Aaliyah is headed to the big screen.
S2Smagazine.com reports that singer B. Simone will play the late singer in a feature film that is scheduled to hit theaters in late 2015.
Popular author Zane will write the film’s script. Among those named as possible co-stars are Terrence Howard and Wood Harris. Barry Hankerson, Aaliyah’s uncle and former manager is working on the film, according to S2S.
In addition to appearing on the big screen, the film differs from the Lifetime biopic in that favorite tracks recorded by Aaliyah before her death will be used as well as some never-before-released music.
“We’re in a position where we can do the feature film and we can do the music,” said a source close to production told S2S.
Despite the TV movie airing later this year, those connected to the big screen project don’t think that will decrease the public’s appetite for an Aaliyah film in movie theaters.
“I think if we do our due-diligence, people will watch the TV movie and still say, ‘I need to see the feature film,’” the source said.
As plans continue for Aaliyah’s big screen treatment, a photographer who worked with the “Are You That Somebody” vocalist before her death is taking ABC to court.
According to theJasmineBRAND.com, Eric Johnson filed a federal lawsuit against ABC and Walt Disney over a photo shoot he did with Aaliyah. The self proclaimed “highly successful, award winning professional photographer” claims the network published intimate pictures he took of the singer without his permission.
Johnson cites June 2001 as the date “he shot a series of photographic portraits of Aaliyah just months before her tragic death in August of that year.” In addition, Johnson details how he captured intimate beautiful shots of the singer, some of which he says become to define Aaliyah following her death.
Johnson further states that he “maintained the majority of the Aaliyah photographs in his private personal archive since the June 2001 photo shoot. These photographs have never been commercially exploited in any manner, or even shown to the public.”
Earlier this year, he provided digital copies of 13 Aaliyah photographs to an online photography magazine, L’Oeil de la Photographie (“L’Oeil”) and authorized the publication to use the pictures for a story they were doing on the entertainer.
Weeks later, Johnson claims, “ABC then infringed on his exclusive rights in two of the Aaliyah Photographs by reproducing, modifying, distributing, publicly displaying, and/or offering for further reproduction, distribution, and/or public display, unauthorized reproductions of the Photographs At Issue by means of hosting on their computer servers and displaying on the ABC News Radio Website web pages containing articles.”
Johnson’s suit notes that the photographer “has not authorized, granted permission, assigned or licensed rights to any of the Defendants to use his photos.
He is suing for an injunction against ABC from using the photos and to remove them from their website, along with damages for the copyright infringement.
For a look at court documents from the case, click here.