Two of the finest talents to walk the Earth are each getting a well-deserved biopic. In two separate features, Sammy Davis Jr. and Marvin Gaye will have their stories lived out on film, for better or for worse.
Davis took the entertainment world by storm as a comedian, musician, singer and dancer with an eclectic background, marriage controversies steeped in racial prejudice, and as a prominent member of the Rat Pack. The biopic is based heavily on his 1965 memoir titled Yes I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr. The film is being produced by Lionel Richie, a close friend of Davis, and is setup through Paramount Pictures.
Many times a Marvin Gaye biopic has been attempted, and each time it has fallen through. This is largely due to rights and permission issues from the family tied in with the cause of Gaye’s death. In 1984, after a verbal altercation (of which there were many) Gaye’s father pulled out a gun and shot him in the heart. It’s no wonder the family has been wary of allowing a film to actually see the light of day. Jamie Foxx had received the go-ahead from the family’s estate in 2016, but has not begun work on the project at this time. Now, Dr. Dre has secured the rights to Gaye’s songs for use, along with the estate’s blessing to share the musician’s story on the big screen.
Finger’s crossed that both of these films see the light of day and allow the deeper stories behind these artists be told.
Sammy Davis Jr. Biopic Project Sets Up At Paramount Pictures [Deadline]
Dr. Dre Is Making a Movie About Marvin Gaye [Variety]