Zoe Saldana To Play Nina Simone In A Biopic?

I remember several months ago Zoe Saldana made a comment that black actresses have got to stop complaining about not having enough roles for them and that she has been doing just find in Hollywood. My argument was always that she was just ‘racially ambiguous’ enough to be able to play a whole lot more than a Nia Long. I also argued that this was a reason she could never truly speak to the struggle of black actresses because 9 times out of 10 she’s not playing a black woman. This current character however, this is just plain ridiculous. Has Hollywood ran out of black actresses with a resume that could really fit the bill? 

Via Hollywood Reporter

Zoe Saldana has come aboard to star as the iconic singer in Nina, while David Oyelowo will star as her manager, Clifton Henderson.


Cynthia Mort wrote the script and has been attached as director for several years, even as Mary J. Blige came onto the project as star then moved on due to funding issues.

Those issues appear to be finally settled as the movie is due to begin production in Los Angeles October 16.

Mark Burton, Barnaby Thompson, Stuart Parr and Ben Latham Jones are producing.

Simone rose as a singer-songwriter in the 1950s and became involved in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, even advocating violence. Tax issues forced her to relocate to other countries, including France, where she passed away in 2003. Henderson was her assistant and manager later in life.

Saldana recently wrapped Out of the Furnace, a thriller that also stars Christian Bale and Casey Affleck, and the sequel to Star Trek. She is repped by ICM Partners.

So let me get this straight, you couldn’t afford Mary J. Blige, a black actresses who could definitely pass for a blues musician but you can afford a dominican actresses who the last time she played someone black was when she played a drugged out prostitute in For Colored Girls in Drumline. I’m definitely not discrediting Zoe’s work but do you honestly thing she should play Nina Simone? What did they base this casting on?


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