Things are really starting to come together for Lifetime as it’s finally locked down a title for Aaliyah‘s biopic and cast some key roles!
For a minute there, things weren’t looking to good the film, which has been freshly dubbed “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B.” Her family was not here for the concept (they’ve since decided to move ahead with making their own biopic about Aaliyah), and then Zendaya shut down production by backing out of the lead role. Thankfully for the network, it was able to rebound with Alexandra Shipp.
Despite a rocky start, production for the film is continuing to take shape now that the network has found its Timbaland and Missy Elliott! According to The Wrap, Lifetime made some unlikely picks with casting Chattrisse Dolabaille and Izaak Smith as Missy and Timbo respectively.
If Aaliyah’s loyals weren’t feeling Zendaya‘s original casting, the Candadian talents might be in for some harsh criticism.
Of course, the pair are sure to put in their best effort to play Aaliyah’s musical mentors. Chattrisse even went all out when she auditioned to play Missy back in June by putting on her best b-girl fit. She posted a selfie just before meeting with casting directors, writing, “So I have an #audition today. Can you guess? #throwback #guesswho #dressthepart.”
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Had Alexandra not been cast for Aaliyah, Chattrisse might have made a good option for the role because she’s also a singer. That could come in handy since Aaliyah’s family isn’t allowing Lifetime to use her music.
Chattrisse is a relative newcomer to the entertainment game, but Izaak is well-adjusted to the spotlight. He first appeared on “So You Think You Can Dance Canada,” but he’s also been involved in a production called “Rise” more recently.
Lifetime has also rounded out the films roster by casting Rachael Crawford and Sterling Jarvis as Aaliyah’s mom and dad. Lyriq Bent will play her uncle Barry Hankerson, who was also the head of her label.