Last we heard about the pending Lifetime film about the late R&B songstress Aaliyah was that actress Zendaya Coleman dropped out of the production, citing “production issues” as the reason for abandoning ship. However, some speculate it was because of pressure from some people, who claim she was too light-skinned to play Aaliyah, as well as fans on the Houghton family's side who say they weren’t notified of the production and are against the movie being made.
But despite all the controversy, the movie is moving full steam ahead because another actress named Alexandra Shipp has been cast in Zendaya’s place. The 23-year-old is from Phoenix and has acting experience (Nickelodeon shows such as House of Anubis, as well as the upcoming Drumline sequel). Like Zendaya, Shipp is also biracial, so reactions to that fact still probably won’t go over well with those who disagree with the actress’s skin color.
And as for the new executive producer on the scene…well surprisingly, Wendy Williams has signed on for the job! The news was announced on Williams' birthday bash episode today: “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,” the post reads on her Facebook page. (Watch the announcement below, 10:50 mark)
Ever since news that this movie was underway, Williams has talked about it on her talk show, desperately wanting to see it come to fruition (especially the part surrounding R. Kelly). As said previously on her show, “I’ve been rallying around about this Lifetime movie about Aaliyah. Telling the family stop complaining, it’s going to be on the small screen, small screen is the business…When watching a movie like the Aaliyah movie, I really don’t want to know who the actress is playing it, I just want to watch it.”
The film is set to premiere on Lifetime this fall.
Whelp, now that Wendy is in the mix, it seems she gets both the little-known actress AND her say in how the R. Kelly portion of Aaliyah's life and career will play out.
Alright Roomies…sound off!