Things are really starting to come together for Lifetime as it’s finally locked down a title for Aaliyah‘s biopic and cast some key roles!
For a minute there, things weren’t looking to good the film, which has been freshly dubbed “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B.” Her family was not here for the concept (they’ve since decided to move ahead with making their own biopic about Aaliyah), and then Zendaya shut down production by backing out of the lead role. Thankfully for the network, it was able to rebound with Alexandra Shipp.
Despite a rocky start, production for the film is continuing to take shape now that the network has found its Timbaland and Missy Elliott! According to The Wrap, Lifetime made some unlikely picks with casting Chattrisse Dolabaille and Izaak Smith as Missy and Timbo respectively.
If Aaliyah’s loyals weren’t feeling Zendaya‘s original casting, the Candadian talents might be in for some harsh criticism.
Of course, the pair are sure to put in their best effort to play Aaliyah’s musical mentors. Chattrisse even went all out when she auditioned to play Missy back in June by putting on her best b-girl fit. She posted a selfie just before meeting with casting directors, writing, “So I have an #audition today. Can you guess? #throwback #guesswho #dressthepart.”
Had Alexandra not been cast for Aaliyah, Chattrisse might have made a good option for the role because she’s also a singer. That could come in handy since Aaliyah’s family isn’t allowing Lifetime to use her music.
Chattrisse is a relative newcomer to the entertainment game, but Izaak is well-adjusted to the spotlight. He first appeared on “So You Think You Can Dance Canada,” but he’s also been involved in a production called “Rise” more recently. Check him out on the set.
Lifetime has also rounded out the films roster by casting Rachael Crawford and Sterling Jarvis as Aaliyah’s mom and dad. Lyriq Bent will play her uncle Barry Hankerson, who was also the head of her label.
1. Upcoming Biopics
With so many legends gone, it's only right that we pay homage to the greats by sharing their life stories in the form of a biopic. From Whitney Houston to James Brown, there are a ton of upcoming biopics that we can look forward to in the coming months however, there is controversy surrounding who should take on the role of such legendary figures. How do you think the young actors will do in their respective roles?
2. Chadwick Boseman & Jill Scott In "Get On Up"
Getting acting pointers from Mos Def, Jill Scott will be playing James Brown's second wife, Deirdre "Deedee" Jenkins in the biopic, "Get On Up." Called to audition for a smaller role while on a press junket for her last movie, 2013's "Baggage Claim," Scott later learned the Jenkins character was being written for her. To help her channel the role, Scott spent time with Jenkins' grandson, who shared photos & stories.
3. Yaya DaCosta as Whitney Houston
With all the drama surrounding the Whitney Houston biopic it's tough to call how it'll actually turn out however I trust that Yaya DaCosta will not let us down. The model/actress has many acting credits to her name but playing the late Whitney Houston will be her most challenging role to date. Angela Bassett will direct the film and as someone who knew Whitney well, I'm confident that she'll mold Yaya to perfection.
4. Don Cheadle as Miles Davis
Don Cheadle is an amazing actor and his ability to embody another character during his films is incredible. When it was announced that Cheadle would take on the role as Miles Davis in the upcoming biopic, there was no question that he would nail the part. In fact, Cheadle's admiration of Davis started when he was just a child and he's been a fan of the jazz trumpeter his entire life. What better way to pay homage?
5. Andre 3000 as Jimi Hendrix
If the resemblance between Andre 3000 and Jimi Hendrix is any indication of how he'll do playing the late guitarist, then I expect an A+ performance from the rapper turned actor. Although 3 Stacks doesn't have many acting credits on his resume, he reportedly practiced guitar six hours a day to get the part just right. By the looks of the trailer, Andre 3000 is completely dedicated to channeling Hendrix's spirit.
6. Chadwick Boseman as James Brown
If you saw Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson in "42" then you already know that he will play an amazing James Brown. Chadwick completely embodied the Civil Rights icon in the film to the point where I forgot I was watching a movie but felt as if I was living the story first hand. After watching the "Get On Up" trailer, I'm excited to see his portrayal of James Brown and expect to have the same nostalgic feelings.
7. Nick Cannon as Richard Pryor
The rumor mill is buzzing that Nick Cannon is gearing up to play comedic legend Richard Pryor in an upcoming biopic. Although nothing is confirmed as of yet, Cannon did mention that he considers Pryor one of his comedic inspirations and he often studied him as a child. Allegedly, the Pryor family prefers Marlon Wayans for the role and doesn't think that Nick Cannon has what it takes to bring Richard Pryor to life.
8. Usher As Sugar Ray Leonard
Usher will star as the legendary boxer in the upcoming film ‘Hands of Stone', also starring Robert de Niro, and their resemblance is undeniable even out of costume! "My commitment to his character demands that I not only physically get ready, but also become him," the singer told Men's Health magazine (http://bit.ly/1oEJVf0), adding, I train like an athlete every day, believe it or not."