RLJ Entertainment has acquired North American theatrical rights to “Nina,” the much-anticipated biopic of legendary jazz singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone. The film is the feature debut for writer-director Cynthia Mort and stars Zoe Saldana (“Avatar,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”) in the titular role, with David Oyelowo (“Selma,” “The Butler”) by her side.
Simone, who died in 2003, was a 15-time Grammy nominee and received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2000. The late singer was already the subject of the acclaimed Neflix documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone?” earlier this year. The casting of Saldana was met with initial controversy in 2013.
“Nina” traces the life of the amazing vocalist, as she struggles to balance her music, family life and her convictions. Simone finds herself exiled from America until she meets Clifton Henderson (Oyelow), who later becomes her manager and helps her find new meaning in her life, music and country.
“I am very excited that RLJ Entertainment will be distributing Nina Simone’s biopic with the tremendous talent involved including Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo,” said Robert L. Johnson, the founder of RLJ Entertainment and BET. “I look forward as I am sure many others will, to her story and legacy being made available by RLJ Entertainment to consumers on various media platforms in the coming months.”
“Nina” will be released in theaters in December.