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Zoe Saldana Is Reportedly In Talks To Play Eartha Kitt In A Biopic On The Performer’s Life

Zoe Saldana Is Reportedly In Talks To Play Eartha Kitt In A Biopic On The Performer's Life

I don’t know how we missed this, but we did! Better late than never… 

She’s already played one pioneering black entertainer on film (specifically, Nina Simone), although the future of that film remains unknown; and now Zoe Saldana is reportedly in talks to play Eartha Kitt in a biopic on the life of the singer, actress, dancer and activist, perhaps best known for her highly distinctive voice, who the late, great Orson Welles (who gave Kitt her first starring role, as Helen of Troy in his staging of Dr. Faustus) once called the “most exciting woman in the world.”

Indeed.

A star of stage and screen, with a career that spanned about 60 years, fans will remember when she took over for Julie Newmar and played Catwoman decades before Halle Berry did in that horrendous 2004 movie that many of us would like to forget ever happened.

The multiple award-winning performer died from colon cancer on Christmas Day, December 25, 2008, at her home in Weston, Connecticut.

6 years later, Zoe Saldana is apparently set to portray the lead role in a biopic about the Kitt, according various sources, including Huffington Post, Hollywood.com, Broadway WorldMSN Entertainment and others.

The movie is expected to focus on Kitt’s rise to fame through the late 1960s, considered her “peak years,” including her very vocal opposition to the war in Vietnam, which, some say, derailed her career.

Unfortunately none of the above sources seems to know who’s behind the project (director, producer, production company, etc), so we’ll just have to file this one away as an unconfirmed rumor. Although, I recall when we first reported on the news about Saldana starring as Nina Simone, that was also an “unconfirmed rumor.”

Zoe Saldana has certainly been in demand, since co-starring in the biggest box-office hit of all time, Avatar. From 2009’s Star Trek reboot, to her starring role as action hero in Colombiana, appearing in the Christian Bale drama Out of the Furnace, and with Bradley Cooper in The Words, with upcoming projects including Marvel’s Guardians of the GalaxyBlood Ties and of course starring as Nina Simone in the upcoming biopic. She’s also co-starring in Don Cheadle’s long-in-development Miles Davis project (although no word on what character she’s signed up to play), and, last year, with her sister Cisely Saldana, inked a first-look deal (via their production company Saldana Productions) with Lionsgate studios. Most recently, she was cast as the lead in NBC’s four-hour miniseries adaptation of Ira Levin’s 1967 best-selling suspense novel Rosemary’s Baby – a novel that was also the basis for Roman Polanski’s 1968 film of the same name, which starred Mia Farrow as the title character.

Stay tuned…

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Comments

Drewfus

Eartha Kitt self-described herself as "yellow" – a term used in the Southern US during the Depression for "mulatto". In other words, she did not consider herself either black or white or any other pure race. So I guess technically Zoe’s racial makeup shouldn’t be an issue here. Regardless, I have notices a strong resemblance between Zoe and Eartha, and I think Zoe would be an excellent choice in the role. I’m looking forward to it should it ever get into production.

Anonymous

Beemoree, how dare you over criticize and label one of Hollywood’s truly versatile and talented artists. While I empathize with your passion of heritage, it’s obviously not worth the viral battle with someone ignorant enough to stereotype an artist to her race. The media is the one to blame selectively putting her words out there, and frankly there IS no side for you to choose to begin with. The real question is do you think she’d portray this empowering SOUL accurately, and considering her repertoire… my personal opinion is yes.

Eric

I'd love to see a new actress get this part or maybe one that is somewhat known but hasn't been classified as being a superstar yet. This isn't a slight against Saldana but Hollywood in general likes latching on to certain stars and casting them in picture after picture. A picture like this could potentially launch the careers of several new stars or give rising actors the chance to show depth to their abilities. I don't think i'd see anything new about Saldana's acting skills playing Kitt, that I haven't already seen. I don't think she'd blow the role out of the water. She could prove me wrong. I mean Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles, Joaquinn Phoenix as Johnny Cash, or Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf did fantastic and while watching them I didn't think, oh that's an actress playing Piaf but rather, that's piaf herself. I like seeing new talents in these biopics. Chadwick Boseman was able to breakout in the film 42 and is in the upcoming James Brown film. Ben Whishaw, while the new Q in the Bond franchise, isn't as huge in the states but him staring as Freddy Mercury (which is happening) would give fans the chance to see something different from him. If Zaldana is going to take it up a notch playing Eartha Kitt, i'm all in, but if she's just going to be in the role because she is who she is, i'd rather see someone else in it.

