First Trailer for Nina Simone Biopic Starring Zoe Saldana

David Oyelowo & Zoe Saldana

RLJ Entertainment has released the first trailer and poster for the long-delayed Nina Simone biopic, Nina, starring Zoe Saldana in a prosthetic nose and dark makeup.

Co-starring David Oyelowo as her assistant-turned-manager Clifton Henderson, the film follows Simone’s rise to success, detailing her music career and political activism.

Written and directed by first-timer Cynthia Mort, Nina arrives in select theaters and VOD on April 22nd, 2016. Check out the first trailer and poster for the film co-starring Mike Epps, Ronald Guttman, and Ella Thomas.

Back in 2010, pop sensation Mary J. Blige was attached to star, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Simone’s daughter Lisa Simone Kelly was against director’s later decision to cast light-skinned, multiracial actress Saldana as her mother. Moreover, she decided to participate in the Netflix’s Oscar-nominated documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone?, released in 2015 because she was “so disturbed by the script for Nina” and emphasized getting the doc out before this upcoming film.

Zoe Saldana

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.