“What’s Going On” has been in the works for a number of years. The news that Dr. Dre was working on a film about the late soul icon first broke in 2018. Dr. Dre will produce alongside Jimmy Iovine and Andrew Lazar, with Allen Hughes set to direct. After a number of tries to adapt Gaye’s story for the big screen, Warner Bros. has struck a deal that includes a script by poet-playwright Marcus Gardley and the rights to use all of Gaye’s signature songs, as his estate and Motown were part of the agreement.
Gaye’s life has long warranted its place among great music biopics. The legendary singer put out such hits as “What’s Going On,” “Sexual Healing” and “Let’s Get It On,” and was later fatally shot in 1984 at age 44 by his father.