Following the controversy surrounding the “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B” biopic, that eventually led Disney star Zendaya Coleman to back out — Lifetime has finally settled on a premiere date.
On Thursday, Lifetime announced the biopic is slated to debut Nov. 15. The network also released photos of Alexandra Shipp, the Nickelodeon actress who was recast for the role of Aaliyah. The film will be executive produced by Wendy Williams alongside Howard Braunstein and Debra Martin Chase.
The press release about the film states:
Before Beyoncé 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. 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.
However, the Haughton family has made it quite clear they have nothing to do with production and is insulted Lifetime has not consulted with them on the biopic. They believe Aaliyah’s life should be captured on the big screen with “A-list” talent.
In an interview with the Daily News, Jomo Hankerson, Aaliyah’s cousin and president of her label Blackground Records, said, “We want a major studio release along the lines of ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It,’ the Tina Turner movie.”
The two-hour film will be based off the book Aaliyah: More Than a Woman written by former Time magazine Music Editor Christopher John Farley and published in 2001, just four months after the songstress’ untimely death.
“Aaliyah: Princess of R&B” (#AaliyahMovie) will air on Nov. 15 at 8pm ET on Lifetime.
— Lifetime (@lifetimetv) September 18, 2014
Click through to see photos from the upcoming film!