Nina Simone Biopic Trailer Released, Fans React Negatively on Twitter to ‘Nina’

Nina Simone Biopic Trailer Released, Fans React Negatively on Twitter to ‘Nina’


When news broke that a Nina Simone biopic was in the works and that Zoe Saldana was going to play the late soul icon, it was met with a tidal wave of criticisms and backlash. On Wednesday (March 2), the trailer for the movie, titled Nina, hit the internet.

In the clip, we are introduced to Ms. Simone as she is singing “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” on the piano. From there we see her battling her demons (she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder) as she is throwing champagne, smoking and waving a gun while her manager Clifton Henderson (played by Selma’s David Oyelowo) tries to manage her career the best he can.

At one point Henderson asks, “What happened Nina, why are you playing in front of 100 people and not 20 thousand?”

We then see Simone struggle to overcome her past as she embarks on her triumphant journey to “freedom.” “I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: no fear,” she says at the end of the trailer.

Directed by Cynthia Mort, Nina has been hit criticism from Nina Simone’s daughter and others over the casting of Saldana, mostly because the 37-year-old actress doesn’t look like Simone. Critics have also accused Mort and the film studio of white-washing Simone’s legacy. On top of that, it’s pretty evident that Saldana is wearing dark brown makeup (*cue the side eye*).

On Twitter, fans reaction to the trailer were mixed, but most seem to agree that the Saldana’s brown makeup is off-putting. Undoubtedly, Saldana is going to deliver a phenomenal performance as Simone, but some fans are still wondering if she was the right choice for the role.

“Look at this nonsense. This makeup on Zoe is offensive. Nina’s skin was a gorgeous brown. WHY???” tweeted a viewer, while another wrote, “Remember when Etta James was PISSED that Beyonce played her? I feel like Nina would be 10 times as pissed at Zoe.”

Nina will be released in theaters and VOD on April 22.