Lifetime's Aaliyah Biopic Casts Its Missy Elliott And Timbaland, Gets A Title

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FILE - This May 9, 2001 file photo shows singer Aaliyah in New York. Aaliyah, 22, was killed in August 2001 at when a small plane she was flying in crashed shortly after takeoff in the Bahamas. Singer Zendaya will play Aaliyah in a film about the late singer's life. (AP Photo/Jim Cooper, File) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Lifetime's Aaliyah biopic has undergone its fair share or casting changes in regards to who will portray the R&B singer, but the film has finally locked down the rest of its cast.

Nickelodeon star Alexandra Shipp, who replaced Zendaya after she backed out of the film, now has her Missy Elliott and Timbaland. According to The Wrap, the two musicians who were close with Aaliyah and worked on her second album, "One In A Million," will be portrayed by Chattrisse Dolabaille and Izaak Smith, respectively. Dolabaille is a newcomer while Smith has worked as a dancer and appeared on “So You Think You Can Dance Canada" and was also in "Mirror Mirror."

A handful of Aaliyah's family members and figures from her personal and professional life have also been cast. Co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records Damon Dash, who Aaliyah was dating at the time of her 2001 plane crash, will be portrayed by Anthony Grant, while her parents will be played by Rachael Crawford and Sterling Jarvis. Aaliyah's brother Rashad will be portrayed at different ages by A.J. Saudin and Jesse Sukunda and Lyriq Bent will play Barry Hankerson, who was both her uncle and the president of her label. The biopic, which will be based on Christopher Farley's book "Aaliyah: More Than a Woman," now has the working title "Aaliyah: Princess of R&B."

The Wendy Williams-executive-produced biopic has already had a handful of controversy following the singer's family's reaction to the movie, along with her upset fans. Aaliyah's family previously told The Wrap that they were against the film, saying that they weren't contacted by Lifetime until after the network announced the project. It will be interesting to see how fans and family members react to this most recent casting news.

[via The Wrap]

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