Cynthia Mort (Tell Me You Love Me) has found the star for her Nina Simone biopic–elegantly titled Nina–in R&B singer Mary J. Blige. According to THR, Mort’s screenplay centers around Simone’s relationship with assistant Clifton Henderson, whom David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland) has signed on to play. Simone rose to fame as a jazz vocalist/pianist in the 1950s and 1960s and became heavily involved in the civil rights movement in the late sixties. Blige is most famous for her powerful vocals and R&B stylings, but recently appeared in the Tyler Perry film I Can Do Bad All by Myself. This is the second casting of a musical figure of recent note, as it was announced last week that Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men) would play Nigerian icon Fela Kuti in a Focus Features biopic directed by Steve McQueen (Hunger).
Because any reason to post Simone’s version of “Feelin’ Good” is a good one, listen to a clip of the soulful number after the break.