×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Zendaya on Exiting Aaliyah Biopic: ‘The Project Wasn’t All the Way There’

It didn’t take long for Zendaya to explain her reasoning for leaving Lifetime’s Aaliyah biopic, “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B.”

The Disney Channel actress and singer was set to star as Aaliyah, but it was announced Sunday that she was leaving the project. At the BET Awards Sunday night, she opened up about why she decided to exit the telepic.

“Basically, I just felt that because I love her, and because I respect her so much as an artist, I don’t want to do anything that’s half or anything that’s less for her,” she told reporters on the red carpet. “I felt like some things with the production weren’t all the way there, the project wasn’t all the way there. If I’m going to do something for someone I care about so much, I have to do it the right way.”

According to reports, Aaliyah’s family may feel the same way. Aaliyah’s cousin and president of her label Blackground Records Jomo Hankerson told the New York Daily News that the family wanted a bigger release for a biopic on the late R&B singer than Lifetime could provide. Hankerson said the family wanted a “major studio release,” citing Tina Turner film “What’s Love Got To Do With It.”

Zendaya, however, might not be completely done with the idea of portraying Aaliyah just yet.

“Honestly, I feel like I’m waiting for the right role to come up and I’ll be doing it again,” she said.

Zendaya’s departure from the film has caused production to be put on hold, Lifetime announced. Zendaya was also set to record four songs for the movie, based on “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B” by former Time Magazine music editor Christopher John Farley.

The biopic was originally scheduled to film over the summer for a fall premiere date.

More TV

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

  • Blake Jenner What If TV Show

    'What/If' Star Blake Jenner on Creating Chemistry With Jane Levy, Renee Zellweger

    Blake Jenner first rose to fame in 2012 when he won “The Glee Project” and therefore earned a role on “Glee” proper. In the years since, though, he graduated from teen heartthrob status to meatier, edgier roles in films such as “American Animals” and now the Netflix limited series “What/If,” in which he stars opposite [...]

  • Mario Lopez Candy Crush

    Mario Lopez, Seth Kurland Set Latinx Family Comedy Series at Netflix

    Mario Lopez and Seth Kurland are teaming up for a new comedy series at Netflix. Variety has learned that the streamer has given a 16 episode order to the multi-cam comedy “The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia” co-created by Lopez and Kurland. In the series, when Ashley Garcia — the world’s only 15-and-a-half-year-old robotics engineer [...]

  • HBO logo

    TV News Roundup: HBO Announces Recipients of 2019 HBOAccess Writing Fellowship

    In today’s roundup, Fox Nation announces a fresh slate of programming for the summer and HBO announces the recipients of its HBOAccess Writing Fellowship. DEVELOPMENT: HBO has announced the recipients of its 2019 HBOAccess Writing Fellowship. The eight writers selected out of the 3,000 submissions will participate in an 8-month program of master classes and [...]

  • Big Bang Theory

    'Big Bang Theory,' 'Manifest' Among Top Live+7 Gainers of 2018-2019 Season

    With 2018-2019 broadcast season wrapping up, certain shows stand head and shoulders above their competition in the Nielsen Live+7 rankings. Live+7 data is currently available only through May 5, but the top dogs will likely see little change once the final numbers are in for the traditional September-May season. The top gainer in adults 18-49 [...]

  • Anna Kendrick Paul Feig

    Anna Kendrick, Paul Feig Team for Comedy Anthology Series at WarnerMedia Streaming Service

    Anna Kendrick and Paul Feig are coming to the WarnerMedia streaming service Variety has learned that the upcoming streamer has ordered the romantic comedy anthology series “Love Life,” the first season of which will star Kendrick with Feig executive producing. WarnerMedia has ordered a 10-episode first season of the half-hour series. Lionsgate Television and FeigCo [...]

  • Jon Feltheimer

    Lionsgate Posts Loss, Underperforms Wall Street Expectations

    Lionsgate has posted a quarterly loss and its revenues and operating income have come in under Wall Street projections, despite growth from its premium cable channel, Starz. The studio reported a net loss of $24 million, or 11 cents a share, with adjusted operating income of $103 million for its fourth fiscal quarter ended March [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content