Brittany Allen
October 04, 2014 1:29 pm

We’ll never get enough of Aaliyah’s gifts! Despite its pre-production hullabaloo, we’re still excited about Lifetime’s long-overdue homage to the princess of r&b and urban pop. Our faith hasn’t wavered: a recently released trailer suggests Nickelodeon actress Alexandra Shipp brings her A-game to the role of the late singer.

As eager but discerning fans, we hope the new biopic manages to do justice to Aaliyah’s impressive range. And so, because we care (and because we can!), we’ve compiled a list of what we hope to see in the movie.

The humble beginnings

Did you know that one of Aaliyah’s first breaks was a role in her Detroit high school’s production of Annie, the musical? How adorable is that?! We’d love to see a mention of this rising star’s earliest musical moments. They’re especially impressive considering Aaliyah had a recording contract with a major studio by the time she was twelve years old

The acting career

Stand-out performances from Aaliyah’s early acting career included her role as Queen Akasha in the uber-90s Queen of the Damned, as well as her turn as Trish O’Day in Romeo Must Die, for which the singer starred opposite Jet Li. We’re hoping the new flick emphasizes how A was a wunderkind AND a triple threat.

The trademark dance moves

Part of the appeal was the baggy pants and part of it was the long, asymmetrical bangs, but there’s something about Aaliyah’s flowy, effortless-looking dance moves that made a lot of ’90s kids spend hours emulating her music videos in the bathroom mirror. We hope the new biopic features plenty of A’s hustle n’ flow.

Some sort of montage set to “Try Again”

No biopic sustains without a good montage or two, and Aaliyah’s (arguably) biggest single would make a totally great underscore for a climbing-the-Billboard-charts sequence. Plus, this is one of those songs where it’s alright if it’s stuck in your head for an entire week.

Oh, and also: “Are You That Somebody?” 

I mean, come on.

Her friendship and collaboration with Missy Elliott and Timbaland

Newcomers Chattrisse Dolabaille and Izaak Smith have been cast in the film as Aaliyah’s close friends and artistic compatriots, Missy Elliott and Timbaland, so here’s hoping these young actors are up to the task of filling some very big shoes. Missy, Aaliyah and Timbaland frequently invited one another to sing sample verses or back-up vocals on each other’s songs, so in the upcoming biopic, we’d love to see some scenes featuring the trio in studio-magic mode. Maybe a spirited rendition of 1997’s “Up Jumps Da’ Boogie?” Or even a shot-for-shot recreation of the MUSIC VIDEO?! I dunno. Whatever. It’s not like I’ve thought about this or anything.

Though we could maybe do without the singer’s dubious relationship with R. Kelly

Despite her family’s many protests, it appears the upcoming film will mention Aaliyah’s highly scandalous relationship with her first producer, R. Kelly. Though a real homage should be honest, it’s kind of uncool that this project plans to dredge up material that she spent much of her life attempting to keep from the public eye. Here’s hoping this aspect of the movie is tasteful and brief. ‘Cuz hey: we’d rather just listen to the music, anyways.

(Images via, via, via, via; featured image via)

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