After being put on hold following the high-profile exit of its leading lady, Lifetime's unauthorized Aaliyah biopic is back on track, with a new star and a premiere date.
The network will air "Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B" on November 15, and it will feature actress Alexandra Shipp in the title role. Shipp, who starred on Nickelodeon series "House of Anubis," takes over for Zendaya Coleman, the actress and singer who landed the part earlier this year, but backed out this summer over concerns about the quality of the film.
Coleman's exit -- which caused a temporary shutdown of the production -- wasn't the only controversy the flick faced, with Aaliyah's family publicly denouncing the project as unworthy of the late singer, who died in a plane crash in 2001 at the age of 22. Aaliyah's estate blocked the use of her recordings in the flick, but does not own publishing rights to her music, and Shipp will record several of Aaliyah's tracks for "Princess."
According to TheWrap, more recent troubles surfaced when Chattrisse Dolabaille and Izaak Smith were cast in the roles of Missy Elliott and Timbaland, respectively, with fans on social media claiming that the actors were too light-skinned.
Despite all that, the project moved forward anyway, and is now due for its day in the spotlight. "Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B" will debut on Lifetime on November 15 at 8 p.m.
Photo credit: Florian Schneider/Lifetime
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