Zoe Saldana’s Nina Simone Biopic Acquired by RLJ Entertainment

Distributor plans December 2015 release for “Nina,” which also stars David Oyelowo

The Zoe Saldana-led Nina Simone biopic “Nina” has been acquired by RLJ Entertainment, the company announced Thursday.

“Nina” also stars David Oyelowo and was written and directed by Cynthia Mort. RLJ is planning a December release for the film, which generated considerable online controversy of the casting of light-skinned actress Saldana in the lead role.

The film traces the career of legendary American singer-songwriter and civil rights activist, following her struggle to balance music, family and what she believes in, which leaves her living alone in France feeling exiled from her own country.

That is, until she meets Clifton Henderson (Oyelowo) who helps the high priestess of soul rediscover meaning in her life and music, and to once again embrace America.

“I am very excited that RLJ Entertainment will be distributing Nina Simone’s biopic with the tremendous talent involved including Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo,” said Robert L. Johnson, RLJE Chairman, in a statement.

“I had the special privilege early in my career of working with Ms. Simone while coordinating a performance for former D.C. Delegate Walter E. Fauntroy and knowing first-hand of her major contribution to the soul and emotion of the Civil Rights Movement. I look forward as I am sure many others will, to her story and legacy being made available by RLJ Entertainment to consumers on various media platforms in the coming months.”