Mary J. Blige to Play Nina Simone in Biopic

Nina Simone
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It’s been in the works since 2005, but after some setbacks, the Nina Simone biopic starring Mary J. Blige is set to start filming this fall.

Although Blige has no professional acting experience and doesn’t look like Simone, screenwriter Cynthia Mort penned the pic with the singer in mind. “She said, ‘Well, you don’t look like Nina, but your spirit is the same,’” Blige told MTV News in 2005. Like Simone, Blige is managed by her husband, and she said she could relate to the High Priestess of Soul’s relationship with her fans.

Although the script was originally under development through MTV Films, it is now being produced by UK’s Ealing Studios.