Zendaya Coleman Drops Out Of Aaliyah Biopic [Details]

Rucuss staffJune 30, 2014

Zendaya Coleman has dropped out of Lifetime’s Aaliyah biopic.

Just two weeks after it was announced that Coleman would portray Aaliyah in the move, the 17-year old has pulled out of the project. The Disney Channel star announced the news on social media, along with other outlets.

Zendaya Coleman Will Play Aaliyah in Lifetime Biopic [Details]

According to E! News,  Lifetime couldn’t get the rights to Aaliyah’s music and Zen didn’t want any parts of the film if they couldn’t get the rights.

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.”

The Disney Channel star had been set for the title role in the TV movie, and also planned to record four of the late R&B singer’s songs for the film.

“We are sad Zendaya will no longer play Aaliyah. Production is on hold,” Lifetime announced on Twitter Sunday afternoon.


Aaliyah’s family had already expressed displeasure with the project.

“Considering the magnitude of her fans’ affection alone, she deserves to have a tribute much more grand than a television network debut that won’t even consider the perspectives of those who were closest to Aaliyah,” the family said in a statement. “Disregarding the families and dishonoring the legacies of celebrated figures who have passed on, big networks want to exploit their stories for a buck. We’re here to make it clear that it’s not okay!”


The biopic, titled Aaliyah: Princess of R&B is based on Christopher John Farley’s bestselling biography Aaliyah: More Than a Woman. It was scheduled to begin shooting this summer for a fall premiere.


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