Alexandra Shipp Cast as Aaliyah in Lifetime Film, Replaces Zendaya

Alexandra Shipp and Aaliyah
Nickelodeon star Alexandra Shipp will replace Zendaya in the upcoming Aaliyah Lifetime biopic Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images For Nickelodeon; Chris Polk/FilmMagic

The show must go on. Nickelodeon star Alexandra Shipp has been cast as Aaliyah in the made-for-TV Lifetime biopic, replacing Zendaya. Wendy Williams, one of the film's executive producers, announced the news via Twitter on Friday, July 18.

"I'm excited to exec produce the Aaliyah @lifetimetv movie w/ @DebraMChase," the daytime talk show host wrote. "Prod starts later this month and @AlexShipppp will play Aaliyah."

Earlier this month, Shipp hinted about the good news herself. "It's like God keeps making life better, I swear thank you universe!!!" she tweeted on July 10. "#amazingnewstocome." (Shipp is best-known for her work in the TV series House of Anubis.)

Us confirmed late last month that Disney star Zendaya, 17, dropped out of the project. "Aaliyah has always been a source of inspiration to Zendaya," her official account tweeted. "She was honored to portray her and pay tribute to her. If she is going to do it, she wants to do it right."

Lifetime also tweeted about the shake-up. "We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold."

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!