Despite Zendaya Coleman pulling out of the Lifetime biopic on Aaliyah, talk show host Wendy Williams has signed on to executive produce the film.
In the midst of celebrating her 50th birthday, Wendy tweeted:
— Wendy Williams (@WendyWilliams) July 18, 2014
As you can see, she also reveals that Alexandra Shipp has been cast in the title role, replacing Zendaya Coleman.
Zendaya pulled out, it seemed, in the face of some of the criticism the project received after her casting was announced; specifically, 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.
No word yet on how Aaliyah’s family feels about Alexandra Shipp’s casting, especially considering that she is a new actress. Perhaps Wendy Williams’ addition to the project will be a bridge to Aaliyah’s family and things will progress.