According to a source that spoke to E! News, the shake-up has nothing to do with the backlash surrounding her casting — to which Aaliyah’s family responded — and everything to do with “do[ing] it right.”
E! News also went on to explain that there were some pretty major production issues standing in the way of that, like obtaining the rights to Aaliyah’s music. Which… yeah, seems like a pretty big deal if you ask us!
“Aaliyah has always been an inspiration to Zendaya. She was honored to portray her and pay tribute to her,” the source said, before adding that “If she is going to do it, she wants to do it right.”
Considering the fact that the film was supposed to begin production this summer with a fall premiere, a lack of rights on the musical front — in addition to losing its star — could mean several things for the tentatively titled Aaliyah: Princess of R&B.
First, it seems inevitable that there will be a delay of some sort, either in filming or its release date.
Secondly, they could move forward without the songs, which just seems silly, but isn’t unprecedented (see: those 353457348957 Jeff Buckley biopics). Or the whole project could be scrapped completely — though that seems largely unlikely given the press surrounding the film.
Who’s your next choice for the role? And should Lifetime move ahead with the film even if they can’t get rights to her music?