Photo: Zoe Saldana to Play Nina Simone in Upcoming Biopic
Actress Zoe Saldana has reportedly signed on to star as Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic.
Throughout her 70-year career, Simone, who was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon, recorded nearly 50 albums (live and studio) and drew her earliest and arguably biggest success from her cover of Gershwin’s “I Loves You Porgy” from Porgy and Bess in 1959. She would go on to be a musical voice of the civil rights era, beginning with “Mississippi Goddam”.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Saldana is taking over for Mary J. Blige who is said to have moved on after the film ran into funding issues.
Simone died in France in 2003 at the age of 70 following a years-long battle with breast cancer. Her daughter Lisa Celeste Stroud has seen her own success with appearances on Broadway.
Saldana and the rest of the cast and crew are scheduled to begin shooting October 16 in Los Angeles.
The script was written by Cynthia Mort, who is also said to be the director. Her manager, Clifton Henderson, will be played by David Oyelowo.
Before the biopic is released however, Saldana will appear in the upcoming Star Trek sequel and the thriller Out of the Furnace alongside Casey Affleck and Christian Bale.
News of Saldana as Simone has already caused a bit of controversy as some have claimed she is too pretty and/or too light-skinned. Others simply pictured Brooklyn’s Adepero Oduye in the role.