According to reports, actress Zoe Saldana ("Avatar") will play jazz vocalist/pianist Nina Simone in a new biopic titled "Nina", written and directed by Cynthia Mort ("Tell Me You Love Me").
"Simone" starts shooting October 2012 in Los Angeles, co-starring actor David Oyelowo as manager, 'Clifton Henderson'.
Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon, Simone aspired to become a classical pianist, but was denied a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, because she was black. After playing and singing in a small Philadelphia club to further fund her classical lessons, she was approached by Bethlehem Records, recording the 1958 pop hit, "I Loves You Porgy".
Over the length of her career Simone recorded more than 40 albums, infusing gospel and pop with classical Bach-inspired music, accompanied by contralto, jazz-like singing.
After 20 years of performing, she became involved in the civil rights movement, receiving two honorary degrees in music and humanities, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Malcolm X College. Two days before her death, Simone was awarded an honorary degree by the Curtis Institute, the music school that had refused to admit her as a student at the beginning of her career.
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Nina Simone"...