See Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone in Long-Awaited Nina Trailer

1 minute read

Nina, the long-awaited and quite controversial Nina Simone biopic starring Zoe Saldana, is finally becoming a reality: On Tuesday, EW revealed the film’s poster and release date, and today, audiences get their first look at Nina’s trailer.

The film follows Simone through her legendary career as an American vocalist, particularly her years living in isolation in France after finding it difficult to balance her singing career with her political activism. In France, she meets the man who will become her assistant-turned-manager, Clifton Henderson (Selma’s David Oyelowo). Nina is directed by first-timer Cynthia Mort.

Controvery has plagued the film for years: Back in 2010, Mary J. Blige was attached to star, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. When Saldana was brought on, many objected to the petite, light-skinned actress playing the darker-skinned icon. Even Simone’s daughter, Simone Kelly, had problems with the film. She put her muscle behind Netflix’s Oscar-nominated documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone?, released in 2015.

Nina will open on April 22.

This article originally appeared on

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at