Aaliyah family hire lawyer in bid to block production of TV movie

Singer's uncle and former manager, Barry Hankerson, says family has not been contacted about Lifetime project

Aaliyah‘s uncle has spoken out about the TV film being made about the life of the late R&B singer.

As reported, the TV movie based on Christopher Farley’s biography Aaliyah: More Than A Woman is to be made by cable TV channel Lifetime.

However, Aaliyah’s uncle and former manager, Barry Hankerson, told TMZ that nobody from the network contacted her family about the film and that they plan to prevent any attempts to use any of his niece’s music. Going forwards, he says the family have hired a lawyer and will try to block the TV movie outright, preferring instead to see her story told through a wider release in cinemas.

Disney Channel actress Zendaya Coleman (pictured right) has been cast as Aaliyah in the film, which has been given a working title of Aaliyah: Princess Of R&B. Bradley Walsh (One Tree Hill, Turn The Beat Around) will direct the movie while Michael Elliot, the writer behind the TV movie Carmen: A Hip Hopera, will supply the screenplay.

Aaliyah was born Aaliyah Dana Haughton in New York in 1979. She was raised in Detroit and released her debut album ‘Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number’ in 1994. She released two further records, 1996’s ‘One In A Million’ and 2001’s ‘Aaliyah’, before she died in a plane crash in August 2001, aged 22.