Nina Simone's family criticise Zoe Saldana in new biopic trailer

"Take Nina's name out of your mouth for the rest of your life"

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The Independent Culture

The first trailer for the long-delayed Nina Simone biopic has sparked outrage from the singer's family.

Starring Zoe Saldana, doubts were initially expressed following the casting announcement back in 2012, with many believing the actor - an American of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent - to be too light-skinned for the role. 

The new trailer shows Saldana appearing to don darker makeup, as well as a prosthetic nose, generating backlash from the legendary performer's fans who have stated it's disrespectful to Simone's legacy.

Following the outcry, Saldana herself tweeted a Simone quote which issued a harsh response from the singer's estate.

At the time of Saldana's casting, Simone's daughter Lisa told The New York Times"My mother was raised at a time when she was told her nose was too wide, her skin was too dark. Appearance-wise, this is not the best choice."

Simone's family continued to tweet reactions against the film's trailer, posting clips to songs "Go To Hell" and "That Blackness" as well as encouraging music venues to host their own Nina Simone tributes on the day of the film's release

Born in North Carolina in 1933, Nina Simone - real name Eunice Waymon - recorded over 40 albums, fusing gospel and pop with a jazz singing style. The singer and civil rights activist died at the age of 70 in 2003. 

Despite extreme delays, Nina is set to be released this coming April. The film co-stars Selma actor David Oyelowo while first-timer Cynthia Mort directs.