Avatar actress Zoe Saldana has reportedly been cast to play soul singing legend Nina Simone in Nina biopic. The Brave One writer Cynthia Mort is writing and directing the project based on Simone’s 1992 autobiography ‘I Put A Spell On You’.
Mary J. Blige was tapped to play the lead, about two years ago, with David Oyelowo to co-star as Simone’s assistant Clifton Henderson, but that didn’t come to pass.
Since we haven’t heard Saldana live in concert yet, she’s in training, or she’ll be lip-synching.
At any rate, we are happy to see that it looks like the Nina biopic is still moving forward.
Born in North Carolina in 1933, Simone originally planned a career as a classical pianist, but was denied a scholarship to Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute Of Music because she was black. Drifting into performing in bars she rose to fame as a jazz singer and she became a prominent member of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.
Simone stopped paying tax in the US as a protest against the Vietnam War, which made her an exile from the States in later life; to avoid arrest, she settled in Barbados for some time and she had a long relationship with its Prime Minister Errol Barrow; the singer also lived in Liberia, Switzerland and the Netherlands, and died in the South of France in 2003. [source: The Grid]