Grand opening, grand closing?
The Aaliyah biopic just suffered a major blow that will definitely put plans for the movie on hold -- they have no one to play Aaliyah! Zendaya Coleman is out!
While the 17-year-old actress was controversially cast to play Babygirl earlier this month, a rep for Zen says she's no longer involved with the project.
So what happened?
According to E! News, Lifetime couldn't get the
rights to Aaliyah's music and Zen didn't want any parts of the film if they couldn't get the rights.
A source told E! News that there were production issues, including problems obtaining the rights to Aaliyah's music. The R&B star and Queen of the Damned actress died at age 22 in a plane crash on Aug. 25, 2001.
"Aaliyah has always been an inspiration to Zendaya," the source said. "She was honored to portray her and pay tribute to her. If she is going to do it, she wants to do it right."
This confusing music publishing/rights thing pretty much sounds in line with what Jomo Hankerson -- president of Aaliyah's Blackground label and her cousin -- said during his interview with the Ryan Cameron show.
At Blackground, we release all of Aaliyah's albums. We control the masters for the entire catalogue. So when we saw the movie coming, no one had come to us for any music. Then we found out they were cutting four songs that they had did with the publishing company. To me, that's crazy. Somebody else is going to sing over "One In A Million"?
We control the actual masters, that's the songs with Aaliyah on it. On our publishing company, Static [Major] wrote alot of the songs and he was one of our writers. So we also control a lot of our publishing, but not all of it. The Timbaland and Missy stuff...Warner/Chappell controls that. So they were able to kinda do a deal saying they were doing something for Lifetime, the license, the records for that. So that's how they're able to recut the records.
God bless the girl who takes on the role.
There's too many hurdles for this film to be made right now.
H/T: E! News