Last year, music fans got new insight into the life and times of celebrated musician Nina Simone in the Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?, which was nominated for Best Documentary at this year's Oscars. In just a few short weeks, this star's life will unfold on the big screen in Nina, which will hit theaters on April 22. The Today Show has the first trailer for this biopic, starring Zoe Saldana as the title character.
Nina traces the career of legendary American singer-songwriter and civil rights activist, Nina Simone (Zoe Saldana). The story follows her struggle to balance music, family and what she believes in, which leaves her living alone in France feeling exiled from her own country. That is, until she meets Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo) who helps the high priestess of soul rediscover meaning in her life and music, and to once again embrace America. Nina reflects both her and the people she gave voice to in both their searches for redemption and hope in America during the 1960's. The supporting cast includes Mike Epps, Ronald Guttman and Anthony Molinari.
Nina Simone is unarguably one of the great vocalists of the 20th Century; a 15-time Grammy nominee, she received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2000. Nina's versions of 'My Baby Just Cares For Me' and 'Feeling Good' have become standards, featuring in advertising and jazz compilations, and frequently covered by other artists. Her versions of such classics as 'I Put a Spell on You,' 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood,' 'Lilac Wine,' 'Ain't Got No, I Got Life' and 'Wild is the Wind' have become the definitive versions. Nina's strong involvement in the Civil Rights Movement brought out the talented songwriter in her. While 'To Be Young Gifted and Black' is probably her best-known composition, and was subsequently covered by Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, Bob and Marcia (whose cover was a U.K. top five hit) amongst others, she also wrote many other songs including 'Mississippi Goddam' and 'Four Women.'
This biopic was in development for several years with Mary J. Blige set to star, before she eventually parted ways with the project. Cynthia Mort, who used to produce and write for sitcoms such as Roseanne and Will & Grace, makes her directorial debut with this biopic, working from her own script. This biopic will hit theaters just weeks after the life of another musical legend hits the big screen, with Miles Ahead, starring Don Cheadle as Miles Davis.
Nina will go up against The Huntsman: Winter's War and Elvis & Nixon at the box office on April 22. Just a few months later, Zoe Saldana will return as Uhura in the highly-anticipated Star Trek Beyond, arriving in theaters July 22. Take a look at the new trailer for Nina, and stay tuned for more on this biopic.