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  1. #1

    Lee Daniels’ latest, ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday,’ to be streamed on Hulu

    By Karu F. Daniels

    New York Daily News |
    Dec 25, 2020 at 4:33 PM


    At the top of next year, Hulu will be getting into the “Holiday” spirit.


    The Disney-owned streaming platform has reportedly acquired domestic distribution rights to Lee Daniels’ latest cinematic offering, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”


    The film, which tells the story of how the legendary jazz singer’s career was derailed after she was targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics, stars singer Andra Day in her feature film debut.


    Holiday, who was also the subject of Diana Ross’ 1972 film debut, “Lady Sings the Blues,” is the subject of an undercover sting operation led by a federal agent with whom she had a stormy love affair in Daniels’ story. “Moonlight” star Trevante Rhodes also stars in the film, alongside Garrett Hedlund, Natasha Lyonne and Da’Vine Joy Randolph.

    “She was a human being with problems,” Daniels told author and journalist Ronda Racha Penrice for Essence in November. “And, yet, she was a civil rights leader and a woman, and I think that she was a badass and needs to be honored.”
    “Though she was an addict, she didn’t always want to be. She wasn’t really given the option by her government and by people to get clean at that time. She dealt with a lot of pain. She grew up in a brothel. She was raped at 11 years old. She was punished for being raped by an older man. Her father died because of Jim Crow laws,” the audacious auteur added.

    Originally scheduled to arrive in theaters Feb. 26, 2021, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” was originally set up at Paramount Pictures, who reportedly snapped it up a Cannes Film Festival auction earlier this year.


    Variety reports that due to the coronavirus crisis crippling theatrical distribution options, the studio found it difficult to set up in a traditional manner.


    The outlet that the Hulu move will likely allow the drama to premiere in time for Oscars consideration.

    Though he’s gained notoriety for co-creating the hip-hop-themed drama “Empire” in 2016, Daniels has produced Oscar-caliber fare including “Monsters Ball,” “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” and the star-studded historical drama “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”


    A magnet for top-notch talent of all races, his works has also attracted Academy, Emmy and Golden Globe award winners and nominees Kevin Bacon, Michael Shannon and Kyra Sedgwick [[“The Woodsman”), Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding Jr. [[“Shadowboxer), Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, David David Oyelowo and John Cusack [[”The Paperboy”), Aunjanue Ellis [[“PIMP”) and Idris Elba and Jharrel Jerome [[the forthcoming “Concrete Cowboy”).


    “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” will be the first film Daniels has directed since 2013′s blockbuster “The Butler.”


    Scripted by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” is inspired by the 2015 bestselling book “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.”


    The first African-American woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Parks’ credits include the Tony Award winning “The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess” musical, the play “TopDog/Underdog” and HBO’s recent remake of Richard Wright’s “Native Son.”


    One of the most influential artists of the past century, Holiday [[whose real name was Eleanora Fagan) set the blueprint for female jazz vocalists during the 1930s and 1940s.


    Though she died in 1959 at age 44, Holiday’s legacy has lived on screen and on stage: Asides from Diana Ross’ major cinematic turn, R&B powerhouse Miki Howard also portrayed her in Spike Lee’s 1992 seminal biopic “Malcolm X.”


    In 2014, Broadway great Audra MacDonald made history in the Irene Gandy-produced play “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” earning her a record-setting Tony Award. She also appeared in the Emmy Award-nominated HBO special of the same name.









    https://www.nydailynews.com/snyde/ny...bme-story.html

  2. #2
    Mercy!!!... I'm gonna be all over this.....Not crazy about Lee Daniels but if Suzan-Lori Parks
    has handled the scripting I'm down....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3,904
    There's also a documentary on Amazon Prime on Billie.

  4. #4
    I'll be watching out for it. Thanks for the heads-up.

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