DeeDee

This is not about race or color. Can she do the part? um HELL NO! this is going to be a clown show. Who in the world has a voice like Ms Eartha Kitt? NOBODY but Ms Eartha! Who can role their rrrr's like Ms Kitt without sounding like a FOOL? NOBODY! Sorry bad bad train wreck

@IvoryJeff

I'm a longtime Saldana fan, but in THIS role I'd cast Naomie Harris. Or maybe Anika Noni Rose. What say y'all?

lewis payton

I don’t get this actress. She is a much better candidate for Eartha than Nina. Clearly white producers with no eye sight!

Donella

I definitely feel Zoe Saldana is a good choice for Eartha Kitt.

As someone mentioned, Saldana's dance training will assist with portraying Kitt's smooth, controlled body movements and sheer grace. Better resemblance, and less of a need for the audience to strain to accept the portrayal.

beemooree

Nadia girl and DanyD watch this. http://youtu.be/uFmmL8xrsCg

beemooree

DanyD go look on youtube. im not making anything up. Do your research before you try to make a comeback.

Nadell

First – Nina Simone
Second – Francis Davis
Now – Eartha Kitt
Honestly, who will she portray next???

Bforreal

Now, this is a good fit and makes sense (unlike the Nina Simone choice). She even resembles Eartha in her attitude and demeanor.

CareyCarey

I see somebody is scratching at the wrong door. That be the house in which Nadia lives.

I quote "Ugh! Please let's not start this whole silly debate all over again. Please. It comes up every time there's a post about Zoe Saldana. Y'all don't get tired?" ~ Nadia

Hello! And as Miles Ellison said "Here we go [again]." But apparently some folks just don't know when they're walking in quicksand.

@ Nadia, handle yo business girl, school the younguns!

chris-leo

the more i look, the more the resemblance is obvious. both also have dance training and that kind of body language. and zoe's got real chops. it's a no-brainer.

Africameleon

Loved Ertha Kitt, she was a Carolina girl like me. Roll those r's baby, "Prrr-fect." This is a good fit, and good choice.

I've browsed some of the comments, and I think Saldana could definitely relate to Kitt (who was half black-cherokee and white). Kitt actually had many struggles coming up because of her mixed heritage, but as an adult she was fierce, and told Mrs. Nixon to go to hell and pointed the way. She was brave, and not without a price. [ Please read her biography. ] People have issues with Saldana's blackness. I think Zaldana can channel her own experiences with the backlash against her casting as Simone, and other comments made toward her as a Black Latina, and make the Kitt role multi-textured and complex.

OAN… Black people get to be more than one thing, we have multiple identities. I'm not into superficial "boundary maintinence" or the idea that one can "authenticate" another's blackness or not. That's something passed down from slavery, and it's white supremacist Euro-centrist thinking. If by your definition she's NOT black, then I'm sure she IS black by someone elses. We are a multi hued, multi experienced people. That's why we're so beautiful.

I hope the film will not be a "re-imagining" of Kitt's life. I'd hope that it was taken from Kitt's biography and not made into a pop-corn movie like the Simone project. But that's wishful thinking.

Now, off my soap box.

Tara

E.Kitt was mixed race.. Zoe is Afro-Latina are we really going to pretend they're not the same kind of black and she's doesn't resemble her a bit? She's a good actress too. Bye people… You got my support for Nina but the faux outrage here? Nope.

EM

As a Black Woman who's parents hail from Venezuela and Panama the comments on this post have completely thrown me. Zoe has said time and time again in numerous interviews that she identifies as black. I don't even understand why ppl are pressed on her "claiming" or "denying" it…it's the most obvious thing about her. Men and women of African decent can be found all over the world (not just in the u.s.) especially in latin america and the carribean. Why all this anger and hate towards her? Just because her ancestors suffered in D.R. doesn't make her heritage any less valid than those whose ancestors suffered in Mississippi or Alabama or whever else. Read a history book people.

mia

Just look at some pictures, she'd be be a good choice she does look like a young miss Kitt. She's a dancer and can sing. Better casting than Nina!

g

Black when convenient and advantageous. smmfh.

Carl

Anyone who says she is not black needs to pick up a book or Google slave trade to the Caribbean.

If you cared about knowledge as much as you do mediatakeout and worldhiphop you wouldn't come here making dumb ass, house negro statements like a Afro-Latina is not black. Grow a brain. White racist can sit home and chill with your dumbass.

Zaneta

Zoe doesn't have the gravitas to play Eartha, unfortunately Hollywood seems to be lazy in their research.

Miles Ellison

Here we go.

beemooree

Nadia you must be incompetent. I know you can be black and latino. I am 1. My point is Zoe is BLACK when convenient. How dare her be honored by Essence and tell the media that "essence is a magazine geared toward black ppl but im latina but it doesn't matter that they're honoring me". I've heard her say shes black before. good try though

Beemooree

Ugh she's not black!……. Ok well technically she is but she is black when she wants to be. Next

@JayTeeDee

Now this one I can see, Zoe is beautiful and Eartha Kitt was a stone cold fox in her younger days. But the key is the voice.

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