After collecting dust for over several years because nobody wanted to take their chances with the unauthorized Nina Simone biopic, Nina, starring Zoe Saldana as the iconic vocalist, is finally coming to theaters April 22, 2016. And boy, many have already pegged it to be a doozy of a flop thanks to its controversial casting.
Mary J. Blige was originally slated to star as the high priestess when it was confirmed that a Nina Simone biopic was finally in the works in 2006. However, due to scheduling conflicts, MJB had to pull out. Instead, director Cynthia Mort went all the way left field and asked Zoe Saldana to step in. After mulling it over for a year, Zoe accepted the role with the casting news being announced in 2012.
Soon after, the lithe Avatar actress received heavy criticism due to the obvious fact that Zoe is a light-skinned Afro-Latina, while Nina Simone was a dark-skinned black woman. Apparently, that was nothing a little Halloween face paint couldn’t fix, as witnessed in the film’s recently released trailer.
Zoe, who admitted after filming that she didn’t think she was the right woman to play the legendary “Mississippi Goddamn” singer, does her best to capture Nina’s look by darkening her skin several shades darker than her own and even wore a prosthetic nose for good measure. It’s pretty much just all a complete, all-around, offensive, disrespectful, cringeworthy mess, and fans aren’t having it.