“Please note, this project is unauthorized,” Simone writes. “The Nina Simone Estate was never asked permission nor invited to participate.”
While Simone does not directly address Saldana’s casting, she does seem to imply that she’s not quite pleased with the film’s new leading lady either. Simone writes, “If written, funded and CAST PROPERLY a movie about my mother will make an lasting imprint.” Mary J. Blige was previously attached to lead the project but later moved on due to funding issues.
According to Simone, the biopic will chronicle the romance between her mother and her mom’s former nurse, Clifton Henderson. Simone has an issue with that, too, on the grounds that Henderson was allegedly gay.
“Clifton Henderson was gay,” Simone writes. “He was not attracted to women. So, the truth is…Nina Simone and Clifton Henderson NEVER had a relationship other than a business one. Please correct me, but isn’t a biopic the story of one’s life?”
There’s still no word from Saldana’s camp on her role in the project. Production for the film is slated to begin this October in Los Angeles.