The planned Lifetime biopic of late singer Aaliyah is on hold after Disney star Zendaya pulled out of the project, the network announced in a brief tweet from its PR wing (and retweet from @LifetimeTV):
We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold.
— LifetimePR (@LifetimeTV_PR) June 29, 2014
The project was to be the third in a string of tragic music biopics that Lifetime had lined up, after ones focusing on Whitney Houston and TLC star Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, both female singers who died young. In the case of Aaliyah, the R&B star was killed at age 22 in a plane crash as she was returning to the U.S. after recording a music video in the Bahamas. The movie was to be based on a bestselling book, Aaliyah: More Than A Woman by former Time magazine music editor Christopher Farley. The movie, with the working title of Aaliyah: Princess Of R&B, was to be filmed this summer, with a fall premiere scheduled.