Trent Clark

Aaliyah Biopic Gets New Lead With Alexandra Shipp, Wendy Williams To Executive Produce [Photos]


Much to the chagrin of Aaliyah’s family, Lifetime is moving on with their biopic about the late R&B star’s life with a new lead after Zendaya Coleman dropped out of the role last month.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, actress Alexandra Shipp will now assume the role as Aaliyah and talk show host Wendy Williams will executive produce the film along with Debra Martin Chase.

“I’m excited to exec-produce the Aaliyah Lifetime TV movie with Debra M. Chase,” Williams revealed on her Twitter as she celebrated her 50th birthday. “Production starts later this month and Alexandra Shipp will play Aaliyah.”

Shipp is probably best known for her role as KT Rush in the Nickelodeon soap opera, House of Anubis. Like Williams, she recently celebrated her birthday as she preps for the now controversial role.

As details for the film slowly began to unravel in June (including the juicy headline that R. Kelly’s underage marriage with the singer would be detailed), Aaliyah’s family proceeded with legal representation to nip production in the bud. Zendaya braved through backlash and announced she was determined to do her character justice but abruptly pulled out of the movie, citing various corner cutting with the way the script read.

Lifetime was left in a period of uncertainty and released a statement saying, “”We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold.”

Which, of course, is no longer the case.

Check out the gallery to see Alexandra’s first look as Aaliyah and some of her more candid shots. Do you think she looks like her and has the personality to pull it off? Let us know in the comment section below.

Photo: Lifetime

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Comment Comments: 7 Tags Tags: tv/movies, aaliyah, wendy williams

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  • Brittany

    now that’s more like it

  • Nope

    Nope. Still more of Hollywood white-washing a black person.



  • Mocha23

    Ok that’s MUCH better casting now I’m excited! She better bring it because I’m watching this one! Yay!

  • Reflect2Discuss

    She’s cute but FAR from Aaliyah. Maybe the belly button favors but thats it. Hope she can act, and well. Not talking a kid show but Aaliyah. Please, whoever you are, REPRESENT. Detailed Makeup or something is in order. I’m weird tho. If you don’t favor its just not believable. But that’s just my opinion. Don’t mess this bio up please. Been waiting for them to make a movie so guess it’ll have to do. Sigh…

  • Relle

    She is still light skinned just like the previous actress… Why not get some one more of the singers complexion? #just saying

  • Motor city 82

    She got the look. Other than that I don’t know much else about her.