Nina Simone Biopic Slated For December Release
The Nina Simone biopic starring Zoe Saldana will be released in theaters this year.
According to Variety, BET Founder Robert L. Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment announced Thursday that they have acquired the North American rights to Nina.
Award-winning actor, David Oyelowo, has been cast to play Simone’s manager, Clifton Henderson. As previously reported, the film was written and directed by Cynthia Mort.
“I had the special privilege early in my career of working with Ms. Simone while coordinating a performance for former D.C. Delegate Walter E. Fauntroy, and knowing first-hand of her major contribution to the soul and emotion of the Civil Rights Movement,” Johnson said at the Toronto Film Festival. “I look forward as I am sure many others will, to her story and legacy being made available by RLJ Entertainment to consumers on various media platforms in the coming months.”
Nina has been in the making for years, and the project has been at the center of controversy since it was announced that Saldana would be playing the singer. Many felt that casting directors made a huge mistake when giving the mother of two the role primarily because she looks nothing like Simone, and expressed that it was offensive for them to cast Saldana instead of simply seeking out a darker skinned actress. For a more convincing presentation, makeup artists had to darken Saldana’s skin. According to some reports, she was also given a prosthetic nose and false teeth.
The firm is planning for a December 2015 release.