Zoe Saldana Nina Simone Biopic Square
Zoe Saldana Nina Simone Biopic Square

Pass The Popcorn: Zoe Saldana-Led Nina Simone Biopic Gets A 2015 Release Date

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

It's been a long time coming, but Nina, the Zoe Saldana-led biopic film depicting the life and times of Nina Simone, will finally be released before the year is out. Yes, we know it's a controversial matter, but for the moment, let's stick to the facts. Entertainment Weekly reports that RLJ Entertainment has secured the North American rights to the film, and fully intends to bring to theaters in December, and in a statement company executive (and BET founder) Robert L. Johnson recalled having "the special privilege early in my career of working with Ms. Simone while coordinating a performance for former D.C. Delegate Walter E. Fauntroy and knowing first-hand of her major contribution to the soul and emotion of the Civil Rights Movement." Johnson went on to express gratitude at RLJ's new position of being the company to bring Nina to to the masses.

The biopic was written and directed by Cynthia Mort, and reportedly focuses on the early rising arc of Simone's storied career. It should be noted that Mort filed a lawsuit against Nina's producers in 2014, stating the film's finished form does not convey the images and ideas that she hoped to present through a telling of Simone's story. Lisa Simone Kelly, Simone's daughter, has also voiced criticisms of the picture and instead opted to back the Netflix-funded documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?

Three years ago, Okayplayer first reported on the film and Saldana's controversial casting as the legendary songwriter and civil rights activist, in spite of her light skin complexion. Since then, myriad setbacks and disputes have kept it from the public eye, but now it appears that the beleaguered final cut will finally see the light of day (or, rather, darkness of theaters).