Nina Simone Film: Zoe Saldana In, Mary J. Blige Out

Actress Zoe Saldana has signed on to play the late Nina Simone in a bio-film, “Nina.”

The long discussed film about the iconic singer’s life seems to be finally moving forward, as R&B star Mary J. Blige was previously attached to the project.

Talk of Blige first starring in the story of Simone’s life first began in 2005.  In 2010, things seemed concrete when news broke that the “No More Drama” singer had officially signed on to star in the feature.

Apparently the 41-year-old singer backed out of the project sometime last year due to funding issues.

With the financing for the feature now secure, the film’s producers Mark Burton, Barnaby Thompson, Stuart Parr and Ben Latham Jones have tapped “Avatar” star Saldana to front the project.

Zoe Saldana

David Oyelowo, star of “Red Tails” and “The Help,” will play Simone’s manager, Clifton Henderson.

Simone rose to stardom as a singer/songwriter in the 1950s.  The Tryon, North Carolina-born singer became involved in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, even advocating violence.

Simone’s tax issues would force her to relocate to other countries, including France, where she passed away in 2003.

She was best known for songs like “Feeling Good,” “Four Women,” “Sinnerman,” “I Loves You, Porgy,” “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” among countless others.

“Nina” will begin shooting in Los Angeles starting Oct. 16.


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