Lifetime just recently announced its plan to release a biopic about R&B Superstar Aaliyah; however, the film has already run into a few issues.
Well, actually…it has run into one pretty big issue.
It would seem that Zendaya Coleman, the actress set to play the titular role in the film, has suddenly backed out of the project.
The announcement came from the network’s PR Twitter account. ‘We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold.’
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film was set to be titled Aaliyah: Princess of R&B. The script for the currently stalled film was based off of the book Aaliyah: More Than a Woman by author Christopher Farley.
It would seem as if there is more than one person associated with the late singer/actress that was not on board with the Lifetime film.
In an interview with the NY Daily News, Jomo Hankerson, Aaliyah’s cousin and president of her record label, made it clear that they were looking for a major studio release for Aaliyah’s story.
“We want a major studio release along the lines of ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It,’ the Tina Turner movie,” Hankerson told the NY Daily News. “This needs A-list actors, A-list talent that can breathe life into what we think is a phenomenal story.”
Thankfully for Coleman, the family seems to have no objections to her playing the R&B Superstar only the fact that according to Hankerson, the family was never once contacted about the creation of the Lifetime film.
“I don’t have a problem with her,” he said. “It’s never been about the actress. The problem that we have is that Aaliyah was an icon and she deserves an iconic tribute, not a Lifetime movie.”
Ouch! While I can respect the fact that they want their family member to get the five-star treatment she deserves, there is something to be conveyed about the way we put things across.
There is no official word on why Coleman backed out of the project, but one would be left to assume that if she was a fan of the songstress, she more than likely would not be keen on continuing on with a project that the artist’s family had objections to.
What are your thoughts on the situation? Do you think Aaliyah’s story should be told on the big screen, or do you think Lifetime would be able to provide a proper tribute to Aaliyah’s legacy? Let us know what you think in the comments below.