Lee Daniels’ new film The United States vs. Billie Holiday, is set to be picked up by Hulu and premiere in time for Oscars consideration. The film stars Andra Day as the legendary jazz and blues singer alongside Moonlight actor Trevante Rhodes, TRON: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund, American Pie’s Natasha Lyvonne, and Dolemite is My Name star Da’Vine Joy Randolph.
The film tells the story of how the singer’s career was derailed after being targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics. Holiday was subject to an undercover sting operation led by a federal agent with whom she had a fiery love affair.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday was originally set up at Paramount Pictures, but due to U.S. theater closures, the studio found it difficult to release the film in a viable way, and the deal ultimately fell through. Now, Hulu has a major Academy Awards contender during a time when streamers like Netflix, Apple and Amazon are eager for Oscars.
Daniels is mostly known for directing the film Precious back in 2009, which won the Oscars for Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. He also directed The Butler in 2013 which starred Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey and John Cusack. The United States vs. Billie Holiday will be Daniels’ first feature-length film in seven years after working on the TV series’ Empire and Star. He also directed the TV movie Good People from earlier this year.