Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
British Filmmaker Peter Greenaway Preps Feature on Alexandre Dumas British Filmmaker Peter Greenaway Preps Feature on Alexandre Dumas Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors Watch 'Reservoir Bitches' with the Cast of 'Orange Is the New Black' for Red Nose Day Watch 'Reservoir Bitches' with the Cast of 'Orange Is the New Black' for Red Nose Day Get Your Fill (or Feel on) of "Sexy Chocolate" in 4 New Clips from 'Chocolate City' Get Your Fill (or Feel on) of "Sexy Chocolate" in 4 New Clips from 'Chocolate City' BET Adds 2 New Original Movies + New Series, and More to Its Summer Lineup BET Adds 2 New Original Movies + New Series, and More to Its Summer Lineup Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ 'Girlhood' Is Now Streaming on Netflix. We Spoke to the Director About Race, Gender & the Universality of the Story 'Girlhood' Is Now Streaming on Netflix. We Spoke to the Director About Race, Gender & the Universality of the Story First Official Look at Omar Sy in 'Chocolat' (Film Attracts Distributors at Cannes But No USA Pickup Yet) First Official Look at Omar Sy in 'Chocolat' (Film Attracts Distributors at Cannes But No USA Pickup Yet) Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis New York Women in Film & Television Now Accepting Applications for Its Four 2015 Funds for Women Filmmakers New York Women in Film & Television Now Accepting Applications for Its Four 2015 Funds for Women Filmmakers 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Recording Artist Zendaya Cast to Play Aaliyah in Lifetime's Original Movie 'Princess of R&B'

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 16, 2014 at 4:25PM

Based on the bestseller "Aaliyah: More Than a Woman" by former Time Magazine music editor Christopher Farley
29
Zendaya

Recording artist Zendaya has been cast to portray Aaliyah in a Lifetime Original Movie about the life of the actress and R&B sensation who, at the height of her stardom, tragically died in a plane crash.  

Based on the bestseller "Aaliyah: More Than a Woman" by former Time Magazine music editor Christopher Farley, the Lifetime Original Movie will be titled "Aaliyah: Princess of R&B" (although it's a working title), the first movie about the beloved artist, will be filmed this summer and premiere in the Fall.

Quite a fast turnaround!

Here's Lifetime's official synopsis for the film from the press release I received:

Before Beyonce and before Rihanna, self-proclaimed “street but sweet” Aaliyah was poised to become a global icon with top-selling albums, a hot movie career and an adoring fan base. But behind the spotlight, Brooklyn-born, Detroit-raised Aaliyah Dana Haughton struggled to succeed in a tough business while staying grounded in the midst of her growing celebrity. The film follows the beautiful and talented performer’s inspirational journey, from her debut on "Star Search" at the age of ten to the challenges she faced during her rise to become the Princess of R&B. On August 25, 2001, at the height of her popularity, her life was tragically cut short when a plane carrying the singer and some of her video crew crashed after takeoff from a Bahamian runway. Although just 22-years-old at the time of her death, Aaliyah continues to lead a legacy as Billboard’s tenth most famous R&B artist of the past 25 years and one of the recording industry’s most successful artists in history.

Platinum-selling artist Zendaya will record four of Aaliyah’s songs for the film, including many of her hit singles.

“Replay,” her first single from her self-titled 2013 debut full-length album, sold 1,000,000 copies in the U.S. this January, and the music video now has more than 54 million views on YouTube.  

The busy multi-hyphenate will also star in the upcoming Disney Channel Original Series "K.C. Undercover" and the Disney Channel Original Movie, "Zapped," which premieres this summer. She starred as Raquel “Rocky” Blue on the hit Disney Channel series "Shake It Up."

Zendaya was also the break out star and runner-up on Season 16 of "Dancing with the Stars."

Her casting comes on the heels of news that Yaya DaCosta Alafia has been cast to play Whitney Houston in another Lifetime biopic - that one directed by Angela Bassett, her directorial debut. Clearly Lifetime hopes to rip some ratings and profits from biopics on the lives of black musicians.

I should also note VH1's TLC biopic which was a hit for that network when it premiered last fall.

"Aaliyah:Princess of R&B" will be produced by Aaliyah Productions, Inc. Howard Braunstein ("The Informant!") and Debra Martin Chase ("The Princess Diaries," "Sparkle") will serve as executive producers.  

Bradley Walsh ("Turn the Beat Around") will direct from a script written by Michael Elliot ("Brown Sugar").

This article is related to: Zendaya, TV News


Shadow & ActNewsletter