend, Marvin Gaye III, who is of course Marvin Gaye’s son. Gaye III has been vocal in his dissatisfaction with the project for a while, questioning why his friend would want to take place in what he describes as “shameful and wrong.”

The film, tentatively called Sexual Healing, will center on Gaye trying to sort his life and career out and kick drugs. Janis Gaye, Marvin’s second wife, has also been critical of the project and the fact that it centers on the darker parts of his life including his depression and drug abuse.

Brendan Gleeson will also play an important role in the film as Gaye’s promoter and friend Freddy Cousaert. Filming is set to start later this month.