Long-delayed Nina Simone biopic to hit cinemas in December

Zoe Saldana stars as the iconic jazz singer

Nina, the Nina Simone biopic starring Zoe Saldana, is to be released in December after years of development.

Scripted and directed by Cynthia Mort, the biopic is based on Simone’s 1992 autobiography I Put A Spell On You. Mary J Blige was linked to the title role back in 2010, but is said to have moved on following funding difficulties, and Saldana was then cast in 2012.

Saldana, 37, is best known for her roles as Anamaria in the second Pirates Of The Caribbean movie and Uhuru in the 2009 Star Trek film. She also portrays a Na’vi called Neytiri in James Cameron’s Avatar.

Nina Simone was the daughter of a North Carolina preacher, and recorded more than 40 albums before passing away in 2003 at the age of 70. She became heavily involved in the US civil rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s, but later relocated to France following tax issues.

‘The Very Best Of Nina Simone’, a compilation of her most famous recordings, such as ‘Feeling Good’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’, made the UK Top Ten in 2006.