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):
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.
And three makes a trend: Lifetime announced today that Disney star Zendaya will play the late R&B star Aaliyah in a biopic about the singer, who died in a plane crash at age 22. Based on the bestseller Aaliyah: More Than A Woman by former Time magazine music editor Christopher Farley, Aaliyah: Princess Of R&B (wt), will be filmed this summer and premiere in the fall.
Related: Lifetime Sets Whitney Houston Biopic Directed By Angela Bassett
Three weeks ago, the network announced it had greenlighted a biopic on Whitney Houston, who died in 2012, at age 48, while prepping in the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel for a pre-Grammy party. Both Lifetime biopics about female R&B/pop singers who died young follow VH1′s October premiere of its gone-too-soon movie CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, detailing the fatal blow to TLC caused by the sudden death of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes at 30. That one clocked a hefty 4.5 million viewers in its unveiling.
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Zendaya (Dancing With The Stars, Shake It Up) will star in and co-produce live-action spy comedy K.C. Undercover, Disney Channel said today. The multi-camera series begins production this summer in Los Angeles for an early 2015 premiere. It focuses on K.C. Cooper, a high school math whiz who’s training to be an undercover super spy, following in the footsteps of her parents. Each episode finds the Coopers balancing typical family issues while performing undercover missions to protect the country. Also starring are Kadeem Hardison and Tammy Townsend as K.C.’s parents Craig and Kira Cooper; Kamil McFadden as Ernie, the youngest of the Cooper family; and Veronica Dunne as K.C.’s best friend Marisa. Zendaya is next up in Disney Channel’s original movie Zapped, premiering June 27. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed actress, recording artist and author Zendaya, whose single “Replay” recently went platinum. She was star of the Disney Channel series Shake It Up and next toplines the Disney Channel original telepic Zapped. She just wrapped an untitled pilot for the network which she is co-producing, and was runner-up on Dancing With The Stars last year. She has also also written her first book, Between You And Me, sharing advice on fashion, friendships and family with her core youth demo. CAA, along with Monster Talent Management and attorney Bill Skrzyniarz, will seek to broaden her base to feature film and other platforms. Disney Channel has been a strong launch point for everyone from Zac Efron to Shia LaBeouf and Selena Gomez. Here’s her video: