Zendaya cast as Aaliyah- Controversy Surrounding Fan and Family Approval

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Disney starlet Zendaya to play Aaliyah

Zendaya cast as Aaliyah- Controversy Surrounding Fan and Family Approval

Lifetime will be shooting a new biographical film featuring the late R&B singer Aaliyah. 17 year old Disney star and Dancing with the Stars contestant Zendaya Coleman was just recently cast as Aaliyah, much to some fans dismay. Fans have tweeted that Zendaya looks nothing like the late star, and other’s simply stated that they do not want Zendaya in the role.


R&B singer Aaliyah

The movie will be based on the book, Aaliyah: More than a Woman, written by former Times music editor Christopher Farley. The biopic, tentatively called “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B” is promised to chronicle the singers life from age 10 to her tragic death at age 22. Aaliyah life was cut short when her plane in the Bahamas in 2001 after filming a new music video. A film in honor of the R&B singer, who redefined the genre through songs like “Try Again” and “Back and Forth” and who had a promising acting career, has been rumored to be happening for a few years, yet this announcement is met with criticism from fans and Aaliyah’s family.

Zendaya tweeted on Monday, “I’m just a 17 year old girl who got cast to play one of her biggest inspirations” in response to fan accusations that she looks nothing like Aaliyah and that she is not suitable for the role.

In addition to negative reaction from fans, Aaliyah’s family has vowed to block any attempt by Lifetime to use any of Aaliyah’s music. The family states that they were not notified about the production of the Lifetime original movie, and while they are not opposed to a theatrical film, they believe a TV movie would not be sufficient for a big star like Aaliyah. Zendaya is to record four songs for the movie, so the block by Aaliyah’s family will definitely effect the production of the biopic later this summer.


  1. Brittney

    June 19, 2014 at 11:27 am

    i personally don’t feel that she’s the best choice … looking at the other candidates. but i’m sure she’ll do a good job either way.

  2. Raymond

    June 19, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    While I really want to see an Aaliyah biopic I don’t think a lifetime movie would be fair to her legacy. I’m with Aaliyah’s family on this one!

  3. Tivon

    June 23, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Zendaya does not look like Aaliyah . I hope Aaliyah’s family succeeds at stopping this lifetime movie.

    • EricaVain

      June 23, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      I hope so as well. I also want the film to be in theaters and not made for TV. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Katelyn

    June 24, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I don’t know if she had enough fame to get a movie in theatres, but Lifetime movies aren’t the most watchable. Maybe something for TNT or another more respectable channel for movies would be the best option.

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