Marvin Gaye's son is attempting to pull the plug on a Hollywood biopic about the soul legend by urging Lenny Kravitz to walk away from the lead role.

Marvin Gaye Iii has consulted lawyers about shutting down director Julien Temple's planned movie, which will reportedly focus on the Motown singer's battle with drug abuse and depression in the last years of his life.

Kravitz has been tipped to star in the film, but Gaye Iii wants the rocker-turned-actor to know he and his relatives do not support the "wrong and shameful" project.

Gaye Iii tells Kravitz is a childhood friend, and admits he would like to "talk to him about why he would do this", adding, "I would hope he doesn't have any idea that we are against this film being done."

He says, "The producers and directors of this film are very wrong and shameful... (They're) trying to do a film about a low period in his life. They don't even know the whole story."

The Sexual Healing hitmaker was shot dead after an altercation with his father in 1984.