Newcomer Alexandra Shipp will play Aaliyah in the controversy-riddled Lifetime biopic, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
“[Production] starts later this month,” tweeted Wendy Williams yesterday as she announced signing on to executive produce the film, along with producer Debra Martin Chase (Sparkle).
The announcement comes three few weeks after the movie’s original star Zendaya, pulled out, saying she felt the project “wasn’t 100 percent there.” Aaliyah’s family had also objected to the film and has reportedly promised to block Lifetime from acquiring the rights to Aaliyah’s songs.
This October, Shipp, a regular on shows like Awkward and Nickelodeon’s House of Anubis, will star in Drumline: A New Beat, VH1’s revamp of the 2005 film, Drumline. Nick Cannon will exceuive produce.
Aaliyah: Princess of R&B is based on TIME writer, Christopher Farley’s book, Aaliyah: More Than a Woman.