You may not know this but writer-director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) really likes music. His last film, the 2005 fiasco Elizabethtown, was basically a two-hour mixtape. But for the past 3 ½ years, Crowe has been working on a biopic of Motown singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye. In a lengthy article about music biopics, Variety reports that despite Crowe securing extensive music rights and the full cooperation of Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr., the project can’t move forward until Crowe and Sony Pictures can agree on a budget and a star. Crowe says his biopic will be music-centric (as opposed, presumably, to personal drama about Gaye’s life) and will turn his focus to the Gaye’s continuing influence.
In a fun bit of trivia, Crowe previously attempted a biopic of “Wall of Sound” music producer Phil Spector following Crowe’s 1996 movie Jerry Maguire. Crowe wanted Tom Cruise to star as Spector, but eventually decided that at the time “the third act [of Spector’s life] had not been written.” In 2009, Spector was convicted of 2nd degree murder and sentenced to 19 years to life. Since Spector is 70-years-old, I think that about wraps up the third act.