Noah Media Group and Greenlight are developing a documentary movie about the life of soul musician Marvin Gaye. “Marvin, What’s Going On?” centers on Gaye’s creation of his seminal 1971 album “What’s Going On” and marks the first time that his children — Nona, Marvin III and Frankie Gaye — along with his former wife, Janis Gaye, have supported and contributed to such a project.
The film, slated to go into production this year, will be “the defining portrait of this visionary artist and his impeccable album,” according to a statement from the film’s producers.
The album, which was recorded at the height of Detroit’s Motown era, was set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Gaye produced an album that “challenged America and the world to self-reflect, going on to inspire a generation of artists and music lovers,” the producers said. “The relevance of [his] masterpiece…is as strong as ever.”
Gabriel Clarke and Torquil Jones will co-direct, with their Noah Media Group partners John McKenna and Victoria Barrell producing, who together made up the team behind documentary movie “Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans.” The film will be produced in conjunction with Greenlight, part of Branded Entertainment Network, which represents the personality rights and trademarks of Marvin Gaye.
The documentary is to be filmed on location in Detroit, Los Angeles and Washington, and will feature exclusive interviews with some of Motown’s top stars and never-before-seen archive footage unearthed by Gaye’s children and former wife. The film is set to be released next year.
Gaye’s children said in a joint statement: “We would like to express our excitement about the upcoming documentary feature film about our father and the creation of his amazing ‘What’s Going On’ album. We are proud that his relevance remains intact, and we look forward to being a part of this cinematic journey.
“Our father was complex, but we are confident that with Noah Media Group’s attention to detail and their dedication to the truth, the positive, inspirational and aspirational aspects of his life will be handled and shared with the world in a way never seen before.
“We look forward to participating and sharing what we can through friends, family, photos, footage and priceless stories that only those who knew our father up close and personal would know, as well as his contemporaries, purists and fans who have studied him and his art over decades.
“’What’s Going On?’…something many of us find ourselves asking today, 45 years later. Peace.”
Lloyd Winston of Greenlight said: “We are honored to have the opportunity to extend the legacy of Marvin Gaye through this film and to inspire a whole new audience with this story. Noah Media Group has a proven track record for exploring moments in history through fascinating characters and we look forward to taking this journey with them.”
Noah Media Group said: “It is an honor to work with Nona, Marvin III, Frankie and Jan Gaye to tell such an important and timely story about an individual who used his unique musical gift to impact not only his generation, but generations to follow.”