Zendaya Coleman, Aaliyah

17-year-old singer Zendaya Coleman will no longer portray late R&B singer Aaliyah in Lifetime Television’s made for TV movie.

The network made the announcement via Twitter. 

From E!:

“We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah.  Production is currently on hold.” […] A rep for the 17-year-old actress told E! News exclusively on Sunday, June 29, that “Zendaya is no longer involved in the project.” Lifetime had announced her casting in the biopic on June 16.

A source told E! News that there were production issues, including problems obtaining the rights to Aaliyah’s music. The R&B star and Queen of the Damned actress died at age 22 in a plane crash on Aug. 25, 2001.

“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.”

Read more at E!

Previously, Lifetime said the movie would be based off of Christopher Farley’s best-selling biography Aaliyah: More Than a Woman. 

The project was set the air this fall. Members of Aaliyah’s family protested the film, saying they were not consulted about its production. An online petition in protest of the film was also created by fans.

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