Lifetime's Aaliyah biopic has been put on hold following the exit of its star, Zendaya.
The 17-year-old actress and singer said that she left the project, tentatively titled "Aaliyah: Princess of R&B," because the production didn't meet the high standards that the late singer's life demanded.
"Because it's someone that I honor and I respect so much, it has to be 128 percent, especially for all her fans, including myself," Zendaya said while attending the BET Awards this weekend. "I didn't feel like it was all the way there, so I didn't want to do that. And when the time comes when it's done right and it's 100 percent, by all means, I will be the first person there ready to go."
That's a sharp left turn for the former Disney and "Dancing With the Stars" performer, who was thrilled to be involved with the film two weeks ago. After news of her casting was announced, Zendaya wrote on Twitter that Aaliyah has "been an inspiration and influence in my whole career, her talent still shines brighter then ever, all I wanna do is honor her."
But Aaliyah's family was unhappy with Zendaya's casting, telling TMZ that they didn't think a television biopic was fitting for the fallen pop star, who was a bestselling musician and budding actress at the time of her death in a plane crash in 2001 at age 22. While the family said that they were not opposed to a big screen movie about Aaliyah's life, they told TMZ that Lifetime did not receive their permission for "Princess of R&B," and the family would block that film's release and use of Aaliyah's music.
In the wake of those roadblocks, Lifetime announced on Twitter Sunday that the flick would be postponed until further notice. The film was set to shoot this summer, and Zendaya was to record four of Aaliyah's songs for the project.
"We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah," the network tweeted. "Production is currently on hold."
[via: Time, h/t The A.V. Club]
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