Canadian actress Chattrisse Dolabaille and 'Mirror Mirror' star Izaak Smith are to play the two hip-hop aces in the Lifetime biopic.
"Aaliyah: Princess of R&B" has found its Missy Elliott and Timbaland. Two relatively unknown actors Chattrisse Dolabaille and Izaak Smith have been cast as the two hip-hop giants who worked closely with Aaliyah on her 1996 album "One in a Million" and the 2001 self-titled album.
Canadian actress Dolabaille is new to the Hollywood industry while Smith had appeared in "Mirror Mirror" and "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief". Other pivotal roles are also being filled slowly. Filming will begin in summer for a 2015 fall premiere date.
Based on the book "Aaliyah: More Than a Woman" by Christopher Farley, the lifetime biopic will cover the star's entire life story from the time she went on "Star Search" at the age of ten to her rise of popularity to the tragic moment her plane crashed down.
Alexandra Shipp has been cast in the main role, replacing Zendaya Coleman who backed out of the project because she thought it "wasn't being handled delicately considering the situation."
Aaliyah's family and some of her fans have expressed their disapproval of the biopic but Lifetime insisted that it was to "honor the legacy" of the singer.