Zendaya Backs Out Of Lifetime’s Aaliyah Biopic
The long-awaited Aaliyah biopic isn’t any closer to becoming a reality than it was five years ago. Zendaya Coleman, who was cast to take on the starring role in a Lifetime movie based on the late R&B star’s life, has dropped out of the project. “Zendaya is no longer involved in the project,” a rep for the 17-year-old Disney star said in a statement.
Along with backlash from Zendaya being cast in the role, a source told E! Online there were problems with production, including issues with getting the rights to Aaliyah’s music. “Aaliyah has always been an inspiration to Zendaya,” the source said. “She was honored to portray her and pay tribute to her. If she is going to do it, she wants to do it right.”
Aaliyah’s family was also unhappy that Lifetime was behind the movie, telling TMZ that a “TV movie is too small for someone as big as Aaliyah.” In a recent interview, the “Rock the Boat” singer’s cousin, Jomo Hankerson, revealed that he would like to see Zoe Saldana play the role.
Via Twitter, the Lifetime network said of Zendaya’s decision to back out of the project, “We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold.”