Hulu picked up the U.S. rights to Lee Daniels’ “The United States vs Billie Holiday,” slated to debut as a Hulu Original film on the platform on February 26, 2021. Lee Daniels directed the movie, which introduces Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Andra Day. Daniels directed the film from a screenplay by Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. NAACP Image Award Nominee Trevante Rhodes and Emmy Nominee Natasha Lyonne co-star alongside Garrett Hedlund, Miss Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Evan Ross, Tyler James Williams, Tone Bell, and Erik LaRay Harvey.
“Whether you are new to the story and legacy of Billie Holiday or know every note she ever sang, I do hope our celebration of this complex woman does justice to a great musical legend and civil rights activist whose artistry resonates as well today, as it did 80 years ago. Hulu releasing this film and giving it a platform to be seen nationwide is a blessing, because as recent events reveal, our country has much work to do in fulfilling its promise of a more perfect union,” said Lee Daniels.
The description reads, “The legendary Billie Holiday, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, spent much of her career being adored by fans across the globe. Beginning in the 1940s in New York City, the federal government targeted Holiday in a growing effort to escalate and racialize the war on drugs, ultimately aiming to stop her from singing her controversial and heart-wrenching ballad, ‘Strange Fruit.’”
New Slate Ventures, Lee Daniels Entertainment, Roth Kirschenbaum Films are producing “The United States vs Billie Holiday” with Jordan Fudge, Lee Daniels, Pamela Oas Williams, Tucker Tooley, Joe Roth, and Jeff Kirschenbaum. Executive producers include Hilary Shor, Jeremy Allen, Patty Long, Johann Hari, Cassian Elwes, Mark Bomback, and Dennis Stratton.
If you missed the official trailer that Hulu released earlier this month on social media, you can watch the promotional video below for a preview of Andra Day’s performance.