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Posted at 3:17 PM ET, 08/25/2010

Remembering Aaliyah -- and wondering about her biopic -- on the anniversary of her death

By Sarah Anne Hughes

A memorial to Aaliyah (AP/Kevork Djansezian)

By Sarah Anne Hughes

Today marks the ninth anniversary of the untimely death of Aaliyah, the 22-year-old singer-actress who died on this day in 2001 when a twin-engine plane carrying her and her entourage crashed shortly after takeoff following a video shoot in the Bahamas.

The sad occasion has prompted fans and friends of the "One in a Million" artist to express condolences via Twitter, making #ripaaliyah a trending hashtag. Rapper Missy Elliott, a close friend who helped produce Aaliyah's second album, tweeted: "Aaliyah was the sweetest spirit I've ever met! She believed in me and tim and [brought] life to our music. U will always b a 1 N A MILLION!" Singer Ciara tweeted, "RIP Aaliyah. U can NEVER be replaced!!"

The anniversary also is a reminder that, once upon a time, a biopic about Aaliyah was in the works. But now it's unclear whether that film will ever come to pass.

Canadian singer Keisha Chante was tapped to play Aaliyah in the untitled film ("I want Aaliyah's fans and admirers to be proud of this film and feel like it was the best interpretation possible of our babygirl. I refuse to disappoint," Chante said in 2009), and Oscar-winner Bill Condon ("Dreamgirls") was reportedly set to direct. But Condon is clearly otherwise engaged now that he's signed on to do both of the "Breaking Dawn" films in the "Twilight" series. And despite some reports that the Aaliyah biopic was due to begin filming earlier this year, it doesn't appear that ever happened.

In response to a question about the biopic in a new interview with MTV, Elliott said, "As far as a movie for Aaliyah, I've been hearing some things but don't know how true they are, and out of respect for her family, I would wait until they announce it. That way we will know it's a fact."

A rep for Warner Bros. said the studio currently has no status updates regarding the production of the Aaliyah biopic and offered no further comment on the subject.

Do you think the studio should still move forward with plans for the film? Would you buy a ticket for an Aaliyah biopic? Share your thoughts, and your condolences, with a comment.

By Sarah Anne Hughes  | August 25, 2010; 3:17 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Movies  
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Posted by: memetanman | August 25, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe it's been 9 years since Aaliyah's death. We were the same age and I had just graduated from college. I was a fan from the time she released her first album. She was very talented. Her life was much too short and she is truly missed.

Posted by: SweetieJ | August 25, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

RIP. I don't feel right discussing a deceased individual. However, the answer is no. I don't think a film about Aaliyah would garner much success at all.

Posted by: forgetthis | August 25, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be too late? I thought one of the reasons why "Selena" did so well (besides having an obviously talented performer in the title role, back before Jennifer Lopez became J-Lo) is that her own tragic before-her-time death was still fresh in peoples' memories. Nine years is a long time, even for Aaliyah.

It's somehow appropriate that Warner would produce the film, considering she was set to star in the Matrix sequels at the time of her death.

Posted by: kennedye | August 25, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Aaliyah was amazing! She was a breath of fresh air. She was classy ,if you noticed in her videos other dancers would be in short shorts while she was wearing capris or a catsuit, not so say the other women were not classy. I once read that her mother preferred her to dress in that manner and she followed her mother's wishes. She did not conform to the formula that "sex sells". She was sexy, yet mysterious (was not somewhere allowing her behind to hang out) but at the same time, she just seemed like the kind of person that would have been a loyal, supportive, friend, or person in any aspects of her relationships. I miss her effortless, yet hip and graceful dance moves as well as her smile. She just seemed really genuine. I miss hearing her voice to the beats by Tim accompanied by the lyrics laced by Missy. She truly had dance moves (not just gyrating or shaking her behind) but well thought out and executed dance moves. As you can see, I can't say enough about her, so it does not matter how long it has a die hard fan who feels like she lost a friend when Aaliyah died, her biopic is very well worth seeing. Miss you Aaliyah, hope your family is equipped with a great deal of happy times celebrating your life til its end. I also would not say her life was too short, it seems she lived a full life and there was a more important role for her to fufill....angel.

Posted by: ncsuchemlover | August 25, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

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