I received emails on this before, but from people I've never had any previous exchanges with, and I couldn't verify the information the emails contained, so I didn't share here.
But I just learned that the writer who's said to be penning the script, author Zane (of popular erotic fiction novels - one of which has been adapted to film) shared a link to an article about the project to her almost 1 million Facebook followers, which suggests there's some truth to it. Hence, this post.
The article Zane shared on her Facebook fan page is published on S2S (Sister 2 Sister) Magazine's website, which states that a second film - this one planned for a theatrical release, and not TV, like the other one set up at Lifetime - based on the life of Aaliyah, is in development, with Aaliyah's Uncle and former manager said to be involved.
Cast to play Aaliyah in this project is singer B.Simone (pictured above), who clearly looks a lot like her.
The S2S Magazine article adds that Terrence Howard and Wood Harris are being eyed for possible roles, but no word on what those roles might be.
You'll recall that, in response to the Lifetime project, which Alexandra Shipp will star in, with Wendy Williams producing, Aaliyah's family has been vocal about their opposition to a small screen adaptation for Aaliyah's story, wanting a feature film made for the big screen instead, with *name* actors.
"We want a major studio release along the lines of 'What's Love Got to Do with It,' the Tina Turner movie... This needs A-list actors, A-list talent that can breathe life into what we think is a phenomenal story," said Jomo Hankerson, Aaliyah's cousin and president of her label, Blackground Records.
Could this seemingly mystery project which Zane is apparently attached to write, be closer to what they envision, assuming it happens?
Let's see if anything comes of this, or if it's all just a trial balloon - information sent out to the media (whether intentionally, or *leaked*), before any real work has been done, in order to see how audiences react to whatever idea is being sold, and whether it attracts any interest from those who are in positions to help make the idea a reality.
Based on the bestseller "Aaliyah: More Than a Woman" by former Time Magazine music editor Christopher Farley, the Lifetime Original Movie is to be filmed this summer to be premiered in the Fall.
By the way, Lionsgate's upcoming adaptation of Zane's popular novel "Addicted," which follows the trials and tribulations of a professional African American woman with a sex addiction, is set for an October 10, 2014 theatrical release.
Directed by Bille Woodruff, from a script penned by Christina Welsh and Ernie Barbarash, the film stars Sharon Leal, Boris Kodjoe), Tasha Smith, Tyson Beckford, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Kat Graham, and William Levy.
Watch B.Simone in an Aaliyah tribute she produced to demonstrate her abilities: