Thanks to the movie For Colored Girls and the countless TV commercials and Films using her music, Nina Simone fever has been building over the past few years. So when is her story coming to the silver screen? That’s right folks in 2012. The moody, forceful soul diva Mary J. Blige has signed on play the moody, forceful soul diva Nina Simone, in Nina, the latter's inevitable biopic.
Blige becomes perhaps the highest-profile musician to star in another musician's biopic since Babs played Fanny Brice, though there have been a number of recent crossovers: club R&B star Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for playing Ray Charles, of course, and Joaquin Phoenix was nominated for one for Johnny Cash in Walk the Line. Beyonce played Etta James in Cadillac Records and who can forget Jennifer Lopez lip-syncing so movingly, Selena in Selena?
R&B songstress Mary J. Blige will tune up her jazz vocals after signing to star in Cynthia Mort's "Nina," a movie about legendary singer Nina Simone. Mort's script focuses on Simone's relationship with her assistant Clifton Henderson, who will be played by David Oyelowo, backers said.
William Morris Endeavor's Global Finance & Distribution Group brought the film to U.K. production, finance and studio facility operator Ealing Studios. Ealing is financing, producing and selling internationally the $10 million movie scheduled to shoot in the fall this year. WME Global is handling North American rights.
Mort's resume includes a stint as a writer-producer on TV's "Rosanne" and "Will & Grace" and as creator of "Tell Me You Love Me." Simone was a singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger and civil rights activist.
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