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Mary J. Blige to play soul singer Nina Simone

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Image Credit: Jakes Van Der Watt/PR Photos; Everett CollectionR&B superstar Mary J. Blige will be taking on the role of legendary soul and jazz singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Simone, who was known as the High Priestess of Soul, but also sang in a myriad of other genres, flourished in the 1960s and 1970s with a series of civil rights anthems. Some of her most acclaimed songs included “My Baby Just Cares for Me,” “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” and her rendition of Porgy and Bess‘ “I Loves You, Porgy.” Cynthia Mort — who previously created HBO’s short-lived Tell Me You Love Me and worked on the shows Roseanne and Will & Grace — is writing the script, which will focus on Simone’s relationship with her assistant Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo).

But is Mary J. Blige up to the task of playing a colossal music figure who also reportedly suffered from bipolar disorder? Blige has made a few television acting appearances on The Jamie Foxx Show, Strong Medicine, and Ghost Whisperer, and she most recently starred in Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself, but this biopic is truly going to be the project that reveals whether or not Blige has some serious acting chops. (Of course, she should have no trouble handling the singing aspect of the role). PopWatchers, what do you make of this casting choice?