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Hulu picks up Billie Holiday film

Disney-owned US streaming service Hulu has acquired the US rights to director Lee Daniels’ Billie Holiday film.

Suzan-Lori Parks

The United States vs Billie Holiday will debut as a Hulu original film on the streamer on February 26.

Written by Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and directed by Daniels (Shadowboxer, The Paperboy), the film focuses on the trailblazer whose defiance through music helped usher in the civil rights movement.

Grammy-winning singer and actress Andra Day plays Holiday and is joined by co-stars including Garrett Hedlund, Natasha Lyonne and Trevante Rhodes.

New Slate Ventures, Lee Daniels Entertainment and Roth Kirschenbaum Films are producing 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.

Nick Meyer and Marc Schaberg’s producer-distributor Sierra/Affinity will continue to handle international sales of the film.

Daniels said: “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.”

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