Nina Simone biopic starring Zoe Saldana set to be released later this year

After years in limbo, the Nina Simone biopic, starring Zoe Saldana, will hit theaters at some point between now and end of 2015.

Ben Latham-Jones of Ealing studios tells The Hollywood Reporter that Nina, featuring Saldana in the title role alongside Selma actor David Oyelowo, will be released worldwide by eOne and Universal later this year.

During the production of Nina in 2012, Saldana received heavy backlash from critics who said she was too light-skinned to play the role.

In an interview last year with Monarch Magazine, the actress said she responded to her critics by simply dismissing their disapproval.

“Nina was a true genius and an iconic artist. It was a dream job for me,” she told the magazine. “I loved the complexity of Nina and her beauty that she expressed with her music. I wanted to do right by her and knew it would be challenging.”

Saldana revealed that she went through heavy training and preparation to master the role and shared that she dedicated months to heavy research and even took piano and voice lessons to grasp Simone’s musical talent.

Aside from the backlash from fans on Saldana’s casting, more drama surrounds the biopic.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the director of the film, Cynthia Mort, filed a lawsuit against the film’s producer claiming she was left out of certain key decisions — and as a result is not pleased with the direction of the film.

Follow theGrio.com’s Entertainment Editor Chris Witherspoon on Twitter @WitherspoonC.

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