Warner Bros. has acquired What’s Going On, a new biopic about Marvin Gaye from music icons Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine.
Allen Hughes, (Menace II Society, The Book of a Eli) will be the film’s director working off a script written by poet and playwright Marcus Gardley. Hughes previously worked with Dr. Dre and Iovine on their 2017 documentary, The Defiant Ones.
The film has the full support of Gaye’s estate and Motown Records and will feature music from the singer’s legendary catalog.
Gaye, a timeless and global sensation, and one of Motown’s most famous artists is remembered for timeless classic hits such as “Sexual Healing”, “What’s Going On”, and his version of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”.
In 1971, when Detroit was recovering from the violence of the 60s, "What's going on" came out and as a teenager in Detroit, I knew this song was for us.
Today, I am honored to join the Gaye family in announcing that this section of W. Outer Dr. will forever be Marvin Gaye Dr. pic.twitter.com/Cc3uGvtOxQ
— Mayor Mike Duggan (@MayorMikeDuggan) June 19, 2021
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 his Los Angeles home.
“Marvin Gaye is the artist’s artist, with his ethereal voice that just comes out of the heavens” said Hughes in a statement. “There have been plenty of great artists, and then Marvin, in his own lane. When you listen, on one measure you feel like you’ve read a novel. Such a rich inner life in that voice, heavenly but riddled with pain, the agony and ecstasy at the same time.”
Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. has committed a budget of $80 million for the film. That would make it the highest budget ever for an African American musical biopic.
A release date is being targeted for 2023.