Hulu announced today that the streaming platform has acquired the U.S. rights to Lee Daniels’ THE UNITED STATES vs. BILLIE HOLIDAY, which will debut as a Hulu Original film on Hulu on February 26, 2021. Sierra/Affinity will continue to handle international sales on the film.
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 1940’s 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.” Led by Oscar® nominated director Lee Daniels and introducing Grammy® nominated singer-songwriter Andra Day, THE UNITED STATES vs. BILLIE HOLIDAY unapologetically presents the icon’s complicated, irrepressible life. Screenplay Writer Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, pens this intimate tale of a fierce trailblazer whose defiance through music helped usher in the civil rights movement. NAACP Image Award® Nominee Trevante Rhodes and Emmy® Nominee Natasha Lyonne co-star along with 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.
New Slate Ventures, Lee Daniels Entertainment, 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.
Hulu is the leading premium streaming service offering live and on-demand TV and movies, with and without commercials, both in and outside the home. Launched in 2008, Hulu is the only service that gives viewers instant access to current shows from every major U.S. broadcast network; libraries of hit TV series and films; and acclaimed Hulu Originals like Emmy® and Golden Globe Award-winning series The Handmaid’s Tale and The Act; Golden Globe Award-winning, Emmy® Award nominated and Peabody-winning series Ramy; and Emmy® Award nominated series including Wu-Tang: An American Saga, and Pen15 alongside hit series Little Fires Everywhere, Normal People, Hillary, Shrill, Solar Opposites and Oscar® and Emmy® nominated documentary film Minding the Gap and critically acclaimed Hulu Original films PALM SPRINGS, RUN and HAPPIEST SEASON. The service also streams live news, entertainment and sports from 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, CBS Corporation, The CW, Turner Networks, A+E Networks and Discovery Networks – available all in one place. Recent hit Hulu Originals include Little Fires Everywhere from Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, the TV adaptation of best-selling novel Normal People, comedy series The Great and the romantic comedy HAPPIEST SEASON. Upcoming Original releases include The Dropout based on the ABC News investigative podcast and starring Kate McKinnon and the book to screen adaptation of Nine Perfect Strangers starring Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy.