Zendaya Drops Out Of Aaliyah Movie Role

This might be the briefest casting in Hollywood history. Two weeks after it was announced that singer Zendaya Coleman would portray the late Aaliyah in a Lifetime biopic, she has pulled out of the project.

Her rep tells E! Online the “Replay” singer is “no longer involved” in the film (slated for a fall release) due to “production issues” in getting the rights to Aaliyah’s music. The film was said to depict her life, including her relationship with mentor R. Kelly, up until her untimely death at age 22 in a plane crash on August 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.”

The movie has come with its own controversy. Recently, Aaliyah’s cousin Jomo Hankerson told V-103 Ryan Cameron’s show that he feels the biopic would be better suited for a theatre release and that actress Zoe Saldana should take the lead. “I just think this needs theaters. This needs to be a major movie film. I would love to get Zoe Saldana [to play Aaliyah],” he said. “I think she can pull off the acting part of it and she’s obviously gorgeous and beautiful.” Despite the backlash, Zendaya has remained positive.

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