Detroit-born Allen Hughes will direct and produce "What’s Going On," the Marvin Gaye biopic just landed by Warner Bros, Hollywood media outlets report.
Hughes — who with his brother directed and in many cases produced "The Book of Eli," "From Hell," "Menace II Society" and other films — will also produce with Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine and Andrew Lazar.
The project will "finally ... bring to the screen the singer’s story, after many previous attempts by different filmmakers stalled or fell short of the rights needed," Deadline Hollywood writes.
“This is so personal for me,” Hughes told Deadline. “When I made my first film with my brother, we were fortunate to get 'What’s Going On' into the trailer for Menace 2 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.
"He’s the artist’s artist, with this ethereal voice that just comes out of the heavens. There have been plenty of great artists, and then Marvin, in his own lane. When you listen, in one measure you feel like you’ve read a novel. Such a rich inner life in that voice, heavenly but riddled with pain, the agony and ecstasy at the same time."
The late Motown singer's 1971 album "What's Going On" was inspired partly by his time in Detroit, which coincided with the 1967 Rebellion.