Dr. Dre to produce Marvin Gaye biopic, ‘What’s Going On’

The film is slated to debut in 2023
Dr. Dre
Photo credit Getty Images
By , Audacy

After Warner Bros. spent more than $80 million to attain the script for the biopic, What’s Going On about Marvin GayeDr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are gearing up to produce the new film.

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Deadline reported that the studio acquired the rights to the initial script, which was written by poet and playwright, Marcus GardleyAllen Hughes, whose directorial credits include The Book of Eli and Menace II Society, has been tapped to direct the upcoming biographical film.

In a press statement, Hughes shared, “This is so personal for me. When I made my first film with my brother, we were fortunate to get What’s Going On into the trailer for Menace II Society, and it was a game changer in elevating the marketing of that film. Every film of mine but the period film From Hell had some Marvin Gaye in it, and I’ve just always connected to him.”

Both Dre and Iovine have worked with Hughes in the past, dating back to their work on the 2017 HBO miniseries, The Defiant Ones, which captured the story of Dre and Iovine’s partnership.

Hughes explained, “You’ve heard of all these big-name directors that have tried for 35 years to consolidate these rights, this tarted with Dre, saying let’s do this together, and then Jimmy came on, and Andrew Lazar, and we worked with the estate, with Motown and some other things that needed to be tied down, and we got it done.”

Deadline has also reported that the film will not be presented in the typical movie viewing fashion, but will instead be a “musical odyssey and theatrical experience,” to celebrate the legendary Motown artist.

The film will look into the women in Gaye’s life who played a role in influencing his career and served as the inspiration behind some of his most famed love songs. The biopic will also look at his difficult relationship with his father, and other life events that molded his final tour.

The What’s Going On biopic is set to go into production next year and has a tentative release date of 2023, both in theaters and on HBO Max.

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