Nina Simone Biopic Has Fans in an Uproar

A biopic about the great Nina Simone’s life has finally been made, but the reception has not been warm.

The new movie, simply called Nina, features Zoe Saldana as the late singer and civil rights activists, Nina Simone.

The movie has been plagued with issues from its inception. Mary J. Blige was originally signed to play the lead. Unfortunately for many fans, Blige was forced to leave the project amidst scheduling conflicts.

The film was finally filmed back in 2012 after signing on Zoe Saldana. It took four years to get a release date.

The latest controversy involves the first trailer and poster for the movie that was released this past week. Countless fans are criticizing the use of makeup to darken Saldana’s skin to match the skin tone of Nina Simone. Zoe Saldana is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent.

The Internet has called into question Zoe’s age as well. Saldana is playing Simone in the later years of her life. Saldana is currently 37. Makeup and prosthetics were used to age her and make her look like Simone.

Zoe Saldana has yet to respond directly to the controversy. Last year, however, she stated that she was “unhappy” with the movie.

Meanwhile, members of Nina Simone’s family have taken to social media to respond. After Saldana tweeted a quote from Simone, her family was not pleased. Saldana tweeted, “I’ll tell you what freedom is to me – No fear… I mean really no fear. #ninasimone”.

A Twitter account apparently controlled by the estate of Simone responded with a tweet that said, “Cool story but please take Nina name out your mouth. For the rest of your life.”

Nina’s daughter, Lisa Celeste Stroud, has pleaded fans to watch the documentary on her mother called, What Happened, Miss Simone? Stroud, who goes by the stage name Simone, says that the documentary got her mother’s story right. Stroud has been critical of the new movie for years.

The documentary is currently available on Netflix. The movie, Nina, will be out on April 22.