Alexandra Shipp Signs On for Aaliyah Biopic
The Aaliyah biopic is back on. After Zendaya dropped out last month, a new starlet has signed on to play the R&B singer in the upcoming Lifetime movie.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, 23-year-old actress Alexandra Shipp will take on the role.
Shipp has starred on Nickelodeon’s “House of Anubis” and appeared on episodes of “Switched at Birth,” “Awkward,” and “Ray Donovan.”
Wendy Williams, who will now serve as executive producer, announced the news Friday on Facebook.
“Wendy and Wendy Williams Productions are proud to announce that they are joining Debra Martin Chase as executive producers on the Aaliyah Lifetime movie! Production begins later this month with Alexandra Shipp playing Aaliyah.”
Shipp takes over for Disney Channel star Zendaya Coleman, who exited the project after production issues including problems obtaining the rights to Aaliyah’s music.
“Aaliyah has always been an inspiration to Zendaya,” a rep for the actress told E! News. “She was honored to portray her and pay tribute to her. If she is going to do it, she wants to do it right.”
Aaliyah’s family has publicly condemned the film, and has reportedly hired a lawyer to halt production.
The biopic, entitled Aaliyah: Princess of R&B, is set to begin production later this month and premiere in the fall. The script is based off Christopher Farley’s best-selling biography Aaliyah: More Than a Woman.