This summer, Nina Simone was remembered with the Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?, as well as Nina Revisited, a tribute album featuring the likes of Lauryn Hill, Common, and Usher. Now, the long-delayed biopic Nina, starring Zoe Saldana in the titular role, has officially been given the green light. It’s expected to finally open in theaters this December, as Entertainment Weekly notes.
The film, which follows Simone’s musical career and role as a civil rights activist, was written and directed by Cynthia Mort. Plagued by cast issues (Mary J. Blige had once been attached to the project; Zaldana received backlash due to her lack of resemblance to Simone and singing experience) and problems with the movie’s UK producer, its release has been in limbo since 2010. In fact, Simone’s own daughter, Lisa Kelly, chose to support What Happened, Miss Simone? instead of Mort’s forthcoming biopic.
In addition to Zaldana, David Oyelowo (Selma) and Mike Epps (Next Friday) are set appear in Nina.
Below, revisit two Simone classics.