It might as well be spring for RLJ Entertainment, as the company announced today that it has acquired all North American rights to Nina, the upcoming biopic about the life of legendary singer-songwriter and civil rights activist Nina Simone. The film will be released in theaters December 2015 under the RLJ Entertainment brand.

Nina_Simone_1965Starring Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy) in the title role, along with David Oyelowo (Selma), the film charts Simone’s career during the civil rights era, as she balances family, career and activism, finding herself alone in France until, after meeting Clifton Henderson, who would become her longtime assistant. Their friendship helps her rediscover meaning in her life and art, and enables her to return to the United States.

From first time writer-director Cynthia Mort, Nina is produced by Barnaby Thompson (The Importance of Being Earnest), Ben Latham-Jones (Kids in Love), Stuart Parr (Get Rich or Die Tryin’) and Mort, and executive produced by Pierre Lagrange (Kick-Ass), Allison Sarofim (Lake City), Aigerim Jakisheva (Kids in Love), Zoe Saldana, David Oyelowo, James Spring (Burke and Hare), Gene Kirkwood (Rocky), Lauren Lloyd (Cellular) and Paul Rosenberg (Southpaw). The deal was negotiated by RLJ Entertainment executives Mark Ward (Chief Acquisitions Officer) and Angela Northington (SVP, Content Acquisitions) and ICM Partners behalf of the filmmakers.

Recent RLJ Entertainment releases include The Rewrite with Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei and written and directed by Marc Lawrence; The Cobbler with Adam Sandler, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Ellen Barkin, Melonie Diaz, Dan Stevens, Steve Buscemi, and Dascha Polanco, written and directed by Tom McCarthy; and Blackbird, based on the novel by Larry Duplechan, starring Oscar-winner Mo’Nique (Precious), Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy), and inewcomer Julian Walker, directed by Patrik-Ian Polk (Noah’s Arc, The Skinny).