It has long been rumored Mary J. Blige will play legendary singer Nina Simone in a biopic. The Hollywood Reporter confirms the news.

Written by Cynthia Mort (“Rosanne,” “Will & Grace” and “Tell Me You Love Me”), the film titled “Nina” focuses on Simone’s love life, particularly with her assistant Clifton Henderson reportedly played by David Oyelowo (“The Last King of Scotland,” “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency”).

The film is scheduled to begin shooting this fall.

“Nina” will be Mary J. Blige’s first starring role in a major feature film. The singer appeared in the made-for-TV film “Prison Song” (2001), and appeared on “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “Strong Medicine,” and “The Ghost Whisper.” Blige recently played a small supporting role in Tyler Perry’s “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.”

While Mary J. Blige is certain to tap into her own personal struggles to portray an icon as complex as Nina Simone, is she really prepared to pull off this role?

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  • I vote Viola Davis or Kimberly Elise. With Mary’s vocals when it’s time to sing–unless the estate gives the ok to use Nina’s actual songs. ‘d rather see the best of both
    worlds; strong acting and strong vocals than watch Mary give a subpar performance.

    And in other news: why not have Simone, Nina’s daughter play the role? She carries her musical legacy forward–a few months of acting classes and she’d be dynamite given she knows her better than any actress could.

  • Lava

    I was thinking Viola Davis would be perfect for this or even her daughter, Simone. Nina was such a layered and complex person, you need someone with control and range to play her. MJB doesn’t even do a good job representing herself in interviews. I have zero interest in this project.

  • Kendra

    oh hell no. I feel like Mary J. would screw this up. I agree it should probably be an unknown talent. or maybe Lauryn Hill?

  • Look at me, when i’m talking to you. As a small child in the black bottom of
    West Philly there was Mahalia, Nina, among a host of others, the list is long who
    are not recognized. Let’s get this told, that’s a commanding order. It’s not done
    yet. I’m talking (ASAP). Fang Face!!!!