Issa Rae to Play Nina Simone in Lorraine Hansberry Biopic

A Raisin in the Sun playwright was very close to Simone.

Posted: 06/04/2013 08:45 AM EDT

Nina Simone is getting the biopic treatment, again. 

Awkward Black Girl creator Issa Rae will play the jazz legend in a biopic about playwright Lorraine Hansberry, Indiewire.com's Shadow & Act reports. Hansberry, the award-winning writer of A Raisin in the Sun and the youngest Black female to launch a production on Broadway, was a close friend of Simone's and the biopic will explore their relationship. 

Rae's portrayal of Simone will be considerably smaller than that of Zoe Saldana, who is playing the singer in an upcoming biopic. The casting of Saldana raised nothing short of a firestorm of controversy, with many in the Black community feeling like Dominican-born Saldana is an inappropriate choice to play an African-American icon. Saldana responded to the criticism on BET.com by admitting she felt "disappointed" by the reaction.

The Lorraine Hansberry biopic, which explores the short yet rich life of the celebrated writer, will also star Jaleel White and Hansberry's grand niece Taye Hansberry, who is penning the script. Production is set to begin this fall.

Get ready for the BET Experience, featuring Beyoncé, Snoop DoggR. Kelly,  Erykah BaduKendrick Lamar and many more. Go here for more details and info on how to buy tickets.

Sign up now to attend free film screenings, celebrity basketball games and more.

BET.com is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music. 
 

 (Photos from left: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images, Courtesy of Legacy Recording)

Videos You May Like

From Our Partners