CANNES: Terrence Howard In Talks To Play Cameron Crowe’s Marvin Gaye

Terrence HowardEXCLUSIVE: The actor tells me he has been talking to Cameron Crowe about starring as soul singer Marvin Gaye. Crowe has been working for 3½ years on the Sony biopic. The director has gone back to the drawing board after Will Smith turned down the role. Mowtown founder Berry Gordy Jr. is supporting the project, which has secured rights to Gaye’s music. Scott Rudin is attached as producer. Howard, of course, is a singer himself. Marvin Gaye was one of the influences on his debut album Shine Through It. “Nothing’s been signed on paper yet,” Howard tells me. “Everybody who loves music will hate me if I get this one wrong.”

Comments (40)

  • Should be Chris Tucker!

    Comment by stein — Sunday, 16 May 2010 13:48 UK  
    • Terrence Howard would be great! Awsome choice! Chris Tucker would be one big Joke…………..

      Comment by Courtney — Sunday, 16 May 2010 19:27 UK  
  • I wonder how much interest there is in a Marvin Gaye bio. I’m not that interested but I’ll see whatever Crowe puts out there. Not really crazy about the Howard selection though. Whatever happened to Jesse L. Martin playing this part? I bet he’d be good. Is Howard that much more of a draw than Martin?

    Comment by MIke — Sunday, 16 May 2010 14:33 UK  
  • In Howard we trust.

    Comment by Alboone — Sunday, 16 May 2010 14:52 UK  
  • I thought the guy from “law and Order” was supposed to play him?

    Comment by phillyboy — Sunday, 16 May 2010 15:30 UK  
  • Will Smith might be right box office choice, but artistically, Howard is better casting. Great choice for the role.

    Comment by Jordan — Sunday, 16 May 2010 16:41 UK  
  • It’s about time Crowe comes through with a quality project. It’s been a long time since Almost Famous and Elizabethtown still gives me nightmares….

    Comment by BA — Sunday, 16 May 2010 17:12 UK  
  • Why would you make this movie with CCrowe. Talented Yes. But not for a project like this!!! Marvin Gaye-to dark a story(no pun intended) CCrowe to frilly to milk toast. And on top of that who really knows who Marvin Gaye was in the overall marketplace of people attending movies in todays market place If it aint CGI 3D and eye popping effects..do people go? Of course Barry Gordy is behind the project. But is Sony getting any money from him..bet not? Whatever amount CCrowe’s budget he signs off on. It wont come back to Sony. Amy let it go. Not worth the agony of defeat. You will be disappointed believe me.

    Comment by Not the right director or story — Sunday, 16 May 2010 17:22 UK  
  • Say what you want about his diva tendencies and seeming insanity, Terrence Howard is a very talented dude. I’d love to see this.

    Comment by Jay — Sunday, 16 May 2010 17:38 UK  
  • There were two other Gaye projects — one was the Jesse Martin-Gandolfini one which didn’t have the rights to the music catalog, one was a biopic to be directed by F. Gary Gray, and then this one. (One has to ask that if this is a Motown-pushed project — does that mean there’ll be nothing about Sexual Healing, recorded after Marvin’s untidy departure from the Motown label? And how will it treat Marvin’s first marriage, to Berry Gordy’s sister?)

    Cameron Crowe knows more about music than almost any other director out there; I have faith in him to get the music right, and I think that the constraints of life events and biopic genre will help curb the excesses and messiness that led to something like Elizabethtown. I think Howard could be good in this role, provided that it’s the T-Howard of Boycott and Hustle and Flow and not the Howard who showed up for Iron Man.

    The bigger problem isn’t that there wasn’t incident in Marvin Gaye’s life — there was, and a lot of it. The problem is, how do you do a film about Gaye’s life that isn’t a complete downer? The guy was shot dead by his own father after struggling with depression, drug addiction, and BEATING his dad shortly before his dad killed him. Marvin was a terrific musician, but an asshole. (Ray Charles was also an asshole, too, and one of the smart things Hackford did with Ray was make it much more about the music and then beating the drug addiction, since Ray’s life didn’t have a redemptive love story in it the way that Walk the Line did.)

    It’s the opposite of the Otis Redding problem, where Otis was an amazing musician, whom everybody loved, who got along with everybody without incident, who then crossed over via Monterey Pop, was about to do incredible new things as seen with Dock of the Bay, then died in a plane crash. With Otis, there wasn’t drama for a movie. With Marvin, there’s tons of drama — it’s just a huge bummer of a story about a talented musician whose life was a mess and just got worse. I’m sure Crowe and the Sony folks see that as the biggest challenge, and I’ll be interested to see how they address it.

    Comment by WhatsGoingOn — Sunday, 16 May 2010 18:38 UK  
    • Don’t forget the transvestitism. Shit got crazy.

      Comment by mo — Monday, 17 May 2010 00:05 UK  
  • Please not this…’vainglorious’…self-regarding narcissist actor person.
    Marvin’s special. The guy from Law+Order has the jaw and is a good actor – Marvin is too big a star for this – physicality matters. Because whoever plays him can GIVE UP trying to sound like him.

    Comment by tammy — Sunday, 16 May 2010 18:41 UK  
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