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Disney star pulls out of Aaliyah biopic

1 of 1 Zendaya Coleman will no longer portray R'n'B star Aaliyah
Zendaya Coleman will no longer portray R'n'B star Aaliyah

Disney star Zendaya Coleman has exited the planned Aaliyah biopic just weeks after it was announced.

Lifetime announced plans for the biopic earlier this month, which was set to be called Aaliyah:Princess of R&B. 17-year-old Coleman had been cast in the lead role and the movie was to be filmed over the summer with an autumn premiere date planned.

However, it seems production of the TV movie has been put on hold with Coleman exiting the project. In a statement on their Twitter feed Lifetime said: "We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold."

Zendaya was also set to record four songs that were meant to feature in the movie. 

There has been several reports that the brakes where put on the movie after a huge backlash from Aaliyah fans who were not happy with Coelman's casting. Aaliyah's family also had issues with the planned film.

Speaking to The New York Daily News earlier this month, Aaliyah's cousin Jomo Hankerson said: "Lifetime didn’t reach out. We want a major studio release along the lines of What's Love Got to Do with It."

The project's executive producer Debra Martin Chase stated that the project aimed to "honour the legacy" of the bestselling singer, who died in a plane crash in 2001. 

Speaking to Billboard.com Chase said: "This film will provide a heartfelt look at Aaliyah’s extraordinary and all-too-short life journey that we hope will provide inspiration to an entirely new generation.

"Aaliyah is beloved for her artistic grace and her wonderful spirit, and I’m looking forward to producing this film that will honour her legacy."

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