Alexandra Shipp will play the slain R&B singer in the Lifetime biopic due out later this year.
Nickelodeon star Alexandra Shipp is set to play the R&B legend Aaliyah in an upcoming Lifetime biopic scheduled to premier this fall, according to talk show host Wendy Williams, who is an executive producer on the project.
Shipp takes on the role after Disney Channel star Zendaya Coleman opted out in June.
Just a few weeks after Zendaya Coleman dropped out of the upcoming Aaliyah biopic, Lifetime has finally found their replacement in Alexandra Shipp.
The 23-year-old actress is best known for her role as Kara Tatiana Rush on the Nickelodeon series House of Anubis, and is also featured in season two of Ray Donovan.
“Wendy and Wendy Williams Productions are proud to announce that they are joining Debra Martin Chase as executive producers on the Aaliyah Lifetime movie! Production begins later this month with Alexandra Shipp playing Aaliyah”.
Zendaya Coleman Opens Up About Aaliyah Biopic
Aaliyah’s family has publicly condemned the film and has reportedly hired a lawyer to halt production.
The same day it was announced that Nickelodeon actress Alexandra Shipp would take the lead in the upcoming Aaliyah biopic, its former star, Zendaya Coleman, has released a statement.
Coleman exited the Lifetime project last month, and is speaking out about why she decided not to play the R&B singer in the film, tentively titled “Aaliyah:Princess of R&B.” She made the comments over several video posts on her Instagram account Friday (July 18).
After the film was announced, there had been reports that Aaliyah’s family had their reservations about the project. According to Aaliyah’s cousin Jomo Hankerson, the network reportedly “didn’t reach out.” Fan reaction to her casting was also mixed.
On the other hand, Zendaya says she tried to connect with the family.
“There were complications with the music rights. And I just felt like it wasn’t being handled delicately considering the situation,” she said.
“And I tried my best to reach out to the family on my own and I wrote a letter, but I was unable to do so. Therefore I felt not really morally okay with moving forward with the project.”
The biopic, entitled “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B”, is set to begin production later this month and premiere in the fall. The script is based off Christopher Farley’s best-selling biography “Aaliyah: More Than a Woman”.