By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 16, 2012 at 10:00AM
Well folks... for those who wanted more *credible* sources to our story from earlier this week (read it HERE) that Zoe Saldana was attached to play Nina Simone in a film based on the songstress' life, here you go!
The Hollywood Reporter is confirming our story that Zoe Saldana is indeed going to play Nina Simone in Cynthia Mort's film. It's a done deal people!
But let me add one quick note to address several comments I've read about the project - specifically, this isn't a Hollywood production. I've read several comments, and articles on other sites, calling it a Hollywood movie. But it's really not. By that I mean, it's not backed by any Hollywood studio. Instead, the company behind it is a UK-based studio called Ealing.
And its stated mission is to produce and distribute "commercial films to the global market ranging from star-driven US independent productions, to intelligent British and European movies and genre product targeted at core theatrical audiences."
Films on their slate have budgets that range usually in the $7 - 10 million range, which means we can assume this project will likely cost somewhere around there.
So there's a chance that you might not even get to see the film - at least not right away. It'll likely hit the Euro market first, and then head west.
But a KEY point in all this that you should consider is that, this isn't a film that's being made specifically for American audiences. I liken it to the Jennifer Hudson Winnie Mandela biopic - a film that's been complete for at least a year now, but still hasn't made its way to the USA yet, after debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, even though it stars Hollywood actors (although, like this upcoming Nina Simone film, wasn't backed by a Hollywood studio). I'd expect this Nina Simone film to take a somewhat similar path.
But THR says that an October production start date is expected. Apparently Mary J. Blige moved on because financing for the project was hard to come by. This suggests that there's a chance that with Zoe Saldana attached, financiers found her a stronger international sell than Mary J. Blige, and so, here we are.
What I'm really curious about now, is who else may have been considered for the role, how Zoe became the chosen one - whether she approached them, or they approached her. I suppose all of this will eventually come to light... at least I hope so.
At this point, I have absolutely no idea what to expect from this, and will need to see and know more before commenting.
But be sure to read Vanessa's review of the film's screenplay, which she posted last night HERE for an idea of what might be coming.
We called it! And it's officially a D.O.N.E. deal. So you may as well start adjusting to the idea... or just wait until you actually see something from it, and then judge it.
Yesterday, Nina Simone's daughter took to Facebook, entering the conversation with this statement:
Greetings Nina Simone Lovers...Simone here. The rumor mill is once again at work regarding ZOE ZALDANA playing my mother in a biopic...have you heard this? If, so what do you think? I will await your responses before I share my heart.
That Facebook post has received 435 comments as of this posting, and I'd say the majority are anti-Zoe Saldana starring in the film.
We're still waiting for Simone to share her heart as she stated.