Musical biopics: love them, hate them, or (even) feel indifferent all you like, but they’re still coming down the line. Case in point would be stories from Deadline and London Evening Standard, the batch of which tell about pictures focused on the lives / careers of Susan Boyle and Marvin Gaye, respectively, and how there’s some humanity lying at the center of these people. Or, something in that key. (Pardon.)
Both actually have good chances, but, with one being a more noteworthy outing, we might as well talk about it first. The outlet tell us Fox Searchlight are mashing the hit, biographical UK play I Dreamed a Dream with Boyle’s own life rights — something the studio, in a Logan’s Run-like way, now “own” the rights to — to make what, by all accounts, sounds like a musical. Rather, it’s the impression this writer gets upon reading I Dreamed a Dream — fair to expect that ends up being the title — is both a filmed version of its staged counterpart (enough in itself) and, in the words of producer Lucas Webb, “a sensitive and honest biopic infused with music.”
So, unsurprisingly, what we’ll get is a birth-to-now peek into Boyle’s existence, from simple woman living in Scotland to international singing sensation. Not knowing much about her life or career, personally, I’m willing to accept this proposition if there’s actually a good story (and some nice tracks) lying at the bottom of it all. Otherwise, no deal.
The other project, Sexual Healing, is a few steps ahead. This Marvin Gaye-centered film has, thus far, managed to grab Lenny Kravitz as its lead and rock documentarian Julien Temple to direct; there’s no word on who might have composed (or will handle) the screenplay, however. But we do know the project, sure to be titled after one of his songs, shines a light on the man’s last few years, from time spent in London around 1981 — drugs and a neglect of taxes abounded — to a 1984 murder at the hands of his own father.
There’s some addiction recovery material in-between, of course, and, while I know how sick you must be of that onscreen ordeal, perhaps their handling will be ideal. Such optimism is, I know, open to a bad result, but positive vibes help the world go ’round.
Do you see a good reason to make either person’s life into the subject of a film?
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