Lifetime’s Aaliyah biopic is back on with a new actress in the starring role.
Nickelodeon star Alexandra Shipp has been cast to play the R&B singer, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. This follows news of Wendy Williams boarding the TV movie as an executive producer, which she first announced Friday on Twitter.
Shipp takes over for Disney Channel star Zendaya Coleman, who left the project in June. The actress and singer was to record four of the songs that would’ve appeared in the movie.
“We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold,” Lifetime wrote in a statement posted on its Twitter account on June 29.
The project, titled Aaliyah: Princess of R&B is set, to resume filming this summer with a fall premiere date planned. The script for the biopic was based on a book, Aaliyah: More Than a Woman, by Christopher Farley.
Aaliyah, who topped the charts from 1994 to her death at 22 in 2001, has yet to get the biopic treatment. The film is being produced by Aaliyah Productions Inc., with Howard Braunstein (The Informant!) and Debra Martin Chase (The Princess Diaries) serving as executive producers.
Bradley Walsh (Turn the Beat Around) will direct from a script written by Michael Elliot (Brown Sugar).
Shipp’s credits include Nickelodeon’s “House of Anubis” as well as episodes of “Switched at Birth,” “Awkward” and “Ray Donovan.”
Stolen Lives - Celebrity Accidental Deaths
1. Charmayne Maxwell1 of 23
2. Lisa LopesSource:AP 2 of 23
3. Paul WalkerSource:AP 3 of 23
4. Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat died at age 27 from a cocaine-heroin overdose. AP4 of 23
5. Whitney Houston died in February of this year at age 48 by drowning. (AP)5 of 23
6. Michael Jackson died from cardiac arrest caused from a lethal dose of propofol.6 of 23
7. Dinah Washington died at age 39 from an accidental overdose of Rx drugs. AP7 of 23
8. Gerald Levert died at age 40 of an overdose of Rx drugs. (AP)8 of 23
9. Amy Winehouse died in July of 2011 at age 27 of alcohol poisoning. (AP)9 of 23
10. Bruce Lee died in 1973 at the age of 33 from a reaction to a pain killer. (AP)10 of 23
11. Brandon Lee died in 1993 during the filming of 'The Crow' at age 28. (AP)11 of 23
12. Marilyn Monroe died in 1962 at age of 36 of a drug overdose. (AP)12 of 23
13. Jimi Hendrix died in 1970 at the age of 27 of a drug overdose. (AP)13 of 23
14. Rapper Chris Kelly of the group Kris Kross died of a suspected cocaine/heroine overdose in 2013. (AP)14 of 23
15. Russell Jones, aka Ol' Dirty Bastard, died in 2004 at age 35. (AP)15 of 23
16. Anna Nicole Smith died at age 39 from a Rx drug overdose. (AP)16 of 23
17. Rapper Chad Butler, aka Pimp C, died in 2007 at age 33 of a Rx overdose. (AP)17 of 23
18. Heath Ledger died in 2008 at age 28 of an accidental Rx overdose. (AP)18 of 23
19. Rob Pilatus of Milli Vanilli died in 1998 at age 33 of an overdose. (AP)19 of 23
20. DJ Screw's death was an accidental codeine overdose. (AP)20 of 23
21. Brittany Murphy died in 2009 at age 32 of mulitiple drug intoxication. (AP)21 of 23
22. Janis Joplin died in 1970 at the age of 27 of a herion overdose. (AP)22 of 23
23. Elvis Presley died in 1977 at age 42 of cardiac arrhythmia by years of drug use.23 of 23