Mary J. Blige to Star in Nina Simone Biopic

Mary J. Blige to Star in Nina Simone Biopic
After years of rumours and stagnation, the Nina Simone biopic is finally set to begin filming later this year, and it will come with R&B singer Mary J. Blige in the starring role.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Cynthia Mort-directed biopic about the life of singer, songwriter and civil-rights activist Nina Simone has been moved from MTV Films to UK production house Ealing Studios and should begin shooting in the fall.

Somewhat controversially, Mort's script focuses primarily on the latter half of Simone's life, during her relationship with manager Clifton Henderson, rather than on her early life activism and tumultuous relationships. Many Simone fans are also questioning Blige's ability, not only to accurately portray Simone, but to replicate her signature nasal alto in the film's performances.

As the AV Club points out, Blige claimed in a 2005 interview with MTV that she wanted to "bring Nina Simone back to life, like Jamie Foxx did with 'Ray'" and that she knows she's "really got to nail this part."

Here's hoping.