The Hollywood Reporter has just snagged an announcement from Cannes—which is apparently being held in a temporal wormhole that reaches back to 2005, when this news was first made public—that R&B singer Mary J. Blige is gearing up to play “High Priestess Of Soul” Nina Simone in Cynthia Mort’s upcoming biopic, Nina. As we so snarkily alluded to, Blige has been attached to play Simone for several years now, but it looks as though the project has now moved from MTV Films to UK production house Ealing Studios, who plans to start shooting this fall.
Mort’s script will still focus mostly on Simone’s close relationship with her manager, Clifton Henderson, who joined her near the end of her life, and who was by her bedside when she died in the south of France in 2003—although we’re imagining it will also feature flashbacks to the singer’s tumultuous romantic history, her role as a civil rights activist, and those years in the ’90s when she suddenly started shooting people who pissed her off, because otherwise what would be the point of a movie? Back in 2005, Blige stated that she hoped to “bring Nina Simone back to life like Jamie Foxx did with Ray” and made affirmations that she knows she’s “really got to nail this part.” Yup.
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