Disney Star Snags Leading Role In Lifetime’s Aaliyah Biopic

June 16, 2014  |  

Source: WENN

Well, we’re not sure if VH1 still has that Aaliyah biopic in the works, but we know a network that does! According to The Hollywood Reporter, actress Zendaya Coleman has been cast as R&B’s beloved songstress in Lifetime’s forthcoming biopic tentatively titled, “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B.”

The film will be based off of Christopher Farley’s bestselling biography, “Aaliyah: More Than A Woman.” The bio film will be produced by Aaliyah Inc. with Howard Braunstein and Debra Martin Chase serving as executive producers. Bradley Walsh will be directing the film. The script was written by Michael Elliot.

If you are unfamiliar with Zendaya’s work, the 17-year-old starlet has a leading role on Disney series “Shake It Up!” She was also a contender on “Dancing With The Stars.”

As you may recall, we told you last month that according to a photo shared to Aaliyah’s uncle and former manager, Barry Hankerson’s Instagram page, an Aaliyah biopic is also set to air on VH1 this summer. However, summer is swiftly approaching and the network has yet to make a peep about whether or not this film is happening. But, as always, we’ll keep you posted as further details regarding this project emerge.

Do you think Zendaya has what it takes to play Aaliyah?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • Pingback: Zendaya Coleman & Aaliyah’s Family Release Statements On Biopic » Naybesa.com()

  • Chri$$$topher ™

    Mixed people are not black and will never be black. No matter how much you self hating black women want them to be

    • Junebug123

      thank you in Africa we don’t considers biracials black

      • Chri$$$topher ™

        …and you shouldn’t..I have a problem with mixed people claiming Black only when it’s convenient for them. It’s you wanna say you’re black, be black all the time

      • Ceasar

        I’m Latin and I don’t consider black Hispanics to be Latino. Latinos are descendant from white Spanish Europeans only.

    • Ceasar

      There is no such thing as a Mixed Race that doesn’t exists you are black! And black Hispanics will never be Latino no matter how many times they claim to be.

      • Chri$$$topher ™

        Hispanics are a mixture of 3 races, dickhead

      • Chri$$$topher ™

        “There is no such thing as a Mixed Race” You are possibly the most ignorant person I’ve ever seen. if you mixed a black and white crayon together does the color stay black or not?

      • Chri$$$topher ™

        Biracial people are 50 percent european and 50 percent african. How can you be “black” if you have a white parent? Are you that dumb?

  • Momma Dee Tha Q.U.E.E.N

    Wait this is Lifetime’s? Umm idk about this…Fantasia’s was terrible & Gabby Douglas’ should have been better… I feel in different about this…

  • Courtney Rene’ Lowe

    I think she’ll do a great job. HOWEVER, I agree that the content of the movie won’t be very in -depth. Just like the TLC biopic – it was only an acted out version of their Behind the Music episode. It didn’t give anymore information than what we already knew. And it will be the same thing with this movie.

  • SuperTrooper1420

    Well we know for sure she is a good dancer; to me that was the most important part of the casting (though I do give side eye to this trend of not casting black folks to play black people … but anyway … ). To be honest though, I’m not even that pressed to watch. After the messes that were the TLC and Coretta/Betty movies, I’m not sure these things are even worth my time. In the case of Aaliyah, I don’t really know what more there is to tell. And what there is to tell we won’t find out, which is fine by me because we don’t need to know everything about everybody. Just let this child rest. She spent her short life working and she left a small body of work behind. We should just enjoy that.

  • guest

    Congrats, but I always saw Solange playing Aaliyah. IMO

    • Ernestine

      Good pick possibly, bearing physical likeness…. Somewhat. But…..can she handle the role? Character wise?? Ummmmm???

      • Ernestine

        Raven Symone mabye?? She’s a “seasoned actress” in the industry. With some possible physical tweeking, she may serve well, as a crop pick!! 🙂

  • Christan-Joy Demeritt

    I just need to know if the family approves…if not they need to leave it alone and fix that Nina Simone biopic…and by “fix” I mean fire Zoe and hire Adepero Oduye because Nina’s family DOES NOT approve.

  • Ronnasher Anthony

    Im Not Here For It #NoShade I Feel Lolita Price Should Play Her Cuz She LOOKS Like Aaliyah & Can Sing & Dance

  • Junebug123

    im tired of biracial women being passed off for light skin black women. biracials and light skin blacks are not the same thing

    • Calvin Summerlin

      By that logic, Obama isn’t black.

      • Junebug123

        yes Obama is not black. im from south African so we don’t practice the one drop rule like you americans

        • Ceasar

          Too bad , we do here and Obama is black.

          • Chri$$$topher ™

            Obama is white and black, you ignoramus.

          • Chri$$$topher ™

            In what world is obama black?

    • Ceasar

      And black Hispanic women are not Latinas since Latinas are white.

  • Lala

    I really have a problem with Hollywood and their casting of black people without regard for color. I understand with some roles there is a talented black actor who might not fit the description but with roles like these where it is a biography should be more carefully chosen. I have nothing against Zendaya but I wish the would have casted someone who has a darker skin tone or at least resembled Aaliyah. There is so much black talent out there they could have found someone who kinda looked like her and talented.

    • Junebug123

      aaliyah was light skin. they should’ve casted a light skin black girl with two black parents like Bianca Lawson or beyonce

      • Lala

        She was lighter complected but still brown, Bianca Lawson is just as light as Zendaya but not biracial and no beyonce would not be a good fit.

        • Trisha_B

          She said Beyoncé lmaoooo

      • Saudade

        Aaliyah was NOT light skin….at all. She may not be the same shade as say Lupita, but she was closer to Lupita’s complexion than to “light skin.” Btw, Beyonce is lighter than Zendaya…so check yourself a bit.

        • Junebug123

          im from south Africa so she is considered light skin. brown skin is michelle Obama gabrielle union and Meagan good. dark skin is lupita Naomi Campbell and akon

          • Saudade

            So then she is brown skin, because she had the same complexion as Gabrielle Union. She was no where near light skin.

          • Xoli

            I’m from South Africa, Aaliyah was brown (a perfectly medium shade of brown).

        • Ceasar

          I’m from Colombia and I consider all black Hispanics to be black. All Latinos do. Lala, Sessilee Lopez, David Ortiz are all black, not brown and certainly not Latino.

          • Ernestine

            I hear you brother. They are indeed black, but if they were raised/born in Latino culture, of sorts. Ethnically they are indeed Latino! Race wise, they are black. Henceforth: African Latino, or Black Latino. Period.
            At the end of the day: Human!!!!!

            Don’t let society brainwash you. Stop falling victim to the good ole fashioned “divide and conquer” techniques! Young brothers & sisters!!! Wake upppp!!!!!—-aka– Spike Lee

            • Ernestine

              This includes myself, young man.

          • Saudade

            Lol, Aaliyah was not light skin. I don’t care if you are from Colombia, that has nothing to do with it. She wasn’t. And its a damn shame that people feel the need to lighten her up in order to appreciate her.

        • Dre Readus

          Aaliyah wasnt lightskin??? Check out her music videos and movies and then you come back anf tell me who isnt lightskin aaliyah was never as dark as no damn lupita smh lupita is black DARK aaliyah was a light brown skin tone thats a fact

          • Saudade

            Grow the hell up. She wasn’t light skin, and saying otherwise is not an insult to Aaliyah. She was a beautiful woman of color. Lupita is very dark, and yes she was not as dark as Lupita, but she wasn’t as light as Beyonce either. Aaliyah had a nice dark complexion and its hell of a shame that you feel the need to disregard that in order to appreciate her.

            • Dre Readus

              Oh to see she is light skin check out her music videos like try again or we need a resolution it clearly shows how light aaliyah was.

        • Dre Readus

          Ill evem prove it to you with pics a damn shame you lying on someone who is passed away. Saying she was dark smh aaliyah was always light never dark

          • Saudade

            Shame on you for thinking its an insult to refer to her as dark skinned, which is what she was.

  • Momma Dee Tha Q.U.E.E.N

    I’m mad over the reaction the internet is having (yeah I kno) because the girl has potential. Everyone shut up & remember how we ALL laughed at Lil Mama being casted as Lefteye but were blown away by the job she did.

  • Aaliyah Noelle

    I’m definitely watching. I used to want to be exactly like her growing up.

  • prettyredbone

    As far as features I think Zendaya could be a good pick. I love Zendaya but as far as acting I’ve only seen her “disney” acting so i hope she can pull it off. But then again not many people knew Aaliyah as a person as far as her personality, mannerisms, and other things like that. So even if Zendaya doesnt naul it its not like people can really say “She didnt portray aaliyah well” , b/c ppl only really knew her as a artist. I’ve always wanted a Aaliyah biopic to be made but after actually thinking I don’t see the point. Ill be watching anyway.

  • ATL Shawty

    No. Just no. Idk why they won’t respect the Haughton family wishes and NOT make a film. Idk even know who the young actress is. She doesn’t even resemble Aaliyah. IJS. This may be an epic fail.

  • What is going on with her head and shoulders??????

    • Guestacular

      I know right!LMAO that’s the first thing I thought once I clicked on the article.

  • Mimsy

    What is the point of this movie?? Is an Aaliyah movie really necessary? We’re not talking about the life of Maya Angelou or Barack Obama. I get it that she died tragic, and unexpected, but really??!! We’re not going to see her REAL relationship with R.Kelly, Dame, Jay-z. It’s going to be rainbows, and sprinkles about her “angelic” voice and” beauty”

    • Trisha_B

      I was thinking the samething. I feel like a lot will be omitted from the movie.

    • Misss

      I think its a better chance for the real story with more deets on Lifetime versus VH1, honestly. I loved Aaliyah growing up so I will watch it anyway.

    • Aaliyah Noelle

      Cuz she still have fans who want to see it

    • JT

      Yes!! My thoughts exactly! And two movies? Uh no thanks. Always felt she was mediocre as an artist, gorgeous, could dance really well but no real vocal strength. I’m super excited for the James Brown biopic though!!

      • Wynter

        I’m interested in the James Brown biopic as well

  • Alexis Morris

    we are zendaya fans in my house

    • Joyce Gray

      In my house too. I just think she is so talented. I just wish she would get a major motion picture soon.

  • marj

    What happened to the photo?

    • Keri

      I was wondering the same thing. That pic is weird!!! Funny how no one else said anything….

    • Lina Kennedy Crawford


  • bean83

    This may work. She is a great dancer and she’s very talented. Congrats to her. I hope it’s a accurate and true portrayal which would include the chapters of her life with R. Kelly. I guess we will have to wait and see. I will definitely be watching.

  • juicyco

    i want to know whose going to play r.kelly frfr

    • Aaliyah Noelle

      Lmaaaaoooo I hate you for that-.- lol funny

    • Junebug123

      Justin bieber or wentworth miller

  • Shawndrea Rachelle

    How stupid to have 2 different movies. But i’m so happy they chose Zendaya!!!! She’s so talented and soooooo pretty