It appears Zendaya Coleman won’t be playing Aaliyah after all in the Lifetime Movie Network biopic. The network has had issues procuring the rights to Babygirl’s music and Zendaya isn’t too keen on that struggle.
A rep released a statement to the network which said:
“Zendaya is no longer involved in the project….Aaliyah has always been an inspiration to Zendaya. She was honored to portray her and pay tribute to her. If she is going to do it, she wants to do it right.”
This is really unfortunately for Aaliyah fans and for Zendaya, who was just so excited for the role only a week ago.
“We haven’t started production or anything. But the family was my number one concern. My important thing about this was the mother & the brother… and that Lifetime reached out. I didn’t feel comfortable until they did. So they’re working on that and reaching out to the family to make sure everything’s ok. I wrote a letter, a whole bunch of things. I’ve been an Aaliyah fan my entire life. I auditioned like anyone else and I got cast in the part. I want it to be something [the family] is proud of and what she would be proud of. It’s a Lifetime movie. So it’s just to honor her. And to show how incredible she is and the things she was able to do.”
It’s really unfortunate but not shocking in the least. I knew Aaliyah’s family would give Lifetime a fight in regards to the making of this film. I was just hoping they would have crossed all of their “t’s” and dotted their “I’s” before going public with their endeavors. There is no way they could make an Aaliyah movie without her music, especially “Rock the Boat,” the hit that changed the game for everyone and catapulted her into a new arena of music.
I wonder who’s next in line for the part. And please don’t say Rihanna…