*A new documentary film centering on the creation of Marvin Gaye’s seminal 1971 album “What’s Going On” will move forward from Noah Media Group and Greenlight with the full blessing of Gaye’s family, marking the first time that his children — Nona, Marvin III and Frankie Gaye — along with his former wife, Janis Gaye, have supported and contributed to any documentary project, reports Variety.
“Marvin, What’s Going On?”, slated to go into production this year, will be “the defining portrait of this visionary artist and his impeccable album,” according to a statement from the film’s producers.
The album, recorded at the height of Detroit’s Motown era, was set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Gaye produced an album that “challenged America and the world to self-reflect, going on to inspire a generation of artists and music lovers,” the producers said. “The relevance of [his] masterpiece…is as strong as ever.”
The documentary is to be filmed on location in Detroit, Los Angeles and Washington, and will feature exclusive interviews with some of Motown’s top stars and never-before-seen archive footage unearthed by Gaye’s children and former wife.
“Marvin, What’s Going On?” is set to be released next year.
Gaye’s children said in a joint statement: “We would like to express our excitement about the upcoming documentary feature film about our father and the creation of his amazing ‘What’s Going On’ album. We are proud that his relevance remains intact, and we look forward to being a part of this cinematic journey.
“Our father was complex, but we are confident that with Noah Media Group’s attention to detail and their dedication to the truth, the positive, inspirational and aspirational aspects of his life will be handled and shared with the world in a way never seen before.
“We look forward to participating and sharing what we can through friends, family, photos, footage and priceless stories that only those who knew our father up close and personal would know, as well as his contemporaries, purists and fans who have studied him and his art over decades.
“’What’s Going On?’…something many of us find ourselves asking today, 45 years later. Peace.”