Lil' Mama

An update on VH1's in-development biopic on pop/hip hop/R&B group TLC, which the network announced, last November, would begin shooting in early 2013, with casting underway at the time.

From a VH1 press release, screenwriter Kate Lanier (What’s Love Got To Do With It, Set it Off, Beauty Shop) penned the screenplay for the film, which is currently untitled (Untitled TLC Biopic), and it said that Chilli and T-Boz had signed on as consultants and executive producers of the movie, along with Bill Diggins and Maggie Malina, as well as Alexander Motlagh for Pop Films.

Thanks to a tip from reader Cordell, in the red carpet video interview embedded below, MC Lyte reveals that, not only is she working with Lil' Mama on an album, she adds (prefacing by saying that she's not sure if she should be revealing this or not) that Liil' Mama has been cast as TLC member, the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes.

Because I'm not hip enough, I actually had to Google Lil' Mama's name to remind myself of who she is. I've obviously heard the name, but never really bothered to find out more. In short (no pun intended), she's a rapper/singer/dancer who was a judge on America's Best Dance Crew, which is no longer on the air.

She's 23 years old, born Niatia Kirkland, and, according to her IMDBPro resume, she's never acted before. So this will be her debut.

As of today, she's the first member of the film's cast; so, assuming MC Lyte is right (hey, that rhymes!), we now wait to find out who'll play Chilli and T-Boz.

The film will tell the story of the hip musical trio who rose to fame in 1991 when they signed to LaFace Records, releasing their multi-platinum debut. Their 1994 follow-up, CrazySexyCool sold over 22 million copies, and Fanmail sold over 10 million copies in 1999. Of course, it wasn't all gravy; Bankruptcy, illness, group fights, and, of course, death, were just some of the group's valleys. 

Jeff Olde and Jill Holmes are serving as executive producers for VH1, for what will be the first in a series of scripted music-focused feature tele-pics that will air on VH1.

Stay tuned for more casting updates.

Here's MC Lyte with the reveal: