Robeson

Paul RobesonStatus:  Development Status Unknown as of April 24, 2017
Release Date: TBA
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating:  Not Available
Studio:  Four Stars International/Equinox Films
Director:  Vondie Curtis-Hall
Cast:  David Harewood (Paul Robeson), Louis Gossett, Jr. (W.E.B. Dubois), Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Eslanda Goode Robeson).

Details:  Variety reports that Vondie Curtis-Hall will direct the upcoming Paul Robeson biopic with shooting set for early 2014.

“Robeson” has been in development since early 2013 with South African director Darrell Roodt attached to helm and David Harewood on board to play the lead. Roodt is no longer attached and producers have opted to read other actors for the role.

Robeson, born in 1898, was a singer, actor and orator from the 1920s through the 1950s best known for his  acting in “Othello” and his singing of “Ol’ Man River.” Robeson’s political activism brought him to the attention of Senator Joseph McCarthy, leading to the revocation of his passport for eight years despite his contributions as an entertainer to the Allied forces during WWII. (Source: Variety).

Sexual Healing

Jesse L. Martin as Marvin GayeStatus:  Development Status Unknown as of June 14, 2013
Release Date: TBA
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating:  Not Available
Studio:  Arclight Films
Director: Julien Temple
Cast:  Jesse L. Martin (Marvin Gaye),  Brendan Gleeson (Freddy Cousaert),  S. Epatha Merkerson (Alberta Gay), Clarke Peters (Harvey Fuqua), Dwight Henry (Marvin Gaye, Sr.)

Story: The movie chronicles late Motown legend Marvin Gaye’s self-imposed exile in Europe after years of battling drugs, domestic issues and label headaches. There, he was rescued by a promoter who helped Gaye record his biggest-selling album, “Midnight Love,” which yielded the monster comeback hit, “Sexual Healing.”  Gaye’s life was cut short the day before his 45th birthday in 1984, when his father killed him.

Details: The pic will center on the final years of Gaye’s life in London from 1981, when he was suffering from an addiction to alcohol and an allergy to the taxman, and how he was rescued by music promoter Freddy Cousaert and spirited away to his flat in Ostend, Belgium, to recover.

Various producers have spent years trying to make a movie about Gaye. Originally, the project was intended to cover a larger portion of his life but was refocused on his final years because of rights issues with his Motown-produced records.

As reported by Rolling Stone Magazine in March 2013, Lenny Kravitz dropped out of the long-anticipated biopic to be replaced by Law & Order alumnus Jesse L. Martin. Deadline Hollywood reports. Martin, was actually attached to star in a previous version of the film which was being produced by James Gandolfini back in 2008. No word was given for why Kravitz bowed out, though news that the rocker would be portraying Gaye reportedly led to objections from the singer’s son, Marvin Gaye III, who threatened legal action if Kravitz did not drop out. (Source(s): Black Actors; Movie Insider; Photo Credit:  ThisisRnB.com).