Lifetime just released the teaser trailer for the network’s upcoming biopic, Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B. While the clip is merely a snippet of actress Alexandra Shipp dressed up like the pop starlet and rocking her signature moves, it goes without saying that the made-for-TV film will explore the tragic course of Aaliyah’s life up until her shocking death in a 2001 plane crash.
Hopefully, amidst her rapid rise to stardom, illegal marriage to R. Kelly at the age of 15, and chart-topping success, Lifetime has found room to include the lighter, idiosyncratic details of Aaliyah’s life, like her unexpected pairing with martial arts movie star Jet Li for the film Romeo Must Die (2000). By the looks of the trailer, Romeo was a hip-hop-inflected, high-kicking update of Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet. It’s likely a very loose retelling, considering no director worth his rate would think to burden rapper DMX with anything iambic. But I can’t say. I haven’t seen it.
I have, however, watched and re-watched the video for “Try Again,” Aaliyah’s blistering hot, Timbaland-produced single from the soundtrack. The video features Aaliyah and Li recreating a gravity-defying wall-run-as-dance-step from the movie, and I’m betting that’s all anyone really needs to see:
If Lifetime has chosen to include this Awesome Moment in Karate/R&B History, let’s all pray the filmmakers haven’s succumbed to the same cowardly casting decisions that have plagued the production up to this point. Otherwise, we might be looking at a Jet Li played by one of the Jonas Brothers.