Dr. Dre is working on a movie about the late singer Marvin Gaye, Variety has learned. The rapper, whose film credits include 2015’s “Straight Outta Compton,” on which he served as a producer and an inspiration for the film, is in the early stages of getting the project off the ground. And rights to use Gaye’s music has been secured, according to sources. Sony/ATV Music Publishing is home to Gaye’s songwriting credits.
There have been multiple attempts to give Gaye the biopic treatment. The soul singer behind such hits as “What’s Going On,” “Sexual Healing” and “Let’s Get It On” became one of Motown’s most successful artists before he was fatally shot in 1984 at age 44 by his father following a family dispute in their Los Angeles home. F. Gary Gray, Cameron Crowe, James Gandolfini, Scott Rudin and actors including Jesse L. Martin and Lenny Kravitz all have tried to bring Gaye’s story to the screen, but until now, none had been authorized by Gaye’s family.
The most recent project to get the sign off from the Gaye estate was with Jamie Foxx who landed the rights for a limited series in 2016 but that project has seen no movement in the years since.
As for Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, the hip-hop legend has dabbled as both in feature projects both in front of the camera in films like “Training Day” and “Car Wash” as well as producing. He most recently worked on “Straight Outta Compton”, which chronicled the rise of his hip-hop group N.W.A and was exec produced by Dre and fellow N.W.A member Ice Cube. The pic was a massive hit and also scored an Oscar nomination for original screenplay.
In a curious twist of fate, Dre is represented by King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, the same legal firm which defended Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams against the Gaye estate in the closely-monitored “Blurred Lines” trial in 2015. The verdict found in favor of the Gaye family, which contended that “Blurred Lines” infringed on Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up” and ordered Thicke and Williams to pay millions in statutory damages.
Dr.Dre out and about
Dr.Dre out and about
COMPTON, CA - JANUARY 15: Apple Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson and Dr. Dre help distribute iPads to students at Jefferson Elementary School on January 15, 2016 in Compton, California. Jefferson Elementary is one of 114 schools that received a ConnectED grant from Apple. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for Beats By Dre)
COMPTON, CA - JANUARY 15: Apple Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson (R) and Dr. Dre help distribute iPads to students at Jefferson Elementary School on January 15, 2016 in Compton, California. Jefferson Elementary is one of 114 schools that received a ConnectED grant from Apple. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for Beats By Dre)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 22: Rapper/music producer Dr. Dre (L) and Chairman Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records Jimmy Iovine attend the premiere of HBO's 'The Defiant Ones' at Paramount Theatre on June 22, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27: LL Cool J (L) and Dr. Dre attend 'The Defiant Ones' New York premiere at Time Warner Center on June 27, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 15: Dr. Dre performs onstage with Eminem during the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 15, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella)
Jimmy Iovine Dr.Dre and Snoop Dogg (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage for The Recording Academy)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 15: Dr Dre seen during Red Carpet Arrivals Special Screening of Netflix's The Defiant Ones at Brixton Picturehouse on March 15, 2018 in London, England.
PHOTOGRAPH BY Jamy / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read Jamy / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Dr. Dre attends 'The Defiant Ones' special screening on March 15, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 22: Producer Dr. Dre (L) and HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler pose at the after party for the premiere screening of HBO's 'The Defiant Ones' at Paramount Studios on June 22, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: Dr. Dre poses in the press room at the 31st Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and DJ Yella of N.W.A. speak onstage at the 31st Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 10: Dr. Dre, wife Nicole Young and family attend the premiere of 'Straight Outta Compton' at Microsoft Theater on August 10, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: Nicole Young and Dr. Dre attend WSJ. Magazine's 'Innovator Of The Year' Awards at Museum of Modern Art on November 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)