You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

Nina Simone Film, Starring Zoe Saldana, Gets a Release Date, Official Synopsis + First Poster

Nina Simone Film, Starring Zoe Saldana, Gets a Release Date, Official Synopsis + First Poster

The film finally gets a release date, after 2 years of uncertainty.

RLJ Entertainment has announced that “Nina” – the controversial Nina Simone film starring Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo – will be released in theaters, VOD and Digital HD on April 22, 2016.

“Nina” is written and directed by Cynthia Mort.

Official synopsis: She was one of the century’s most extraordinary talents, a 15-time Grammy nominee and Grammy Hall of Fame Recipient; her mesmerizing songs and passionate politics combined to make her the unforgettable Nina Simone (Zoe Saldana). But fame and fortune came with a price, and her later years were riddled with depression, alcohol abuse and isolation. Rediscovering the meaning of her life and work took courage, strength and one true friend: Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo), the man who started out as her assistant and eventually became her loyal manager. With Clifton’s encouragement, the “high priestess of soul” began a courageous journey back to her music … and, eventually, herself.

Along with news of the film’s release, RLJ has also debuted the film’s first official poster, which is embedded above. No trailer yet; although I’m sure we’ll see one very soon, given today’s news.

This Article is related to: News and tagged



Zoe Saldana SUCKED as Nick Cannon’s girl in ‘Drumline’; no way in hell I can even be REMOTELY objective enough to see her as the great Nina Simone.


There are situations in the Black experience that only Black people can feel and accurately interpret. Songs written by Ms. Simone including but not limited to Young Gifted and Black, Mississippi Goddam and Revolution are grounded in the resilience, pride and dignity of Black people. The context of these great songs and the racism and discrimination Ms. Simone experienced and fought should be explored through the lens of a black filmmaker and the pen of a Black screenwriter as a conduit to showcase Ms. Simone’s genius, strength humanity, and the humanity of all Black people.


Blackface – The Movie

Nicholas Gonzalez

To those who are already going web-angry over Saldana playing Simone: Wow. So just to be clear, regarding a movie most of you haven’t seen: you’re judging a performance ( to borrow from Martin Luther King) by the color of one’s skin rather than the content of one’s character? That’s a far deeper shade of hypocrisy than Saldana’s melanin.


This girl Shld stay in space or painted whatever color of the week – she’s not a real actress. And it’s embarrassing to the legend that is Nina.


I met Nina Simone years ago in Paris. What an honor. Can’t wait. Love here.


To the person said she’s white, um no, actually she’s Dominican Republican, Puerto Rican, Haitian and Lebanese, so no, not white. I don’t understand why the studio did this, if you are going to have Zoe portray her, then just do that, why the blacker face, it is really just amazingly insulting. I also agree that Viola Davis would have been the perfect person to play her, maybe they will make more movies about her, I sincerely doubt this film will be able to cover all the amazing moments and stories that made Nina Simone so incredible.


Hmm..I don’t know. As much as Zoe is due for a strong dramatic leading role for her to carry I just don’t think this it. It’s really a stretch to consider her embodying the spirit of that incredible titan of an artist, performer and icon. I’m sure she’ll be able to portray some of the emotional aspects of Nina’s personality on screen but they really needed to cast someone with true musical talent, presence and acting chops. Erykah Badu perhaps?

Spot On

The most poignant comment of the week–> "Big deal. Watch the movie and judge Saldana on whether her acting in the role is good or bad. Not on some ass-backwards "Blackness litmus test". I’m glad Saldana did not allow her Blackness to be defined by a few ignorant individuals." – TAMFAM. Now drop the mic, close the book and turn off the lights on this one. GOOD NIGHT!



Jessica Williams

In films, such as this, I look for authenticity in EVERYTHING. It’s a period piece that is suppose to tell the story of Nina Simone. Sorry, but I’ll pass on this one. There’s enough documentaries with the actual person in it.A much better choice could have been made, ESPECIALLY when there are actors/entertainers who could EASILY play the role.


India Arie was the perfect candidate


Good, I’m glad Saldana got the role. It’s about time Black Americans realize that they aren’t the only Blacks in the Americas (and that the United States is not the only country in the Americas).

Just as Jennifer Hudson is an Afro-American who portrayed a South African Black, Zoe Saldana is an Afro-Latino portraying a U.S.-descended Black woman. All of the same race, cultured in different countries due to the slave trade, and originally descended from Africa.

Big deal. Watch the movie and judge Saldana on whether her acting in the role is good or bad. Not on some ass-backwards "Blackness litmus test". I’m glad Saldana did not allow her Blackness to be defined by a few ignorant individuals.

Check Yourself

The Anti-Zoe camp should sing satisfied and grateful. Nina Simone was a many splendid things but a pretty looking woman, she was not. I know, I know… she doesn’t have the European standard of beauty that many clamor for (especially those black donkeys of a man who exclusively date white women) but by any standard, Nina Simone would not appear on any popular magazine’s top beautiful women list. So thank you Zoe Saldana for "livening" Nina’s image.


Sign me up, this is gonna be a masterpiece!

Eva Martinez

Zoe is a great actress,she can portrait anybody
Is acting the magic word not singing


Viola Davis is the obvious choice to play Nina, she can pass for Simone more physically, has the acting chops and still hasn’t been offered a worthy leading role in film yet.


I would guess she would be lip syncing to Nina’s recordings




What happened to Mary J. Blige playing her!! I must say im alot disappointed.


Viola Davis wouldve been a better choice


Lauryn Hill should’ve just done this to make sure the look, acting and singing were on point. Zoe’s acting is worrisome to me–and acting through blackface makes it much worse. It’s not going to be authentic on all sorts of levels. This is a sad tribute to an extraordinary entertainer.


ZOe saldana is not black!!! she is white, this movie is offensive trash


Since when is india arie a actor? that’s a hilarious comment.


As much as I live Zoe Saldana, I cannot support a role that she has to perform in blackface. She’s not even a singer. I feel that India Arie would have been more fitting.

Jessica Holter

I’m excited! I hope she’s good in the part.

Gary Robinson

The performances will tell the tale…


Might as well be the first because this poster alone will generate alot of negative buzz.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *