Though she’s juggling some major projects with “Star Trek 2” and the “Avatar” sequels, Zoe Saldana has decided to board the long in-development Nina Simone biopic, “Nina.”
The news came from It’s On The Grid, who posted the casting development and nothing else. It’s unclear whether Saldana will play Simone herself or another character in the movie. Mary J. Blige was previously attached as the lead but has seemingly since departed the project. Saldana certainly has the star power for the leading role, but she seems a bit young to play the jazz singer the way the filmmakers want her to be played.
According to a plot synopsis posted by The Playlist, “Nina” will tell the story of Simone’s relationship with her assistant, Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo), that occurred in her later years. That’s why Saldana’s inclusion is curious, as the 34-year-old certainly isn’t old enough to play an older version of the jazz singer and civil rights activist.
There is always the chance that the story for “Nina” has changed in the two years first became involved, though. Simone’s youth is (from what we know) more interesting than her later romance, so it would make sense for the film to tell that instead. Or Simone’s story could be told through flashbacks, with Saldana playing a younger version of the character. The Playlist also suggests that she could play Simone’s daughter, Lisa Celeste Stroud, who was around Saldana’s age at the time her mother entered into the romance with Henderson.
Though this news raises more questions than answers, it at least tells us that there is some forward momentum on the project. That’s great news, since it’s a story that is deserving of being told, especially with actors as big as Saldana and Oyelowo attached.
Do you think Saldana is a good fit for this role? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!