Aaliyah Biopic Nabs Alexandra Shipp as New Leading Lady But Will She Stick Around?
If someone compiled all the behind-the-scenes drama surrounding the troubled Aaliyah biopic, there would be enough material for it to become a film all on its own. Per The Hollywood Reporter, another Disney actress will now take on the role of the late R&B singer. Alexandra Shipp will portray Aaliyah, and in yet another interesting twist, talk show host Wendy Williams will executive produce the film, which is officially titled Aaliyah: Princess of R&B.
Arguments about whether Shipp is a suitable enough actress for the role will probably rage on endlessly, but I'll leave that debate to the Twitterverse. Perhaps a better question is, will Shipp stick around for the long haul, or will she bail like Zendaya Coleman? Somewhere along the way, this project officially became the hot stove of biopics and no one wants to get burned. Obviously something's seriously wrong with this picture, but what is it?
The main issue is Aaliyah's family didn't approve of this biopic in the first damn place, so it was bound to be met with major resistance. Then came the ongoing casting issues and the subsequent reaction, outrage that they would even consider addressing Aaliyah's marriage to R. Kelly. All of that combined makes a recipe for the perfect disaster. We're quickly approaching the 13th anniversary of her death, and perhaps if the producers worked with the family instead of against them, this project would've come to fruition a long time ago.
Will filmmakers ever reach a resolution that doesn't leave family and fans disappointed? With all the factors working against them, it seems an impossible feat. But it might help if producers would stop making all these announcements and just proceed with the film. Despite their acknowledgment of the family's opposition to the project, it's clear that they have every intention of seeing this through to completion.The constant updates about changes in the cast, or any other issues they encounter no longer serve any purpose other than riling up the fans and the family.
In fact, it completely takes away from the focus of the film, which is to recount Aaliyah's life and musical legacy. Sadly, that's overshadowed by news about the film that does very little to reassure anyone that it will ever see the light of day.