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Actress Zoe Saldana has been tabbed to play Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic about the Jazz pianist and vocalist. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the script is written by Cynthia Mort (The Brave One), who is also set to be the film’s director,  and has been in the works for a few years. Originally, Mary J. Blige was set to portray Simone in the film, which was previously reported to be titled Nina and details the singer’s relationship with her longtime manager Clifton Henderson.

However, Blige stepped away due to funding issues which seem to have been resolved. Production on the Nina Simone film is set to begin On October 16th in Los Angeles.

Nina Simone was a bad woman (not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good). Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon, the North Carolina native was also a prominent Civil Rights activist. Her critically acclaimed, and cherished, music spanned styles from Jazz to Soul to Gospel, and has been sampled heavily in Hip-Hop circles; Talib Kweli’s “Get By” being one prominent example.

Do you think Zoe Saldana will be able to do the revered Nina Simone justice on the big screen? Hopefully she’s taking singing and piano lessons, right, now.


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Photo: Getty/The Hollywood Reporter